Imaging Science Master of science degree

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Overview

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A master's in imaging science can further your understanding of the development and implementation of imaging systems–knowledge that can be applied to a variety of areas, including remote sensing, environmental science, and more.


The master's in imaging science prepares you for research positions in the imaging industry or in the application of various imaging modalities to problems in engineering and science. This emerging field integrates engineering, math, physics, computer science, and psychology to understand and develop imaging systems and technology. You’ll explore the creation and interpretation of image forming systems that are used in a broad range of applications from environmental forecasting and remote sensing to the analysis of the physical properties of radiation-sensitive materials. The masters in imaging science is geared towards advancing and broadening the skills of professionals working in the imaging industry.

Program overview

Faculty within the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science supervise thesis research in areas of the physical properties of radiation-sensitive materials and processes, digital image processing, remote sensing, nanoimaging, electro-optical instrumentation, vision, computer vision, color imaging systems, and astronomical imaging. Interdisciplinary efforts are possible with other colleges across the university.

Formal course work includes consideration of the physical properties of radiation-sensitive materials and processes, the applications of physical and geometrical optics to electro-optical systems, the mathematical evaluation of image forming systems, digital image processing, and the statistical characterization of noise and system performance. Technical electives may be selected from courses offered in imaging science, color science, engineering, computer science, science, and mathematics. Both thesis and project options are available. In general, full-time students are required to pursue the thesis option, with the project option targeted to part-time and online students who can demonstrate that they have sufficient practical experience through their professional activities.

Plan of study

The curriculum is a combination of required core courses in imaging science, elective courses appropriate for the candidate’s background and interests, and either a research thesis or graduate paper/project. Students must enroll in either the research thesis or graduate paper/project option at the beginning of their studies. The program can be completed on a full- or a part-time basis. Some courses are available online, specifically in the areas of color science, remote sensing, computer vision, and digital image processing. 

Specialty track courses

Students choose two courses from a variety of tracks such as: digital image processing, computer vision, electro-optical imaging systems, remote sensing, color imaging, optics, hard copy materials and processes, and nanoimaging. Tracks may be created for students interested in pursuing additional fields of study.

Research thesis option

The research thesis is based on experimental evidence obtained by the student in an appropriate field, as arranged between the student and their adviser. The minimum number of thesis credits required is four and may be fulfilled by experiments in the university’s laboratories. In some cases, the requirement may be fulfilled by work done in other laboratories or the student's place of employment, under the following conditions:

  1. The results must be fully publishable.
  2. The student’s advisor must be approved by the graduate program coordinator.
  3. The thesis must be based on independent, original work, as it would be if the work were done in the university’s laboratories.

A student’s thesis committee is composed of a minimum of three people: the student’s advisor and two additional members who hold at least a master's degree in a field relevant to the student’s research. Two committee members must be graduate faculty of the center.

Graduate paper/project option

Students with demonstrated practical or research experience, approved by the graduate program coordinator, may choose the graduate project option (3 credit hours). This option takes the form of a systems project course. The graduate paper is normally performed during the final semester of study. Both part- and full-time students may choose this option, with the approval of the graduate program coordinator.

Nature of work

Faculty within the Center for Imaging Science supervise thesis research in areas of the physical properties of radiation-sensitive materials and processes, digital image processing, remote sensing, nanoimaging, electro-optical instrumentation, vision, computer vision, color imaging systems, and astronomical imaging. Interdisciplinary efforts are possible with the Kate Gleason College of Engineering and the College of Science.

The program can be completed on a full- or a part-time basis. Some courses are available online, specifically in the areas of color science, remote sensing, medical imaging, and digital image processing.

Selected employers

Students have found employment in some of the world's leading companies and organizations, including Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Aptiva Imaging, Boeing, CACI, General Electric, Google, Harris Corp., Heidelberg, Hewlett-Packard, Hover Inc., Integrity Applications Inc., Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lexmark, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, MITRE, Motorola Mobility LLC, NASA, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, NVIDIA, EagleView, LLC, Ricoh Print Production, Sandia National Labs, Science Applications International Corp., Sherwin Williams, Technicolor, The Aerospace Corporation, Valspar, Xerox. 

