RIT imaging science Ph.D. student promotes photonics funding on congressional visit
Remote Sensing
Student Stories

Amanda Ziemann attended national conferences, won best student poster award

May. 19, 2014
Susan Gawlowicz


Rochester Institute of Technology graduate student Amanda Ziemann participated in the National Photonics Initiative Congressional Visits Day in Washington, D.C., on May 9 to promote government funding and investment in photonics-driven technology critical to the nation’s competitiveness and security.

Ziemann, a Ph.D. student at RIT’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science and native of Getzville, N.Y., and a resident of South Burlington, Vt., represented the professional organization SPIE (the International Society for Optics and Photonics) in support of the National Photonics Initiative, an alliance of industry, academia and government. The initiative lobbies to develop photonics—or scientific applications using light—in advanced manufacturing, communications and information technology, defense and national security, energy and health and medicine.

The congressional visit coincided with the SPIE annual conference in Baltimore on May 5–9, where Ziemann presented her paper, “Hyperspectral target detection using graph theory models and manifold geometry via an adaptive implementation of locally linear embedding.” She spent the day following her presentation meeting with congressional staffers representing Vermont, Maryland and New Mexico with SPIE members from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a defense contractor from Albuquerque, N.M.

“In participating in the congressional visits, I provided the perspective of current STEM graduate students that will be entering the photonics workforce,” said Ziemann, who expects to graduate in May 2015. “My graduate research is funded through the Department of Defense, and one of our concerns moving forward is the decrease in government allocated funding for academic research. There is a well-documented graying of the scientific and technical workforce in the aerospace community, and without stable academic funding the U.S. will continue to fall behind in these areas.”

SPIE leadership invited Ziemann on the congressional visit at the suggestion of David Messinger, the director of the Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Laboratory at RIT’s Center for Imaging Science.

“Amanda’s research is helping to develop and implement the next generation of approaches to how we analyze these complex data sets,” Messinger said. “Interestingly, because of the nature of the data and her approaches, we may ultimately be able to use these methods in other areas besides imaging. Her work in this area only further underscores the need for the development of the next generation of scientists and engineers in these fields related to optics and imaging.”

Earlier this spring, Ziemann also attended a U.S. Department of Energy Conference on Data Analysis in Sante Fe, N.M., March 5–7, where she won first prize in the Statistics in Defense and National Security student poster award and $400 for her research, “Using Graph Theory Models and Manifold Learning to Analyze Cluttered Hyperspectral Scenes.”

“My research focuses on applying advanced mathematical concepts, taken from the fields of data mining and computational graph theory, to analyze complex imagery,” Ziemann said. “This imagery can be collected from airborne platforms or satellites and is called ‘hyperspectral imaging’—images collected not in three colors, such as red, green and blue, but in hundreds of colors. The sensors that collect these images capture information beyond what the human eye can see, allowing researchers to better differentiate materials within the scene for applications including mapping natural disasters, tracking the spread of diseased crops and monitoring urban development.”

The Statistical Sciences Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory hosted the conference highlighting collaborative research conducted by scientists, statisticians and data analysts across the Department of Energy. Topics included data-intensive applied science, uncertainty quantification, national security, big data and exascale computing, energy and the environment, and signature discovery.

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Original Source: RIT University News

Taking NASA-USGS’s Landsat 8 to the Beach (Original Article)
Remote Sensing

Some things go swimmingly with a summer trip to the beach – sunscreen, mystery novels, cold beverages and sandcastles. Other things – like aquatic algae – are best avoided. 

Jul. 2, 2014
Kate Ramsayer

The Landsat 8 satellite is helping researchers spot these organisms from space, gathering information that could direct beachgoers away from contaminated bays and beaches. With improved sensors and technology on the latest Landsat satellite, researchers can now distinguish slight variations in the color of coastal water due to algae or sediments to identify potential problem areas.

“We can sample everything in the blink of an eye and can say right here your yellow organic [contaminants] are looking high,” said John Schott, a researcher at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. “We could use that to guide water managers’ sampling, and say we think there’s likely a problem along this stretch of beach.”

