May 30, 2024
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Watson College professor elected senior member of National Academy of Inventors

Lijun Yin from the Computer Science Department is a pioneer of three- and four-dimensional modeling of the human face

Binghamton scholar Lijun Yin is a pioneer of three- and four-dimensional modeling of the human face. Binghamton scholar Lijun Yin is a pioneer of three- and four-dimensional modeling of the human face.
Binghamton scholar Lijun Yin is a pioneer of three- and four-dimensional modeling of the human face. Image Credit: Jonathan Cohen.

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) recently named 61 academic inventors to the 2021 class of senior members. Among them is Professor Lijun Yin from Binghamton University’s Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Yin, a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science, has been a pioneer in the field of three- and four-dimensional modeling, specifically of the human face. He has created and released a series of facial-scan databases that have been used by Hollywood filmmakers, video-game creators and more.

“It is my honor to be elected as a senior member of NAI,” Yin said. “I hope our work will increase the visibility of Binghamton University, as well as aid the research community and society as a whole. I am thankful for all the support from my students, the Computer Science Department, Watson College, Binghamton’s Technology Transfer Office and the University.”

NAI senior members are active faculty, scientists and administrators from NAI member institutions who have produced technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society. They also have growing success in patents, licensing and commercialization.

“It truly has been my privilege to work with Professor Yin in disseminating globally the series of 3D and 4D facial expression datasets he created that have become the de facto standard in his field,” said Scott Moser, Binghamton University’s technology transfer officer.

“Binghamton’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships has licensed the biometric technologies to dozens of companies and hundreds of university groups to assist R&D efforts in numerous areas of application.”

The ability to nominate an individual for NAI senior member recognition is an exclusive opportunity afforded solely to NAI member institutions to recognize their outstanding innovators. These organizations are regarded as powerhouses that promote and foster innovation.

“Professor Yin’s groundbreaking research into 3D facial modeling showcases the spirit of innovation that Watson College represents, and we congratulate him on this recognition from NAI,” said Dean Krishnaswami “Hari” Srihari. “We are proud to count him among our faculty, and we look forward to what he will continue to accomplish in the years to come.”

This latest class of NAI senior members represents 36 research universities, government and nonprofit research institutes. They are named inventors on over 617 U.S. patents.

“NAI member institutions support some of the most elite innovators on the horizon. With the NAI senior member award distinction, we are recognizing innovators who are rising stars in their fields and the innovative ecosystems that support their work,” said Paul R. Sanberg, NAI president. “This new class is joining a prolific group of academic visionaries already defining tomorrow.”

NAI includes over 4,000 individual inventor members and fellows spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, to enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, to encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, to educate and mentor innovative students, and to translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

Senior members are elected biannually. A full list is available at