Voorhees faculty receives a NSF Research Award
Dr. Xiqiang Zheng
Denmark, S.C.- Voorhees College associate professor in mathematics and computer science Dr. Xiqiang Zheng has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) award notice stating that his catalyst project has been approved and they will fund the project with about two hundred thousand dollars in the scheduled three years beginning Fall 2020.
The title of the project is “Computer algorithms and simulations for CT image reconstruction and segmentation utilizing optimal sampling lattices and efficient domains.” CT is an important tool to create the internal image of a physical body. Image reconstruction is to compute the internal image from the scanned data and image segmentation may help to locate the internal objects or their boundaries in the image. The usual CT computations are done on a Cartesian lattice whose pixels are squares or cubes.
However, optimal sampling lattices, such as 2D hexagonal lattices provide more efficient sampling and better adjacency relation than the traditional Cartesian lattices. In this project, for the 2D case, images will be reconstructed from scanned data using the filtered backprojection method over a hexagonal lattice and in a regular hexagonal region. Then apply image segmentation methods such as graph-cuts on the reconstructed images, where a graph-cut in graph theory means a partition of the vertices of a graph into two disjoint subsets.
Because a CT machine rotates to perform scans from different directions, a 2D object to be scanned may be assumed to be circular. Since the circular region can be embedded into a regular hexagon more tightly than into a square, fewer number of lattice points may be involved and the lattice points can be efficiently indexed for image segmentation. Hence the computational time for image segmentation may be reduced much and the quality may be improved. Computer simulations will be done to evaluate the new algorithms in terms of image segmentation quality and computational efficiency.
According to the proposal, one professor in Department of Computer Science and Engineering at University of South Carolina will collaborate with Zheng, principal investigator, to implement the research topics.
Furthermore, in each project year, two undergraduate students at Voorhees College will be selected to participate in the project and receive stipends. The students will learn knowledge on some topics for CT image processing and gain research experiences.