Dr Roberto Cipolla

Roberto CipollaRoberto Cipolla remembers being fascinated by mathematics as a child, a subject in which he was greatly encouraged by his teachers at his comprehensive school in Birmingham. He was also greatly interested in art, photography and architecture. He came up to Queens' College, Cambridge in 1981 intending to read Natural Sciences, but on his first day decided to switch to Engineering as he "wanted to do something professional".

Attracted to Electrical Engineering, he pursued this subject doing a Masters degree at the University of Pennsylvania followed by two and a half years as a Japanese Government Scholar in Tokyo where he learnt Japanese and studied for another Masters in Robotics as well as researching at the Electrotechnical Laboratory. He returned to England by sea and land, retracing Marco Polo's route along the 'Silk Road' and the Buddhist origins of the Japanese people. An exhibition of his photographs called 'Seeking Gandhara' was shown in Tokyo in 1992.

He then studied computer vision at Balliol College, Oxford, gaining a DPhil in 1991. Whilst there, he helped run the Japanese Society through which he met a girl who was to become the Crown Princess of Japan. He was one of the few foreigners invited to celebrate her wedding at the Imperial Palace. They remain good friends.

He returned to Japan as a Toshiba Fellow from 1991-92 before taking up a lectureship at Cambridge, primarily to work with Professor Frank Fallside who was interested in setting up a research team to work in Computer Vision and Robotics.

Roberto's research now encompasses all his early interests in art, photography, architecture and maths. He became a Reader in Information Engineering in 1997 and is a Fellow at Jesus College.