CIS Outreach Goes Nationwide by kpy54980


The Newsletter of the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science                                          Fall 2005, Issue 12

CIS Outreach Goes Nationwide
In an effort to raise awareness of                                                          this technology had incredible
imaging science among prospective                                                           potential to reach an even wider
students, the Center for Imaging                                                            audience. During the summer he
Science has gone high-tech. This                                                            started making plans for a series of
October CIS began hosting live online                                                       web-based talks for prospective
lectures targeted specifically at high                                                      students around the country.
school students and their teachers.                                                              The first hurdle was to decide
     The idea behind the web-based                                                          who should give the talk and what it
events was born this spring as a result                                                     should cover. Fortunately, at about
of an online "mini-course" Associate                                                        the same time CIS alumnus David
Director Joe Pow taught to an                                                               Bretz, an imaging scientist working
advanced placement physics class in                                                         for NASA's Johnson Spaceflight
                                                 Dr. Roger Easton explains the digital
Trumansburg, NY. This week-long                                                             Center in Houston, contacted the
                                                 restoration of the Archimedes Palimpsest
course on the basics of digital image                                                       Center to ask if any of our students
                                                 to a nationwide audience.
processing made use of a system                                                             would be interested in hearing about
known as "Breeze," which is a                   Trumansburg High School said, "It           his work during the recent mission of
Macromedia product designed to                  was a great success from my                 the space shuttle Discovery. "His
facilitate distance learning. "Our              perspective as a teacher. My students       timing couldn't have been better,"
faculty had been using Breeze for our           were engaged and really took to the         Pow said. "The subject material was
online Masters' program," Pow said.             remote instruction and activities." As      fascinating, and the fact that we could
"But this was the first time anyone in          a result of the positive experience         link up with Dave remotely from
CIS, or RIT for that matter, had used it        with Trumansburg, Pow realized that                   - article continued on back page
specifically to reach out to high school
students." The results were
overwhelmingly positive. Chris
Bond, a physics teacher at                      Imaging Helps Enhance
  Inside CIS News                               Homeland Security
Advisory Board Chairperson Named . . . 2        RIT Partners with Leader in Remote          Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.
                                                Sensing to Enhance Homeland                 The award includes a substantial
Robert Johnston Will Be Missed . . . . . . .2
                                                Security. Leica Geosystems will create      donation of software and technical
Research Promoting Otters to NYS . . . . 3      a Center of Excellence for research and     support.
CIS Alumni Joins Advisory Board . . . . .3      development. Leica Geosystems, a                “We are looking forward to this
Famed Painting Donated for Research . . . 4     world wide leader in geospacial             partnership with RIT,” said Bob
Mellon Grant Research Reported . . . . . .4     imaging, has recently chosen the            Morris, President of Leica. “The
                                                Carlson Center for Imaging Science at       Center of Excellence at RIT will serve
Homeland Security Continued . . . . . . . .5
                                                Rochester Institute of Technology to        as a testing ground for our new
CIS Outreach Continued . . . . .Back page       serve as a Center of Excellence in                        - article continued on page 5
The Newsletter of the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science                               Fall 2005, Issue 12