This program is also offered online. View Online Option.

Industries


  • Research

  • Medical Devices

  • Environmental Services

  • Scientific and Technical Consulting

  • Other Industries

Featured Work

Curriculum for Imaging Science MS

Imaging Science (thesis option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
IMGS-606
Graduate Seminar I
This course is focused on familiarizing students with research activities in the Carlson Center, research practices in the university, research environment and policies and procedures impacting graduate students. The course is coupled with the research seminar sponsored by the Center for Imaging Science (usually weekly presentations). Students are expected to attend and participate in the seminar as part of the course. The course also addresses issues and practices associated with technical presentation and technical writing. Credits earned in this course apply to research requirements. (This class is restricted to graduate students in the IMGS-MS or IMGS-PHD programs.) Seminar 1 (Fall).
1
IMGS-607
Graduate Seminar II
This course is a continuation of the topics addressed in the preceding course Imaging Science Graduate Seminar I. The course is coupled with the research seminar sponsored by the Center for Imaging Science (usually weekly presentations). Students are expected to attend and participate in the seminar as part of the course. The course addresses issues and practices associated with technical presentations. Credits earned in this course apply to research requirements. (Prerequisites: IMGS-606 or equivalent course.) Seminar 1 (Spring).
1
IMGS-616
Fourier Methods for Imaging
This course develops the mathematical methods required to describe continuous and discrete linear systems, with special emphasis on tasks required in the analysis or synthesis of imaging systems. The classification of systems as linear/nonlinear and shift variant/invariant, development and use of the convolution integral, Fourier methods as applied to the analysis of linear systems. The physical meaning and interpretation of transform methods are emphasized. (This class is restricted to graduate students in the IMGS-MS or IMGS-PHD programs.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   IMGS-619
   Radiometry
This course is focused on the fundamentals of radiation propagation as it relates to making quantitative measurements with imaging systems. The course includes an introduction to common radiometric terms and derivation of governing equations with an emphasis on radiation propagation in both non-intervening and turbid media. The course also includes an introduction to detector figures of merit and noise concepts. (This class is restricted to graduate students in the IMGS-MS or IMGS-PHD programs.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
 
   IMGS-620
   The Human Visual System
This course describes the underlying structure of the human visual system, the performance of those structures and the system as a whole, and introduces psychophysical techniques used to measure them. The visual system's optical and neural systems responsible for collecting and detecting spatial, temporal, and spectral signals from the environment are described. The sources and extent of limitations in the subsystems are described and discussed in terms of the enabling limitations that allow practical imaging systems. (This class is restricted to graduate students in the IMGS-MS or IMGS-PHD programs.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
 
Choose two of the following:
6
   IMGS-613
   Probability, Noise, and System Modeling
This course develops models of noise and random processes within the context of imaging systems. The focus will be on stationary random processes in both one dimension (time) and two dimensions (spatial). Power spectrum estimation will be developed and applied to signal characterization in the frequency domain. The effect of linear filtering will be modeled and applied to signal detection and maximization of SNR. The matched filter and the Wiener filter will be developed. Signal detection and amplification will be modeled, using noise figure and SNR as measures of system quality. At completion of the course, the student should have the ability to model signals and noise within imaging systems. (Prerequisites: IMGS-616 and IMGS-619 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
 
   IMGS-633
   Optics for Imaging
This course provides the requisite knowledge in optics needed by a student in the graduate program in Imaging Science. The topics covered include the ray and wave models of light, diffraction, imaging system resolution. (Prerequisites: IMGS-616 and IMGS-619 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
 
