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Color Science

Color has been a topic of intense interest and inquiry for hundreds if not thousands of years. Philosophers (Aristotle), poets (Goethe), physicists (Newton), and mathematicians (Schrödinger) have all contributed to our understanding about color. As a generalization, color science can be defined as the quantification of our perception of color. Its mastery requires an interdisciplinary educational approach encompassing physics, chemistry, physiology, statistics, computer science and psychology. Color science is used in the design and control of most man-made colored materials including textiles, coatings, and polymers and to specify such diverse materials as soil and wine.  It is used extensively in color reproduction including digital photography, desktop and projection display, and printing.

Color science research at RIT encompasses such diverse fields as medical data visualization, computer graphics and animation, art conservation, spectral and spatial measurements of materials, color printing, digital photography, motion picture and television, and modeling of our perceptions for use in defining color quality. RIT has a long history of scholarship in this area through its M.S. degree in Color Science, begun in 1986, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Imaging Science, and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering, Quality and Applied Statistics, Computer Science and Print Media.

Contact: James A. Ferwerda, Graduate Program Director
(585) 475-4923,

Visit the Color Science Website

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