C. Richard Johnson, Jr.

Charles R. Johnson

Geoffrey S.M. Hedrick Professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Frank H T Rhodes Hall, Room 390
Frank H T Rhodes Hall, Room 390


C. Richard Johnson, Jr. was born in Macon, GA in 1950. He received a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, along with the first PhD minor in Art History granted by Stanford, in 1977. After 4 years on the faculty at Virginia Tech, he joined the Cornell University faculty in 1981, where he is the Geoffrey S. M. Hedrick Senior Professor of Engineering and a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow.

At the start of 2007, following 30 years of research on adaptive feedback systems theory and blind equalization in communication receivers, Professor Johnson accepted a five-year appointment as an Adjunct Research Fellow of the Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) to facilitate the interaction of art historians and conservation specialists with algorithm-building signal processors. In 2012, Professor Johnson was appointed a Scientific Researcher of the Rijksmuseum.

Research Interests

Digital Signal Processing (Primary Specialization: 1977-1991: Adaptive Feedback Systems Theory; 1991-2005: Blind Equalization in Digital Communication Receivers; 2005-present: Signal Processing Algorithms in Support of Painting Analysis)

Research Group Members

Teaching Interests

  • Applications of adaptive signal processing in communication and control systems
  • Applications of image processing to analysis of old master paintings
  • Digital feedback control design

Selected Publications

  • Liedtke, Walter, Jr. Johnson, Don H. Johnson. 2012."Canvas Matches in Vermeer: A Case Study in the Computer Analysis of Fabric Supports."Metropolitan Museum Journal47(1): 99-106.
  • van Tilborgh, L., T. Meedendorp, E. Hendriks, D. H. Johnson, Jr. Johnson, R. G. Erdmann. 2012."Weave Matching and Dating of Van Gogh's Paintings: An Interdisciplinary Approach." The Burlington Magazine153(112-122).
  • Treichler, J. R., Jr. Johnson, M. G. Larimore. 2001.Theory and Design of Adaptive Filters.Prentice-Hall.
  • Johnson, Jr., C. Richard, W. A. Sethares, A. G. Klein. 2011.Software Receiver Design.Cambridge University Press.
  • Anderson, B.D.O., R. R. Bitmead, Jr. Johnson, P. V. Kokotovic, R. L. Kosut, I.M.Y. Mareels, L. Praly, B. D. Riedle. 1986.Stability of Adaptive Systems: Passivity and Averaging Analysis.MIT Press.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Fulbright Research Scholar(Institute of International Education)2005
  • Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow(Cornell University)2004
  • Fellow(IEEE)1989
  • C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Teacher(Eta Kappa Nu)1983
  • Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer(Eta Kappa Nu)1982


  • BEE(Electrical Engineering),Georgia Institute of Technology,1973
  • MS(Electrical Engineering),Stanford University,1975
  • Ph D(Electrical Engineering),Stanford University,1977


Research Group Members

Graduate Students

In the News

Magic Eye

Rick Johnson, an engineering professor on the Hill—and, at the risk of a mixed metaphor, something of a Renaissance man. At Cornell since 1981, Johnson has spent decades teaching and doing research in electrical engineering, particularly in the fields of control systems and signal processing. But over the past twelve years, his interests have entailed as much art as science. A pioneer in the field of computational art history, Johnson leverages both his engineering acumen and his abiding passion for art to study the physical materials with which works are made. Read more about Magic Eye