   IMGS-682
   Image Processing and Computer Vision
This course will cover a wide range of current topics in modern still digital image processing. Topics will include grey scale and color image formation, color space representation of images, image geometry, image registration and resampling, image contrast manipulations, image fusion and data combining, point spatial and neighborhood operations, image watermarking and steganography, image compression, spectral data compression, image segmentation and classification, and basic morphological operators. Projects will involve advanced computational implementations of selected topics from the current literature in a high level language such as Matlab or IDL and will be summarized by the students in written technical papers. (Prerequisites: IMGS-616 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
 
 
Specialty Track Course
3
 
Elective
3
Second Year
IMGS-790
Research & Thesis
Masters-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Thesis (Fall, Spring, Summer).
4
 
Specialty Track Course
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   IMGS-790
   Research & Thesis
Masters-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Thesis (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
 
   Elective
 
Total Semester Credit Hours
30

Imaging Science (project option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
IMGS-616
Fourier Methods for Imaging
This course develops the mathematical methods required to describe continuous and discrete linear systems, with special emphasis on tasks required in the analysis or synthesis of imaging systems. The classification of systems as linear/nonlinear and shift variant/invariant, development and use of the convolution integral, Fourier methods as applied to the analysis of linear systems. The physical meaning and interpretation of transform methods are emphasized. (This class is restricted to graduate students in the IMGS-MS or IMGS-PHD programs.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
IMGS-633
Optics for Imaging
This course provides the requisite knowledge in optics needed by a student in the graduate program in Imaging Science. The topics covered include the ray and wave models of light, diffraction, imaging system resolution. (Prerequisites: IMGS-616 and IMGS-619 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
IMGS-682
Image Processing and Computer Vision
This course will cover a wide range of current topics in modern still digital image processing. Topics will include grey scale and color image formation, color space representation of images, image geometry, image registration and resampling, image contrast manipulations, image fusion and data combining, point spatial and neighborhood operations, image watermarking and steganography, image compression, spectral data compression, image segmentation and classification, and basic morphological operators. Projects will involve advanced computational implementations of selected topics from the current literature in a high level language such as Matlab or IDL and will be summarized by the students in written technical papers. (Prerequisites: IMGS-616 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   IMGS-619
   Radiometry
This course is focused on the fundamentals of radiation propagation as it relates to making quantitative measurements with imaging systems. The course includes an introduction to common radiometric terms and derivation of governing equations with an emphasis on radiation propagation in both non-intervening and turbid media. The course also includes an introduction to detector figures of merit and noise concepts. (This class is restricted to graduate students in the IMGS-MS or IMGS-PHD programs.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
 
   IMGS-620
   The Human Visual System
This course describes the underlying structure of the human visual system, the performance of those structures and the system as a whole, and introduces psychophysical techniques used to measure them. The visual system's optical and neural systems responsible for collecting and detecting spatial, temporal, and spectral signals from the environment are described. The sources and extent of limitations in the subsystems are described and discussed in terms of the enabling limitations that allow practical imaging systems. (This class is restricted to graduate students in the IMGS-MS or IMGS-PHD programs.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
 
 
Elective
3
 
Specialty Track Course
3
Second Year
IMGS-740
Imaging Science MS Systems Project Paper
The analysis and solution of imaging science systems problems for students enrolled in the MS Project capstone paper option. Research 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
 
Specialty Track Course
3
 
Electives
6
Total Semester Credit Hours
30

 

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS in imaging science, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college.
  • Have completed courses in mathematics (through calculus and including differential equations), and a full year of calculus-based physics (including modern physics). It is assumed that students can write a common computer program.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Requirement may be waived for on campus applicants who are not seeking funding from the Center for Imaging Science. Applicants intending to complete the online version of the program must submit GRE scores.
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives.
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources familiar with the applicant’s academic or research capabilities.  
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 100 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 7.0 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.

Applicants seeking financial assistance from the center must have all application documents submitted to the Office of Graduate and Part-time Enrollment Services by January 15 for the next academic year.

Bridge courses

Applicants who lack adequate preparation may be required to complete bridge courses in mathematics or physics before matriculating with graduate status.

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid 

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