Friday, February 17, 2012

Under-graduate education in Image processing


Image acquisition and processing have become a standard method for qualifying and quantifying experimental measurements in various Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.  Discoveries have been made possible in medical sciences by advances in diagnostic imaging such as x-ray based computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  Biological and cellular functions have been revealed with new imaging techniques in light based microscopy.  Advancements in material sciences have been aided by electron microscopy analysis of nanoparticles.    All these examples and many more require both knowledge of the physical methods to obtain images and the analytical processing methods to understand the science behind the images. 

Imaging technology continues to advance with new modalities and methods available to students and researchers in STEM disciplines.  Thus, a course in image acquisition and processing would have broad appeal across the STEM disciplines and be useful for transforming undergraduate and graduate curriculum to better prepare students for their future.

Image analysis is an extraordinarily practical technique that need not be limited to highly analytical individuals with a math and engineering background.  Since researchers in biology, medicine, and chemistry along with students and scientists from mathematics, physics and various engineering fields use these techniques regularly; there is a need for a course that provides a gradual introduction to both acquisition and processing. 

Such a course will prepare students in the common image acquisition techniques like CT, MRI, light  microscope and electron microscope.   It will also introduce the practical aspects of image acquisition such as noise, resolution etc.  The students will also be programming image processing using Python as a part of the curriculum.  They will be introduced to python modules such as numpy and scipy.   They will learn the various image processing operations like segmentation, morphological operations, measurements and visualization.

We wanted our understanding of this need with the data collected from surveying people interested in image processing or people who wish that they had such a course during their senior year in under-graduate or in graduate school.   We created a survey to obtain your feedback.    It will take only a minute of your time.   We request that you fill as much information as you can.  Please forward this URL or this blogpost to your friends as well.

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