CEO of Pictometry International Former RIT
Corporation Named CIS           Dean Will Be
Advisory Board Chair            Missed
Dick Kaplan says he was a bit                                                      Robert Johnston, a former dean at
surprised to be asked to serve on the                                              Rochester Institute of Technology,
advisory board of the Chester F.                                                   died Oct. 19 at age 77. Dr. Johnston,
Carlson Center for Imaging Science.                                                an archaeologist, also conducted
     “I’m not a technical person,” says                                            imaging science research, working on
Kaplan, the board’s new chair. “But                                                ancient documents that included a
they said they wanted someone with                                                 medieval copy of an ancient text by
business background, so I said OK.”                                                Archimedes, the Greek
     Kaplan is CEO of Pictometry                                                   mathematician, and the Dead Sea
International Corp., a rapidly growing                                             Scrolls.
imaging science company.                                                                Dr. Johnston had a long career at
Pictometry’s patented information                                                  RIT, starting in 1970 as dean of the
system combines aerial imaging with                                                College of Fine and Applied Arts,
a state-of-the-art software system to                                              where he served for nearly 20 years.
                                               The combination of Kaplan’s         He later served as director of the
provide full color, high resolution       business experience and the unique
digital images of the world.                                                       Chester Carlson Center for Imaging
                                          technology paid off. The company’s       Science.
     The system was developed by          growth, on average, has doubled
Steve Schultz ’89 (computer science),                                                   His work in imaging restoration
                                          every year for the past four years.      of the Dead Sea Scrolls was in
the man Kaplan refers to as “the real     Pictometry has grown from five
genius” behind Pictometry. Although                                                collaboration with Xerox Corp. and
                                          employees in 2000 to more than 90        Eastman Kodak Co. He also worked
the technology was promising, “there      today – including many RIT               to recover the text from five sample
was no product, and no market”            graduates. Customers include 125         pages of the Archimedes Palimpsest,
when potential investors asked            counties, the states of Massachusetts    the 10th century Byzantine
Kaplan to take a look in 2000.

“I think imaging
                                          and Rhode Island, federal                manuscript that sold for $2 million in
                                          government organizations and private     1998 at Christie’s auction house in

science is going to
                                          businesses. Major metropolitan areas     New York City. The manuscript is the
                                          using Pictometry include Atlanta,        earliest transcription of the Greek

be a huge growth
                                          Baltimore, Boston, Indianapolis, Los     mathematician’s writings and the
                                          Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia,    only known source of his “Method of

field in the future.”
                                          San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.      Mechanical Theorems,” which
                                               “The technology is of great value   combined mathematics and physics.
                                          to any organization that needs                “It’s another opportunity to apply
    Kaplan came out of retirement to      detailed photos of land sites,” says     imaging science technology to reveal
help bring the company to life. He has    Kaplan. Among the company’s clients      ancient documents that would be lost
led a variety of businesses, serving as   are emergency responders, real estate    without it,” Johnston said a 2000
chairman and co-founder of Resnick        planners and developers, assessors,      interview.
Media Associates Inc., an advertising     engineering firms, law enforcement,
and marketing agency; and Blanton         insurance companies and
Communications Inc., a computer           transportation agencies.
software company. Kaplan was                   Kaplan sees a promising future
president of RAK Realty Corp., a real     for his company – and, indeed, for
estate development company and was        this industry.
chairman and founder of WorkSmart              “I think imaging science is going
International Inc., a human resource      to be a huge growth field in the
development, publishing and training      future.”                                     Dr. Johnston is survived by his
company for multi-market,                      For more information, go to         wife, Louise E.; daughters, Vickie M.
multinational corporations and                        (Michael) Roberts, and Tara A.
organizations.                                                                     DuMont; and 4 grandchildren.                                                                                                 Page 2
The Newsletter of the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science                                    Fall 2005, Issue 12

RIT Team Promotes the Return of Otters to
Western New York
Scientists at RIT are helping to
promote the return of the river otter
to Western New York. Otters, which
once lived naturally in this area, were
wiped out about 100 years ago due to
water pollution, habitat loss, hunting
and trapping.
     Lei Lani Stelle, assistant professor
of biological sciences, Robert
Kremens, senior research scientist at
the Carlson Center for Imaging
Science and a group of a dozen
students are studying the success of
the New York River Otter Project that
reintroduced 279 otters from the
Adirondack and Catskill mountains to         Marigold Bethany, a fourth year Biology student, is testing out a camera box to
15 sites, including local creeks. The        attempt and spy on the local river otters.
relocation was completed by 2000.           samples are collected and later             imaging equipment from the Carlson
Stelle and her team are working with        analyzed for information about the          Center to record otter activity and
the Department of Environmental             otters’ diet and energy needs. A            behavior. The system is also being
Conservation and the Seneca Park            graduate student in Stelle’s lab is also    used in Stelle’s concurrent research
Zoo to track the project’s success.         working to extract DNA material that        project studying river otters in British
     The researchers are conducting         could genetically fingerprint               Columbia, allowing scientists to
fieldwork to monitor how well the           individual animals, making them             compare the two otter populations
population has established itself           easier to track in the future.              and their different habits.
through breeding, dispersing and                 In addition, the team is
setting up a home range. Fecal              collaborating with Kremens to utilize

