What is Imaging Science?

Imaging Science is a highly interdisciplinary field which combines aspects of physics, math, computer science, and engineering. Imaging Scientists are experts in understanding and developing cutting edge imaging systems: from satellite systems, to portable eye trackers, to medical imagers, to multispectral detectors - anything that involves recording, processing, displaying, or analyzing image data. Imaging Science employs a systems engineering approach to imaging by studying in detail a conceptual model referred to as The Imaging Chain, which describes all factors to be considered when designing a new imaging system.

Who studies Imaging Science?

Many students are attracted to Imaging Science because of its multidisciplinary nature. ImSci students typically have interests in science, engineering, computing, or math, but are not sure what they want to do. They may also have interests in photography or video, but are looking to apply science and engineering concepts. Imaging Science offers an ideal mix of disciplines while promising a well-rounded and highly marketable degree.

Monica Cook is just one of several Imaging Science students discovering how imaging can solve global problems. Hear about what got her interested in Imaging Science, and what opportunities she has enjoyed as an ImSci student at RIT.

Why study Imaging Science at RIT?

Imaging Science is one-of-a-kind. RIT is the only university in the United States with an undergraduate program in Imaging Science, thanks to Rochester's rich history as a world leader in optics and imaging.

RIT Imaging Scientists are known experts in their field. RIT Imaging Scientists are known for our ability to develop imaging systems end-to-end thanks to our Image Chain approach. While physicists may be interested in the physical characteristics of a scene, photographers may be focused on capture, computer scientists may concentrate on processing, engineers may build new display systems, and psychologists may study interpretation, Imaging Scientists have the know-how to pull all of the elements together to create a full imaging system.

Imaging Science makes connections. In addition to being a degree-granting organization, the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science performs millions of dollars worth of research each year, giving us strong ties with national laboratories, research organizations, and industry.

Download this chart (PDF) that compares RIT undergraduate programs in Imaging Science, Physics, Computer Science, Imaging & Photographic Technology, and Electrical Engineering.