Wednesday, April 9, 2014

MOOC Review: Image and Video Processing: From Mars to Hollywood with a Stop at the Hospital

by Kuei-Ti Lu

Course Name:
Image and Video Processing: From Mars to Hollywood with a Stop at the Hospital
Duke University
Guillermo Sapiro


I took a digital image processing course in my undergraduate study before taking this course, and this might affect how I view this course. Still, I learned more about partial differential equations (PDEs) in this course, which I had barely touched before taking this class.

Video Lectures:

The lengths of the videos varied. In the longer ones, there were often reminders of suggested break time, which were good for those who had little idea when to take a break.

Most materials were about the basic concepts, but in later part of the course, more math was was introduced. The math was more like optional materials considering little coverage of it in the quizzes. The materials covered spatial processing, image restoration, image segmentation, and image/video compression, which were the main topics for a typical image processing course. (Frequency domain processing was almost not mentioned at all.)

In addition to these common topics, geometric PDEs, image/video inpainting, and sparse modeling were touched. These required advanced math, but a student can skip these topics and still obtain the certificate for the course. However, those who had no trouble with math might find these materials good introductions to more advanced areas of studies.

At the end of the course was a brief introduction to medical imaging, which should be an interesting topic. Little technical material was covered for this topic (which is reasonable due to the nature of the field).


The quiz problems were on the basic concepts, instead of the technical details, covered in the lectures. Multiple attempts could be made without penalty, and a student should be able to complete them without much technical background. The exceptions were those on PDEs, which required at least some qualitative analysis ability.


Inside the quizzes, one could find optional programming exercises. These did not count toward the grade but could serve as good exercises. One could obtain a special edition of MATLAB for free for a limited period of time to work on these exercises (or simply play around with MATLAB, given the purpose was legal). These resources should be good for those who wanted to enhance their MATLAB skills.


Except the PDEs, the course should be easy unless one was too far from having some technical knowledge.


The course could serve as a survey on the digital image/video processing field. Students who wanted to learn more could also find resources through this course.


One of the suggested textbooks was one I used when I took the digital image processing course in my undergraduate study. I read part of the textbook at that time and read more when taking this course. The textbook provides much detail for the first half of the course. It also has some topics not covered in this course.