CIS Alumni Joins Advisory Board
Donna Rankin-Parobek ‘92
Donna Rankin-Parobek, a 1992                                                           John Schott in remote sensing. That
BS/MS imaging science grad, has                                                        work helped prepare her for a job in
joined the CIS Advisory Board.                                                         research at Kodak.
     For the past four years, Rankin-                                                      She has remained connected with
Parobek is intellectual property                                                       RIT, arranging tours for the CIS high
manger in the Medical Science                                                          school interns and making
Technology Center for Eastman                                                          presentations about imaging science
Kodak Co. She previously worked in                                                     to her alma matter, Tioga Central
Kodak’s Commercial and                                                                 High School.
Government Systems for six years.                                                          Rankin-Parobek’s husband,
     “The intellectual property work                                                   Christopher Parobek, a 1992 RIT
fits me very well, and my technical                                                    graduate (electrical engineering), is a
background is useful,” says Rankin-         what the company does.”                    software engineer at Ortho Clinical,
Parkobek, “It’s interesting because I            Rankin-Parobek started at RIT as      Diagnostics. The two met playing
get to see the wide range of                an electrical engineering major, but       volleyball at RIT. They have two
technology people are working on,           changed to imaging science on the          daughters, ages 10 and 7.
and licensing of technology is              first day of her sophomore year. That
becoming such an important part of          same year, she began working with                                                                                                       Page 3
The Newsletter of the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science                                    Fall 2005, Issue 12

Famed Painting by Color Master Faber Birren
Comes to Munsell Color Science Laboratory
             Scientists will use artwork to advance the study of color science and digital reproduction
One of the most important works by                “This painting has tremendous
Faber Birren, among the world’s              value both as a teaching tool and as a
leading authorities on the study of          means for further research in the
color, has been donated to the               field,” says professor Mark Fairchild,
Munsell Color Science Laboratory at          director of the Munsell Lab. “One of
RIT.                                         our major areas of study is the digital
     The painting, Untitled (1976), was      reproduction of artwork, and Birren’s
created by Birren to illustrate the          piece will be invaluable in helping us
rendering of various illumination            develop better imaging systems.”
effects by an artist. It is of significant        The painting was donated by Mr.
historical interest in the field of color    and Mrs. Allan Wittman of Valley
science and has been the subject of          Stream, NY and is already being used
studies by scientists and artists over       in classes and research projects at the
the years, beginning with a 1977             lab.
publication in the leading color                  Faber Birren was the author of        Yale University’s prestigious book
science journal, Color Research and          more than 40 books and articles in the     collection on the study of color, now
Application.                                 field of color as well as the creator of   named the Faber Birren Collection.

