Engineering Alumnus Is Co-founder of FaceX

Engineering alumnus Steve Mitchell (BSE 1998 electrical engineering, MS 2000, PhD 2004 electrical and computer engineering) is co-founder and chief technology officer of FaceX, a new start-up business to commercialize automated analysis of facial features for medical, laboratory and industrial applications for faces.

Other co-founders are fellow UI alumni Randy Kardon (MD, PhD 1982, medicine, pharmacology), UI professor and director of neuro-ophthalmology, Pomerantz Family Chair of Ophthalmology and director of director of the Center of Excellence for Prevention and Treatment of Visual Loss at the US Department of Veterans Affairs; and Pieter Poolman (Postdoc 2003, human factors), adjunct professor, biomedical engineering and scientist, UI Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

The technology developed by the co-founders enables real-time, automated extraction and classification of critical facial features of expression, eye movements, eyelid and blinking dynamics, pupil responses to light that are affected by eye and neurologic disorders, as well as pain and fatigue. The technology can be applied to the military, veterans, and civilian populations.

After receiving his PhD, Mitchell founded a consultancy group to take on machine learning and computer vision projects with the goal to increase the scope and complexity of projects and develop new ventures in these specialized fields. His past projects were related to optical character recognition, augmented reality, real-time optical grading, facial tracking, gaze / eye tracking, document processing, motion tracking, and text sentiment analysis.

Mitchell also is founder of Componica, LLC, which develops specialized software components in math intensive fields such as image processing, data mining, and pattern recognition. In addition, he is senior computer vision engineer of Illuminate Education, Inc., which develops algorithms for visually aligning and tracking sheets of paper in real-time for desktop and mobile devices, algorithms for reading and interpreting student-filled bubbles on assignments and tests, creating optical character recognition systems for reading handwritten student responses, and algorithms for facial recognition and estimating emotional affect for future products.

In May 2015, Illuminate Education acquired Learning Egg, LLC, a company Mitchell also co-founded, for its Lightning Grader technology.

Steve Mitchell