My longtime goal has been to explore and transform our world through technology. With this ambition in mind, I am seeking further academic training and development of my research skills through the Ph.D. program in XXX Engineering of XXX University. Since my main research interest is image processing, I am eager to research in the area of XXXXX.
Explorations on Image processing
In retrospect, my first exposure to image processing occurred during my one-year Fudan Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program guided by Professor Bin Wang. This project involved mainly analyzing images captured from a camera and then manipulating the robot arm to sort and place products on the production line. I designed the algorithm based on Matlab and OpenCV and executed it on both PC and embedded systems. Working on this project was highly fulfilling, especially as some work has been utilized in a China invented visual quality control system in the Shanghai GO-WELL Electrical Technology CO and exhibited in 2014 Shanghai Industrial Exhibition. Seeing the flexibility and efficiency of the imaging system being demonstrated, possibly saving immense human labor, I was amazed by the application of image processing and became determined to devote my life to this area.
Specifically, Professor Shang facilitated my exploration in the emerging field of medical imaging. In 2014, I joined Shang’s lab and focused on using new techniques to aid Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnosis. One topic pertained to the use of tongue images captured on smart phones to check users’ health conditions. Images obtained through phones can be affected considerably by camera color temperature and ambient light; thus, we innovatively utilized the QCGP algorithm to adjust white balance to enhance the image quality. We also created a novel segmentation algorithm using the color enhancement method based on L*a*b* color space to avoid the complicated operation and diminish computing time in the original tongue contour extraction algorithm. As group leader, I frequently discussed my team’s issues with the professor and exchanged ideas with my teammates. Through my consistent efforts, we obtained several achievements on TCM diagnosis published or accepted (as first or first student author). As primary contributor in the lab, I have also improved my technical writing skills through preparing several patents and funding proposals.
Similarly, in 2015, with the aim of reinforcing my research skills, I joined Professor Yuanyuan Wang’s lab and planned to complete my capstone research on biomedical imaging. My work focuses on developing an improved vessel segmentation algorithm using the eigenvalues of the Hessian to determine the likelihood of vessel tumor in brain. The tumor is located and displayed in an MRA 3D view, and DSA imaging results are aligned to analyze the flow direction in the tumor to assist the surgeon in distinguishing between the arteries and the veins during the operation. In my last year in Fudan, this biomedical project will allow me to gain deeper insights into the trends and prospects in imaging. Overcoming the challenges in biomedical imaging will provide ample preparation for my future studies.
Explorations on Electrical Engineering
While image processing is an extremely interesting area to explore, the EE domain is also exciting because of its infinite possibilities and its close relation with our lives. The satisfaction I derive from constantly seeking new ideas and fighting against conventions serves as my driving force to continue with my explorations.
Vast opportunities in electrical engineering have not only helped me to achieve fruitful research outcomes in various fields, but they also cultivated my critical thinking skills and encouraged me to keep thinking outside the box. Even when I was 12 years old, I was fascinated by the power of circuit and code, and solved many problems in both contest projects and real-life issues, accumulating a solid base in electrical engineering. When I was in college, academic education enabled me to practice bolder. Once I noticed the problem of having too many remotes to control devices, and designed a versatile remote with Internet control, which I demonstrated online; this invention has been viewed for more than 11,500 times. In another instance, I found inconveniency in most vocabulary apps and books, so I devised an app that would satisfy my needs and help my peers. Armed with programming skills gained during my role as Technical Director of the Student Union, I launched my first Windows app after two months, unexpectedly resulting in its explosive popularity (downloaded for more than 75,000 times, once top 5 in Windows app store).
As a practice-based EE student, I have never isolated myself from the real world. During my volunteer teaching in Yunnan (a poor province in China) in 2014 summer, I was shocked by the medical conditions there. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctors rely on their experience and conventions, resulting in inaccuracies, so I wanted to make a change. Enlightened by the tongue diagnosis app, another app was developed to assist inexperienced doctors to prescribe by referring to TCM internal regulations extracted by data mining. With the trend of increasingly wide spread smart phones, my app-based transformative ideology on diagnosis provided a solution to modernize TCM. Towards the fight against poor health resources, I tried to innovate TCM with state of art technology, hoping the beta test next year could bring assistance to Yunnan.
My progressive research in the area of image processing, coupled with my successful and diverse research experiences in Medical diagnosis, Coding and Electronics, have refined my curiosity and sharpened my critical mind. Hence, I am convinced that I am ready to face the multiple challenges that graduate studies has to offer. Exposure to various research areas has also intensified my determination to focus on image processing, particularly as it has been shown that many emerging technologies in this area will hold significant benefits for mankind.
In essence, XXX, with its state-of-the-art facilities and stimulating research atmosphere, is the ideal place to continue my study. Becoming part of the XXX University’s student body will best help me build upon my experiences and establish my academic career path.