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New Degree in Computer Vision Launches as Artificial Intelligence Expands

A new master’s degree in computer vision will launch this fall at the University of Central Florida, the first public university in the country to offer a degree in this rapidly expanding field.

Computer vision is a specialized computer science discipline that involves using computers to process and analyze images, videos, 3D data and other types of high-dimensional data of the real world. The field relies on artificial intelligence to make computers perform complex tasks faster and more accurately than a human could. Tasks include everything from mass-crowd counts, facial recognition, surveillance and analysis of lengthy video feeds, to detecting microscopic patterns or anomalies in medical scans.

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“The world is producing more visual data than ever before so the demand and applications for computer vision are expanding at a rapid pace,” says Mubarak Shah, professor and director of UCF’s Center for Research in Computer Vision’s and a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Rapid advancements in computer science have fueled a need for skilled professionals nationally and worldwide. The job of computer vision’s engineer was included in Indeed’s Best Jobs in the U.S. report in 2019 that cited a 116 percent growth in the number of computer vision job postings with an average base salary of $158,303.

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Students in the 30-credit-hour master’s program will study and perform hands-on research with faculty in the Center for Research in Computer Vision’s, which has made groundbreaking advancements in mass-crowd counts, facial recognition and pattern recognition, including developing a system that detects lung cancer with 95 percent accuracy and another that discerns between COVID-19 and influenza in the lungs. The Center recently was awarded a $1 million grant to advance machine vision-learning technology.

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Students also will have opportunities to intern and compete. In 2020, researchers with the Center for Research in Computer Vision’s won a worldwide competition for video tracking and analysis. UCF also is home to the nation’s longest-running Research Experience for Undergraduates, a program of the National Science Foundation that attracts undergraduates from around the country to perform computer vision research in the summer.

“UCF is well-positioned to offer this master’s degree program with its nationally ranked reputation in computer vision research and strong industry partnerships,” says Shah.

Computer science doctoral candidates at UCF who have studied computer vision often are recruited by technology industry giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Netflix.

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