Computer scientist Russell Kirsch, who invented pixel, passes away at 91

Kirsch developed a method to smooth out images by using pixels with variable shapes.

AP
File photo of 2007: Russell Kirsch holds the image of his son, Walden, that was scanned into the world's first digital scanner in 1957.
PORTLAND: 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 reported. He was 91.

Pixels, the digital dots used to display photos, video and more on phone and computer screens, weren't an obvious innovation in 1957, when Kirsch created a small, 2-by-2-inch black-and-white digital image of his son, Walden, as an infant.

That was among the first images ever scanned into a computer, using a device created by his research team at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institutes of Science and Technology).


This work "laid the foundations for satellite imagery, CT scans, virtual reality and Facebook," said a 2010 Science News article about Kirsch, subsequently republished by Wired. That first square image, that article said, measured a mere 176 pixels on a side - just shy of 31,000 pixels in total. Today, the digital camera on the iPhone 11 can capture roughly 12 million pixels per image.

Though computers have become exponentially more powerful and can now fit in our pockets, science has ever since been coming to terms with the fact that Kirsch made his pixels square. The square shape of the pixels meant that image elements can look blocky, clunky or jagged - just generally not as smooth as real life.

There's even a word for this effect: "pixelated." "Squares was the logical thing to do," Kirsch told the magazine in 2010. "Of course, the logical thing was not the only possibility ... but we used squares.
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It was something very foolish that everyone in the world has been suffering from ever since." Kirsch later developed a method to smooth out images by using pixels with variable shapes instead of the squares.

Born in Manhattan in 1929, Kirsch 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 U.S. National Bureau of Standards.

Russell Kirsch is survived by his wife of 65 years, Joan; by children Walden, Peter, Lindsey and Kara; and by four grandchildren.

Celeb Deaths Of 2019: India Lost Sushma-Jaitley, Kushal Punjabi, CCD Boss
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2019 has left a void in our hearts.

From Bollywood veterans and Hollywood celebrities to political stalwarts, we lost several personalities over the span of one year.

While big names like politicians Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld lost their lives after battling prolonged illnesses, others like businessman VG Siddhartha and actor Kushal Punjabi succumbed to their mental health struggles.

Here's a look at all the influential figures we bid adieu to this year, but they continue to stay in our hearts.

2019 has left a void in our hearts. From Bollywood veterans and Hollywood celebrities to political stalwarts, we lost several personalities over the span of one year. While big names like pol..
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2019 ended on a sad note after news of TV star Kushal Punjabi's suicide broke. The 37-year-old actor, best known for his appearance in films like 'Lakshya', 'Andaz' and 'Kaal', was found hanging at his Mumbai residence on December 27.



The actor who was last seen in popular TV series 'Ishq Mein Marjawan' left a one-and-a-half page suicide note, specifying that nobody should be held responsible for his death. In his letter, he wrote that 50 per cent of his property should be distributed equally among his parents and sister, while the remaining 50 per cent be given to his three-year-old son Kian.



Punjabi started his career as a dancer and model. He appeared in several music videos such as 'Pehla Nasha' (remix) and DJ Aqeel's 'Kehdoon Tumhen' recreation.

2019 ended on a sad note after news of TV star Kushal Punjabi's suicide broke. The 37-year-old actor, best known for his appearance in films like 'Lakshya', 'Andaz' and 'Kaal', was found hanging at h..
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The year saw a lot of veteran bid their final goodbyes, and one of them was veteran Marathi theatre and cinema stalwart Dr Shreeram Lagoo. The prolific character artiste, who was seen in numerous Bollywood movies, passed away after a cardiac arrest at his Pune residence on December 17 at 92.



He was a trained ENT surgeon by profession, but followed his passion for acting and theatre. He played an important role in the growth of theatre movement in Maharashtra in the post-Independence era alongside Vijay Tendulkar, Vijaya Mehta and Arvind Deshpande.



He is well-known for his roles in Marathi plays such as 'Natsamrat' and 'Himalayachi Saoli', and V Shantaram's 'Pinjra' made him popular.



In Bollywood, Lagoo essayed memorable roles in films like 'Ek Din Achanak', 'Gharonda', 'Muqaddar Ka Sikandar' and 'Laawaris'. He played Gopal Krishna Gokhale in Richard Attenborough's 'Gandhi'.

The year saw a lot of veteran bid their final goodbyes, and one of them was veteran Marathi theatre and cinema stalwart Dr Shreeram Lagoo. The prolific character artiste, who was seen in numerous Bol..
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Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes, who put British cuisine on the map, passed away from a head injury after collapsing in his Dubai home at the age of 59 on November 26. His family confirmed that after a nice meal with family he suddenly collapsed and died due to subdural haematoma, bleeding between the skull and brain.



