Undergraduate Research at the Vis Center

Shaden Smith

Shaden Smith

2010 Summer Intern

University of Kentucky

Major: Computer Science

Project: EDUCE Digital Scroll Unwrapping


Journal Entries

June 16

SHADEN has had a good first week. I have a learned a lot about medical imaging technology and have found gained a more comfortable grasp of the ITK library. I believe that I have at least another week of learning before I could even begin to consider moving forward with SHADEN. ITK has turned out to be a massive undertaking to learn, and since I’m only here half of the time the other interns are I can’t make progress at the rate the others are able to. I hope to be able to complete SHADEN by the end of the summer, but that depends on too many factors to really set a timeline for completion.

I do enjoy the new company I have here in the lab, it’s great having people from a different culture to talk to and eat lunch with. I’m learning so much and hopefully being very productive.

June 23

This has been a good week for both myself and SHADEN. I’ve been learning about the architecture of filters and streams in the ITK library. I feel I’m getting closer to being able to port Ryan’s old algorithm into SHADEN. I currently have a working connected-component filter that accepts a single seed and works on a 2D NRRD image (3D will be added soon). This smaller project has taught me a lot about how to work with NRRD’s in ITK, a fundamental concept that SHADEN requires. My next goal is to move into 3D space and then begin porting Ryan’s algorithm to SHADEN. I believe this is a manageable task.

July 2

SHADEN Is moving along as always. I’m working on editing pixel data in ITK to begin writing the ray projects for Ryan’s algorithm. This isn’t the easiest thing to do because ITK is is designed to work with iterators, not manual selection of pixels. Iterators would not be appropriate for SHADEN because they cannot be guaranteed to take the same route every time. This is typically fine when working with a filter, but not with you need to trace through a scroll.

July 7

We had some time to reflect today. I took some time to consider what the purpose of my time here is. I believe that the most general question of my project is ‘How do we read the inside of ancient scrolls?’. Ultimately we’d like to unwrap these scrolls and read the text that has been lost for thousands of years. I’m currently working on porting Ryan’s algorithm to SHADEN from its original plugin format. Progress is slow considering the large learning curve present.

July 23

I’m currently composing my final presentation and preparing my work to pass on to my replacement. This has been a great summer that has taught me a lot about my career aspirations. I’ve really enjoyed doing research for the past six months at the Vis Center. I love being presented with challenges that no one has faced before. I would definitely love to continue doing research for the remainder of my academic career and quite possibly beyond that.

Beyond the CS-specific skills that I acquired during this internship, I think that the problem-solving ability that I developed will be the most useful in my future career. I’m now more familiar with how to approach a project and develop a plan to complete it. This summer has been very educational and one I’ll certainly remember.

I’m going to miss the Vis Center.