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My thesis is that a realistic image of a human face can be generated using a computational simulation of light transport. I demonstrate this thesis by acquiring the three-dimensional geometry of a face, measuring the reflectance function from the face, and generating a graphical image that accurately matches a photograph of the face. I also show that the faithful simulation of the physics of light transport is important for synthesizing a realistic image of the face. One important consequence of this work is that it can be used in the future to recognize a face based on a photograph. By rendering realistic images of geometric meshes of faces using accurate re ectance functions and faithful physics, photo-realistic images can be compared pixel by pixel to digitized photographs to search for the closest match between a face in a geometric database and a face in a photograph.