The chef, who earned his first Michelin star at 26, was known to introduce the culture of gastropub to the world. He was also seen in popular international shows like 'MasterChef' and 'Hell's Kitchen'.

Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes, who put British cuisine on the map, passed away from a head injury after collapsing in his Dubai home at the age of 59 on November 26. His family confirmed that after a ni..
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Veteran actor Shaukat Kaifi Azmi's demise was a loss for Indian theatre and cinema. Shabana Azmi's mother, who was last seen in Shaadi Ali's 'Saathiya', passed away on November 22 in her early '90s due to age-related ailments in Mumbai.



The stage thespian, along with her husband and celebrated Urdu poet and film lyricist Kaifi Azmi, was a leading light of the Indian People's Theatre Association and the Progressive Writers Association, which were the cultural platforms of the Communist Party of India.



She was also seen in movies like 'Bazaar', 'Umrao Jaan' and Mira Nair's Oscar-nominated film 'Salaam Bombay!'.

Veteran actor Shaukat Kaifi Azmi's demise was a loss for Indian theatre and cinema. Shabana Azmi's mother, who was last seen in Shaadi Ali's 'Saathiya', passed away on November 22 in her early '90s d..
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The veteran Telugu actor, Geetanjali, passed away after suffering a heart attack at the age of 72 on October 31 in Hyderabad.



She was a part of the Lakshmikant-Pyarelal production, 'Parasmani'. Several news reports suggest that she was re-christened 'Geetanjali' by the filmmaker as the Hindi movie already had 'Mani' in its title.



She also worked in various Telugu, Malayalam and Tamil films, and was known for her roles in films like 'Illalu', 'Abbayigaru Ammayigaru', 'Kaalam Marindi' and 'Sambarala Rambabu'.

The veteran Telugu actor, Geetanjali, passed away after suffering a heart attack at the age of 72 on October 31 in Hyderabad.She was a part of the Lakshmikant-Pyarelal production, 'Parasmani'. Severa..
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The entire film fraternity bid farewell to Bollywood's 'Kalia' on September 30. Veteran character-actor Viju Khote, who was best known for his role as Kalia in the Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra-starrer 'Sholay', and as Robert in 'Andaz Apna Apna' featuring Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, passed away at the age of 77 in Mumbai.



He was also a part of popular movies like 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak', 'Ventilator', and the famous 1993 TV sitcom 'Zabaan Sambhalke' that had veteran actor Pankaj Kapur, and Khote's sister, Shubha, in the cast.

The entire film fraternity bid farewell to Bollywood's 'Kalia' on September 30. Veteran character-actor Viju Khote, who was best known for his role as Kalia in the Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra-sta..
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Another shock came up for the food industry when it lost celebrity chef and restaurateur Carl Ruiz at 44 on September 21. The cause of death of the owner of New York City restaurant, La Cubana, was not known.



His recipes were a part of his Cuban roots and Latin upbringing, and mostly inspired by his mother and grandmother. In an Instagram tribute, his NY restaurant wrote, "Beyond his immense culinary talent, Carl's larger-than-life personality never failed to entertain, enlighten, and uplift every person he encountered along his #Ruizing adventures. His fierce intellect and infectious humour knew no bounds. He was a mighty force of down home Cuban cuisine, and lived life to the fullest, just as he cooked-with "dancing always" as the most important ingredient."

Another shock came up for the food industry when it lost celebrity chef and restaurateur Carl Ruiz at 44 on September 21. The cause of death of the owner of New York City restaurant, La Cubana, was n..
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Shyam Ramsay, one of the seven Ramsay Brothers who were known for cult horror films such as 'Puraani Haveli' and 'Tahkhaana', breathed his last on September 18 in Mumbai at 67.



The film-maker was considered the brain behind the banner. He directed over 30 films including 'Bandh Darwaza' and 'Veerana', and was also the creator of the popular TV series 'Zee Horror Show' that brought families together post dinners.

Shyam Ramsay, one of the seven Ramsay Brothers who were known for cult horror films such as 'Puraani Haveli' and 'Tahkhaana', breathed his last on September 18 in Mumbai at 67.The film-maker was cons..
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A lawyer and politician, the multi-faceted Arun Jaitley passed away on August 24, leaving a void in the ruling party - Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP).



He held the finance and corporate affairs Cabinet portfolios for the Modi-led government from 2014 to 2019. His poor health kept him from presenting the Union Budget 2018 and Interim Budget 2019. It was also one of the reasons why he didn't contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. An eloquent speaker, he had a way with words, and political foes in Parliament, and away from it. A cricket aficionado, he had also served as the Delhi District Cricket Association chief.

A lawyer and politician, the multi-faceted Arun Jaitley passed away on August 24, leaving a void in the ruling party - Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP).He held the finance and corporate affairs Cabinet por..
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