Russell Kirsch, a computer scientist credited with inventing the pixel and scanning the world’s first digital photograph, died Aug. 11 at his home in Portland, Oregon, The Oregonian reports. He was 91 years old.
The digital dots used to display photos, videos, and more on pixels, phones, and computer screens were not an obvious invention in 1957, when Kirsch created a small, 2-by-2-inch black-and-white digital image of himself. The boy, Walden, as a child. It was one of the first images scanned on a computer using a device created by the US National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Science and Technology) research team.
The work “laid the foundations for satellite images, CT scans, virtual reality and Facebook,” according to a 2010 Science News article about Kirsch, which was later republished by Wired. The first square image, the article said, measured only 176 pixels. Side – just shy of a total of 31,000 pixels. Today, the iPhone 11’s digital camera can capture about 12 million pixels per image.
Although computers are rapidly becoming more powerful and can now fit in our pockets, science has since been talking about the fact that Karsh made his pixels square. The square shape of the pixel means that the elements of the image may look blocked, blurred or jagged – not as smooth as in real life in general. There’s even a word for this effect: “Pixeled.”
“It was logical to make squares,” Kirsh told the magazine in 2010. It was so stupid that everyone in the world has been suffering since then. “
Kirsch later developed a method of smoothing images using pixels with variable shapes instead of squares.
Born in Manhattan in 1929, Kirsh was the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Hungary. He was educated at the Bronx High School of Science, New York University, Harvard, and MIT, and worked for five decades as a research scientist at the US National Bureau of Standards.
Russell Kirch’s 65-year-old wife, Joan, is still alive; By children Walden, Peter, Lindsay, and Cara; And by four grandchildren.
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