Mellon Digital Camera Benchmarking Project
RIT scientists have released the first                                                       Previously, most museums used
comprehensive report detailing the                                                      film photography to capture images
quality of the digital images being                                                     of their artwork for publication in art
produced by American museums,                                                           history texts, magazines, posters, and
libraries and other cultural-heritage                                                   promotional materials. Many
institutions.                                                                           institutions are now moving to digital
     Roy Berns, the R. S. Hunter                                                        imaging.
Professor in Color Science,                                                                  “Digital imaging is still in its
Appearance and Technology, and                                                          infancy and there is a lack of
Franziska Frey, assistant professor in                                                  experience and knowledge in how to
the School of Print Media, led a two-                                                   produce the best images,” Berns
year study that included a                                                              adds. “Our research will hopefully
comprehensive survey of museum                                                          provide a standardized process and a
practices, a full scientific evaluation                                                 better understanding of what a
of digital practices at several                                                         quality image should look like.”
institutions and the development of a                                                        Berns’ and Frey’s study was
national conference to discuss the                                                      principally funded by the Andrew W.
state of digital imaging and                                                            Mellon Foundation. They hope to use
roadblocks to move forward. Their                                                       their findings to promote the use of
study provides new insight into the                                                     measurable tests and stricter
use and quality of digital imaging by        accessing American artwork,” Berns         protocols in digital image production.
American museums to catalog and              says. “These digital surrogates are        The full report is available at
market their collections.                    used by scholars and students alike.
     “Digital imagery is increasingly        Our goal is to help create imagery of
becoming the main medium for                 the highest possible quality.”                                                                                                      Page 4
The Newsletter of the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science                                    Fall 2005, Issue 12

Homeland Security
. . . Continued from cover
products and leverage the expertise of          The wildfire
the research staff, students and faculty    team recently
through the broad range of imaging          mapped a series of
and remote sensing projects in which        forest fires for the
they are involved.”                         U.S. Forest Service
     The Center of Excellence will be       in Western
integrated into the Laboratory for          Montana.
Imaging Algorithms and Systems, a               “RIT is very      RIT’s WASP Flight Crew: Carl Levinson–Landcare Aviation,
research group within the Center for        proud to be chosen Jason Faulring–RIT and Simon Freitas–Landcare Aviation.
Imaging Science. The lab is currently       as a Leica Center
partnering with the Monroe County           of Excellence,” added Stefi Baum,        secured by Congressman James Walsh
Office of Emergency Preparedness            director of the Center for Imaging       (R-Onondaga). The federal funds
and the National Geospatial-                Science. “We plan to use this software have enabled the RIT lab to
Intelligence Agency to provide more         donation to enhance our efforts in       significantly enhance its development
accurate mapping and location               remote sensing both as an academic       of sensor technology and its
technologies to be used during              and research tool.”                      applications in a wide range of uses.
possible terrorist attacks or national          The Laboratory for Imaging
emergencies.                                Algorithms and Systems is focused on
     In addition, the lab will be           the development of prototype sensors
utilizing the center as part of its         and software for observation of the
Wildfire Airborne Sensor research           earth using aerial and satellite-based
program with NASA and the U.S.              imaging systems. The main areas of
Forest Service. This effort uses high       the lab’s research are the development
performance sensor technology and           of image exploitation tools, airborne
software to track and map forest fires      and ground based sensor systems,          Leica Geosystems, Brad Skelton hands
to assist the forest service and            and decision support tools for            RIT Provost McKenzie a plaque
firefighters in identifying fires earlier   incident managers.                        designating CIS as a Leica Center of
and helping to ensure the safety of             The wildfire research program         Excellence for Photogrammetry and
crews on the ground.                        was initiated with federal support        Remote Sensing.
Selway-Salmon Wildfire Use Complex - Beaver Jack Fire                                   The research has also spawned
                                                                                        collaboration with a local company,
                                                                                        Geospatial Systems Inc, which is
                                                                                        commercializing a new imaging
                                                                                        product based on the technology.
                                                                                            The Center of Excellence program
                                                                                        developed by Leica Geosystems was
                                                                                        conceived to foster collaboration with
                                                                                        a small group of outstanding
                                                                                        academic institutions, bound together
                                                                                        by a commitment to advance
                                                                                        concepts, technology and expertise,
                                                                                        which leverage image-based spatial
                                                                                        data. The workflows and case studies
                                                                                        developed using the Leica
                                                                                        Geosystems products in class settings,
                                                                                        demonstrations and projects will
                                                                                        provide new research and
The above topographical image was created using the LIAS technologies; the reddish      development in the field and prepare
bright areas indicate fire. The other images were taken from a handheld camera aboard   the nation’s next generation of
the wildfire flight expedition.                                                         imaging scientists.                                                                                                     Page 5
The Newsletter of the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science                                                 Fall 2005, Issue 12

