[visionlist] Peter van der Helm

Lier, R.J. van (Rob) r.vanlier at donders.ru.nl
Sat Jan 25 11:13:48 -04 2020

??Dear vision list members,

Hereby we sadly announce the passing of dr. Peter van der Helm. As a brilliant mathematician Peter provided the mathematical foundations of the so-called structural information theory, initiated by Emanuel Leeuwenberg. Peter further extended his theoretical work to provide more clarity on issues in visual perception like Figural Goodness, simplicity versus likelihood, patterns, regularities such as symmetry, local versus global processing, and more recently also Bayesian and predictive coding  approaches to perception. He started his career at the (now) Radboud University (Nijmegen, The Netherlands), where he received his PhD in 1988 (cum laude), held a personal grant from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (1996-2000), and became assistant professor in 2001. From 2012 onwards, he was visiting professor at the University of Leuven (Belgium). Peter was a pleasurable, engaging man, extremely kind and helpful to others, but also admirably persistent whenever he thought he was right about something (scientifically or regarding societal issues). He was a very honest, open-minded person, supportive of young scientists asking for advice. Once you got to know him better, he could be very witty and gentle. Peter was ill for quite some time but kept working and publishing until the very last days. He will be missed greatly.

Rob van Lier

Johan Wagemans

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