What we do

Necessary skills

There are many excellent resources to help you decide whether or not to do graduate work. A PhD is a particularly testing endeavour, and it isn't for everyone. You should think very seriously about what you want to achieve before embarking on that journey. Do not be fooled into thinking that image processing is an "easy" field. This is not an uncommon perception, but in fact the field requires a demanding combination of mathematical, analytical and programming ability. It is also a satisfying area to work in, so I don't want to discourage you. However, if you are a weak student, this is likely not the field for you.

To successfully undertake work in active vision requires a broad range of technical skills. The precise details will depend on the project, but broadly speaking you will need the following:
  1. (Necessary) An ability to programme in matlab and python. Experience with relevant software libraries is useful, but not absolutely necessary;
  2. (Necessary) A solid understanding of at least basic statistics;
  3. (Necessary) A solid understanding of linear algebra to the level of at least eigenanalysis. Knowledge of SVD would be useful;
  4. (Necessary) Good English skills. If you barely meet the minimums required for entry you will need to undertake significant study to improve your skills;
  5. (Necessary) Exposure to state space methods in control (or phase space concepts from physics);
  6. (Preferred) Basic digital signal processing skills, such as comfort with the Fourier domain and familiarity with topics such as sampling and digital filtering;
  7. (Preferred) Some exposure to estimation methods such as the Kalman filter;
  8. (Preferred) Some knowledge of machine learning;
  9. (Preferred) Some experience with image processing.

The requisite background skills are most likely to be possessed by students with an undergraduate background in electronic engineering, experimental physics, statistics, or computer science with machine learning. A generic computer science background without significant mathematical or statistical exposure is unlikely to provide good preparation to join our group.

Masters students could choose to work more at the hardware level, where knowledge of electronic and mechanical system design would be advantageous, along with an ability to program in python and matlab. Mathematical or statistical background could be less relevant for such students, depending on project choice.

What next?

If you are interested in joining the group, then please do the following:

  1. Visit the website of the Faculty of Graduate Research for information on applying for graduate research and for details of the procedures at VUW.
  2. If you are a local student, arrange to come and have a talk about options. Otherwise. send me an email outlining your interests, along with transcripts for tertiary studies that you have completed and a complete CV. If you don't provide this information, we will just need to ask for it.
  3. Let me know what it is that actually interests you in doing research work. What will get you out of bed in the morning? Doing fundamental mathematical work, or programming existing algorithms? Do you want to design mechanical devices, or electronic circuits? Do you want to build things from scratch, or assemble something from pre-existing components? Is there some skill that you would really like to develop during graduate studies?

The more information you can give about what you actually want to do, the better job we can do at matching you with a project that can satisfy your needs.