Landsat 8 image of Lake Ontario

With Landsat 8's improved ability to detect variations in colors, the waters of Lake Ontario can show sediment patterns as well as potentially problematic algae, indicated by higher chlorophyll concentrations.

Image Credit: NASA/USGS

Click "Read Full Story" below to read the complete article.

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Original Source: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Baum steps down as RIT Director of Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science

Stefi Baum appointed dean at University of Manitoba after 10-year tenure RIT

Jul. 23, 2014
Susan Gawlowicz


Stefi Baum, professor and director of the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science at Rochester Institute of Technology, has accepted the position of Dean of Science at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, effective Oct. 1.

Baum joined RIT in 2004 as the director of the Center for Imaging Science and has held the longest tenure of this leadership role. She will retain a position as research professor at the center, where she will continue to receive grant funding, advise students and maintain ongoing collaborations at RIT. Prior to her departure, Baum will help transition an interim director of the center.

“This was a very, very difficult decision for me, as I am so enormously fond of CIS, the faculty, staff and students, and proud of all our accomplishments,” Baum wrote in an email to her colleagues.

Baum has been an active participant on various committees, including most recently, on the advisory board of the Rochester Regional Optics, Photonics and Imaging Accelerator Consortium; as an executive committee member of the Women in Science, Engineering, Technology and Entrepreneurship Regional Association; and as an executive team member of Advancing Women Faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

“There will be opportunities for many exciting collaborations between the University of Manitoba and RIT, which I intend most thoroughly to explore,” Baum said.

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Original Source: RIT University News

First year doctoral student co-authors study on stable optical lift
Student Stories

Feb. 18, 2011
Rachel Pelz

Alexandra Artusio-Glimpse, a first year graduate student at the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, is a co-author of the paper “Stable optical lift,” which was published in Nature Photonics on December 5th, 2010. The research team, led by Grover Swartzlander, proved that stable optical lift--in which a particle can be made to move and “fly” with light--exists.

Says Artusio-Glimpse, “We discovered if you take a transparent particle shaped like a very simplified plane wing, it will actually fly like a plane wing will fly. Nobody else has ever tried this type of thing before. It’s new territory.”


Beginning with computer simulations of the phenomenon, the team, which also includes Alan Raisanen and Timothy Peterson, moved on to physical experimentation. By creating micro-rods in the shape of airplane wings and and using a 130 mW laser, they observed what they had predicted with their computer model: the force of the laser caused the micro-rods to experience a stable transverse lift force.

The team sees potential for their research to have impact in the fields of biomedical engineering, micromachines, and deep space travel, among others.

Artusio-Glimpse began working on optical lift research as an undergraduate student in RIT’s undergraduate Photographic Technology program. Upon graduation, she applied to the Imaging Science PhD program so she could continue to be involved in the research.

“It’s amazing how diverse the Imaging field is,” she says. “You need to know about aerodynamics, typology, optics, wave theory. I’m always amazed how much you pull all the sciences together in order to do anything Imaging Science related.”

As a first year doctoral student with a lot more research ahead of her, Artusio-Glimpse looks forward to discovering more about optical lift and its possible applications with her research team. And after? “I could see myself becoming a professor or involved with some type of research and development,” says Artusio-Glimpse. “That’s the exciting thing about Imaging Science--there are a lot of opportunities.”

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In short, thanks to the faculty, staff, and graduates of the Center for Imaging Science, Pictometry has grown from a nebulous concept into a global, billion-dollar business in one short decade.
Richard Kaplan
CEO of Pictometry International

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Rose Rustowicz, BS 2015

Fulbright Scholar

I was looking for something different. Imaging Science sounded like the perfect blend of math, science, and engineering, but with more of a focus on the science aspect – perfect for my interests!  Although the concept of imaging was pretty foreign to me at the beginning, the applications of the technologies and concepts seemed endless.  Through the Freshman Imaging Project (FIP), I have presented at two conferences and will be presenting at another in Colorado in November 2014.  The best technical description of Imaging Science that I’ve heard is Imaging Systems Engineering.  There are all kinds of outlets in the work and research world that Imaging Scientists can get into, and the opportunities really are endless.  The CIS community is a welcoming environment that is very close-knit and personable.  It is all about learning and encouraging, and I’m so glad that I am a part of it!