As of about a week ago, I’ve apparently passed my Qualifying Exam research proposal, which was my last hurdle to PhD candidacy.
My PhD project is on TDCI (Time Domain Continuous Imaging) – an alternative imaging technology that folks in the research group I’ve been working with for almost 15 years now have been building, with my help, for the last 6 years. The basic premise is that digital sensors are not, in fact, re-settable film, and we should leverage them accordingly. By rough concept, TDCI capture is like recording the waveform of incident light from each sensel of the sensor, then computationally exposing that data into an image after the fact, to maximize information capture and so that the sensor and shutter behavior can be tweaked after the fact.
The specific deliverables I carved out as a PhD project were building a high-quality capture device (By hacking a mirrorless body), adding non-uniform exposure behavior to TDCI integration (specifying functions and regions for integration), and building a decent user-facing tool for rendering TDCI images from TDCI captures (A DSL + a GUI to specify common options) – because these were some fun tool-building to carve out of the larger research needs.
The deck with notes that I used are uploaded here. Some of the notes are …not entirely proper… because they were second-screen things for my consumption.
It’s a slightly odd situation because I’ve been working things that feed into this project for 6 years (and 11 papers), and technically started UK’s CS PhD program in 2012 (admittedly, I just signed up so I could keep taking classes while I finished my MS work, finishing the degree is a little “eh, might as well”), but it looks like I’m getting away with it. Also odd, thanks to the COVID-19 situation, it was done via zoom, in pajama pants.
The only points in the presentation I did things I was immediately not happy about were:
- I was asked about doing spatially continuous models, and spent some time babbling about sensor spatial quantization and fill factors instead of just saying “diffraction” and shutting it down.
- I didn’t include anything for the “TDCI makes exposure time and shutter angle independent” concepts in the slides, and it came up twice.
Plus I have the concern that Rafi (my Co-Chair) soft-balled the hell out of me and pitched a bunch of questions I’m reasonably sure he knew I had prepared spiels for from my materials. That’s not his usual behavior by reputation or observation, and it makes me slightly paranoid.
Now to finish out the deliverables and actually become Dr.