The USC Signal and Image Processing Institute (SIPI) was one of the first research organizations in the world dedicated to image processing. Image processing work began at USC in 1962 and the Institute itself was founded in 1971 by William K. Pratt and Harry C. Andrews with support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). During the 1970s, research at SIPI focused on the basic theory of image processing and applications to image de-blurring, image coding, and feature extraction. Much of the early work on transform coding, now the basis of the JPEG and MPEG standards for still and video image compression and transmission, was conducted within SIPI.
The Image Database, developed at SIPI during the 1970s when high-resolution image scanning and digitization required expensive specialized equipment, has been distributed worldwide and provided many of the standard test images found throughout the image processing literature of the past 40 years.
Harry Andrews and Bill Pratt left USC in the late 1970’s. In the years since, the Institute has been directed by Alexander A. Sawchuk, Rama Chellappa, Jerry Mendel, Bart Kosko, Antonio Ortega, Jay Kuo and Richard Leahy. Research interests of the faculty now span applications including human-centered and speech signal processing, computer vision, immersive audio, brain-computer interfaces, and medical imaging. These are underpinned by theoretical analysis and algorithm development in graph signal processing, non-convex and sparse optimization, inverse problems, machine learning, and fuzzy and neural systems. To learn more about research within SIPI please see these brief descriptions of our research interests, the list of SIPI-affiliated research labs, or the web pages for our individual faculty
The Institute currently consists of 15 full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty and approximately 90 students and postdocs supported by several administrative, technical, and research staff. Faculty in SIPI have been recognized as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Inventors, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Optical Society of America (OSA), and the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Our faculty are active as journal editors for IEEE and other publishers and in organizing meetings from major IEEE International Conferences to smaller focused workshops at USC and elsewhere.
Graduate students play a central role in the life of the Institute with numerous opportunities to attend seminars and participate in journal clubs and other informal student activities. We have graduated more than 300 PhDs in the past 40 years who have gone on to success in academia and industry. SIPI graduates occupy senior R&D and leadership positions at technology-focused companies including Amazon, Google, Apple, Merck, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Facebook, LGE, Microsoft, GE, Northrop-Grumman and many others. Others have established successful new companies that include Quantenna, Audyssey and Escape Communications. And of course, many SIPI graduates are now faculty at top universities in the US (including UC Santa Barbara, Univ. Michigan Ann Arbor, UC Davis, Harvard, Johns Hopkins University, and University of Minnesota, University of Michigan, UCLA, University of Maryland, Oregon Health Sciences University) and around the world (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan; University of Chile, Santiago; National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan; Ajou University, Korea; Shandong University, China; National Cheng-Kung University, Taiwan; Seoul National University, Korea; St. Petersburg State University, Russia; University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Mustafa Kemal University, Turkey, University of Brasilia (Brasil), Ewha Womens University (Korea), Sungkyunkwan University (Korea)).