                                                                                                   summary of his work on the
CIS Nationwide                                                                                     restoration of the Archimedes
. . . Continued from cover                                                                         Palimpsest, a 10th Century document
                                                                                                   which contains the oldest known
Houston made it all the more                                                                       transcriptions of the works of the
attractive." The two began planning                                                                ancient Greek mathematician and
for an October presentation.                                                                       scientist. Easton's talk, which took
     Once the date and subject were                                                                place in November, attracted as many
settled, the next challenge was                                                                    students as the October event. This
publicizing the event. Here CIS                  students entered an online "meeting               one also featured a special greeting
teamed with the RIT Office of                    room" which enabled them to see and               and program overview by Dr. Stefi
Undergraduate Admissions to get the              hear the presenter, as well as any                Baum, Director of the Center for
word out. Tapping into the RIT                   visual aids being used. They also had             Imaging Science.
database of student inquiries, a total           access to a "chat box" through which                   "There's an extra added benefit
of more than 4500 postcard invitations           they could ask questions to the                   we get from using Breeze to conduct
were sent to prospects who indicated             speaker. As the "host" for the event,             these events," Pow said. "Each one of
an interest in science, math, or                 Pow was in control of the entire                  the sessions is recorded for later use.
computers. According to Pow, "We                 session. "I was watching the list of              Anyone with the web address can
have a lot of prospective students               attendees as the 'meeting room'                   watch the entire presentation as if it
come through here over the course of             started filling up, so I knew we had a            was live. This allows us to link the
the year, but the only way we'd get              good turn out. I didn't realize just              recordings of the events to the CIS
the numbers we were hoping for with              how good though until after the talk              web page so that any visitor can view
the web event was to team with                   when I received an e-mail from a                  them, or we can call them up at a later
Admissions. We couldn't do it                    teacher in San Antonio telling me that            date for special occasions. We've
without them."                                   he was watching along with a group                already shown Dave Bretz's talk at
     Students receiving the invitations          of 50 of his students!"                           one of our student IS&T meetings."
were directed to a web site specifically             Those who did attend this                          Pow sees potentially unlimited
set up to register attendees for the             inaugral event were treated to an                 applications for the Breeze technology.
online talk. Once their contact                  outstanding talk by Bretz which                   "It's obviously proven to be a
information was submitted, the                   featured unique imagery from the                  powerful tool for outreach to
student received an e-mail with a link           Discovery mission to the International            prospective students. But there's no
which would give them access to the              Space Station in July. His talk                   reason why we couldn't use it just as
Breeze system on the night of the                prompted lively discussion among the              effectively to reach out to corporate
event. All they needed to participate            students in the audience, as evidenced            partners. We're actually thinking
was a web browser and a high speed               by their comments in the chat box.                about putting together a Breeze-based
internet connection.                                 Immediately after Bretz's                     virtual tour of the Center for anybody
     The first online talk, featuring CIS        successful talk plans began for the               who'd like to know more about us.
alumnus David Bretz, went off                    next web event. For that one, Dr.                 The sky's the limit."
without a hitch. After logging in,               Roger Easton offered to give a
Imaging Connection is produced by a team of dedicated employees who work with CIS faculty, staff, and students to make this publication possible.
Please send comments to managing editor, Colleen M. Desimone at: or call 585-475-6783. Newsletter Team Members: Colleen
Desimone, Stefi Baum, Joe Pow, Susan Murphy, Kathy Lindsley and Will Dube. Electronic Copies can be found at:

Rochester Institute of Technology                                                                                             Organization
Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science                                                                                  U.S. Postage
54 Lomb Memorial Drive                                                                                                            PAID
Rochester, NY 14623-5604                                                                                                      Rochester N.Y.
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