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Starting in September 2020, DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore will launch the new Master of Science in Computer Vision degree program. This is the first-ever master’s degree program that DigiPen (Singapore) will be offering, and it seeks to give students an in-depth expansion of their knowledge in computer vision and machine learning. This master’s degree program will also help to equip existing graduates with the knowledge to understand and apply computer vision techniques in the workforce.

“Computer vision refers to the field of study that aims to enable computers to see and understand information in the same way that humans do,” Prasanna Ghali, DigiPen’s Senior Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technology Officer Asia-Pacific, says. “More specifically, it is the design and development of algorithms, methodologies, techniques, and systems that allow computers to acquire, process, and analyze data from digital images or videos in real-time.”

As digital cameras become more inexpensive and sophisticated, they are being deployed in a large number of devices and applications. For example, the advancement and availability of devices like smartphones has made it extremely easy for anyone to produce, capture, and transmit digital images, videos, and data. To keep pace with these developments, there is a growing demand for scientists and engineers trained in the field of computer vision to develop new applications and smart technology that make use of these readily available image data.

Computer vision techniques have been widely used by both consumers and businesses and applied across a wide range of industries for many years. Dr. Liu Fang, Associate Professor from the Department of Computer Science, explains that some of these uses include law enforcement, where officers can match the face of a suspect in a criminal database, optical character recognition (OCR) to quickly and easily convert data from photographed car registration number plates and documents into machine-encoded text, virtual try-ons for cosmetics and fashion, image-based search functions for e-commerce, and augmented reality in autonomous unmanned vehicles. “The field of computer vision is booming and changing fast. There seems to be an endless amount of possibilities for computer vision, and it’s an exciting area to be in,” she adds.

In preparation for the upcoming Master of Science in Computer Vision degree program, an industry scan was done with companies in Singapore that required computer vision expertise. These companies ranged from entertainment to automotive industries, and company representatives gave feedback that there was a lack of ready talent in computer vision locally. To address this need, the companies had to either conduct in-house training, on-the-job training, or hire talent from overseas.

The Master of Science in Computer Vision graduate degree program will prepare students specifically for job opportunities in existing and emerging industries where skills in computer vision are in great demand. These include cyber-physical systems, social-media analytics, industry 4.0, and medical imaging, just to name a few. Potential career pathways for graduates of this program include job titles such as computer vision engineer, software engineer, computer vision scientist, data scientist, R&D engineer, or AI programmer.

Dr. Prabhu Natarajan, Program Director, adds that what makes the DigiPen (Singapore) Master of Science in Computer Vision program stand out is the applied learning approach that the Institute is well known for. “In this program, we provide relevant assignments and projects in each module to help students implement what they have learned in class. They can also do their capstone projects with industry partners to get a taste of real-world computer vision problems,” he says.

DigiPen has been teaching computer science undergraduate programs since 1998 and master’s degree programs since 2006. The Singapore campus has offered the flagship Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation program since its establishment in 2008, and DigiPen (Singapore) has received much recognition for the achievement of its alumni in the software and game industry. Building on this success, the Institute will offer the Master of Science in Computer Vision to meet the industry’s postgraduate education needs in the areas of computer vision and interactive media.

The first cohort of the Master of Science in Computer Vision degree program begins in September 2020.