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Is Digital Image Processing practical outside academia

  1. Oct 23, 2010 #1
    I need to take one more course for my EE Bachelors degree in one of three specialized areas: Signal Processing, Controls, or Communications.

    I know all three of these are very much related, but I am finding Signal Processing by far the most fascinating field out of the three.

    The problem is that my school only offers one real undergrad course in Signal Processing. It is Intro to DSP. I am taking it right now.

    So, in order for me to take another course directly related to signal processing I have found three options.

    1. I take a graduate Digital Image Processing Course.
    2. I take the graduate Digital Signal Processing Course.
    3. I take an undergraduate independent study course where I propose a main topic to study all semester and as long as it is approved I just focus on that.

    So for option 3 I would be advised by my current DSP professor, who is an absolutely excellent professor. He also teaches option 1.

    I would just go ahead do option 1, but I am not sure how practical the stuff I am going to learn in that class would be.

    Here are the course descriptions of 1 and 2:

    1. Digital Image Processing:
    Digital image processing including image acquisition and characterization, transforms, coding and compression, enhancement, restoration and segmentation. Use of modern image processing software on Sun and IBM work stations.

    2: Digital Signal Processing:
    Introduction to discrete linear systems; frequency-domain design of digital filters; quantization effects in digital filters; digital filter hardware, discrete Fourier transforms; high-speed convolution and correlation with application to digital filtering; introduction to Walsh-Fourier theory.

    And here is the description for the Intro to DSP course I am taking right now:
    -Introduction to Digital Signal Processing :
    Introduction to discrete linear systems using difference equations and z-transforms. Discrete Fourier analysis. Design of digital filters. Sampling theorem. Applications of digital signal processing.

    I really want to learn about Filter Banks, Multi-Rate DSP, and the Wavelet Transform.

    If I try to do the independent study those are the three topics I am going to suggest that I focus on.

    It doesn't look like those topics are covered in the Grad DSP course.

    So I would really like to ether do the Image Processing course or the independent study if I am able to focus on those topics.

    The Image Processing course would be more structured and I would probably learn the stuff better. But would it be practical for an electrical engineer that most likely won't get a graduate degree?

    I know I am rambling, but please anyone, let me know what your thoughts are.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2010 #2


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    A friend of mine did his masters work in physics (astrophysics) analyzing astronomical images and writing software to detect sources in them; he got a job in medical physics doing something similar with MRI machines. So yes, it has other applications.
  4. Oct 23, 2010 #3


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    Are you kidding me? DSP is one of the hottest fields in engineering right now, especially in the defense/government sectors.
  5. Oct 23, 2010 #4


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    I agree, it's got a lot of potential for growth.
  6. Oct 23, 2010 #5
    What are you referring to? The title of the thread?

    Sorry, I guess that wasn't the real question I meant. What I meant what are your thoughts on taking either a course on Image Processing, or trying to take a class that focuses on more DSP in general?

    That is, for someone who plans on entering industry with only an undergrad degree.
  7. Oct 24, 2010 #6


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    Either one will be interesting. I'd try and take both...
  8. Oct 24, 2010 #7
    I decided what to do. I am going to try to do the undergrad level independent study course and propose that I just basically go the image processing course as the material.

    What are the most important topics in a Image Processing Course? Anyone?
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