In the classroom: students learn the science behind digital images – Georgia State University News

In this occasional series, we ask instructors to discuss how they engage students in the big issues of our time.

Jingyu liu
Associate Professor
Computer Science department
Digital image processing

Q. In a few sentences, how would you describe this course?

A. This course teaches students techniques for modifying digital images for various purposes. These images include landscape images, medical images, satellite images, and any other image that can be presented as digital data. Most students have probably used Photoshop before to make an image look fantastic or just rotate or zoom an image. The course teaches students what goes on behind the scenes when you do it. Using an app to rotate an image or bring out the functionality of the image requires algorithms. This course does not teach Photoshop, but teaches “If this is your goal, what are the algorithms or code behind this trick?” “

Q. What makes this course attractive to students?

A. I think digital imaging techniques exist everywhere in your daily life. You might not notice it, but it is there. For example, you have a digital camera to take a photo or video or work on Zoom. These images and videos are transmitted via the Internet. Do you want to compress this? Digital media files are huge and you have very limited internet bandwidth. So you need to compress your data. This is what the course will show, for example, “how to compress the image”. The techniques taught are often used in everyday life, and we are simply not aware of them. This course will show you where people use these techniques.

Q. Why is this course important?

A. The course itself introduces digital imaging processes, answering questions when taking a digital image, for example, what resolution do you need? showing how you can enhance, restore, compress or segment an image, etc. This course is an introduction to the basic technique. Once students have mastered the concepts, they can relatively easily jump into more advanced technology, when necessary due to their interest or future job or research project. Since digital images are literally everywhere in our life these days, knowing the basic technology behind the digital imaging process can be very helpful, if not essential, for research or employment.

Q. What interested you about this subject?

A. All of my research focuses on medical images, especially MRI for the brain. We apply advanced algorithms to medical images to help solve mental health issues. All of the data we analyzed comes from MRIs and other digital or signal imaging techniques.

Q. What is the most interesting or unusual assignment you give to students in this class?

A. I gave them a medical image. It was a bone structure. The mission was to bring out the bone structure to see if there was a fracture. I have given this same homework consecutively for several weeks, and each week the technique used to achieve the goal is different. Each week I will teach a new set of methods and ask the students to try. The goal is to have a practical and in-depth understanding of the technique.

– Interview by Emma Barrett (BA, English, ’25)


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John C. Dent