Using Classification Images to Unlock Expertise in Judgements of 3D Aerial Geography

Applications are invited from ambitious, self-motivated candidates with an interest in studying human visual perception in relation to the identification of geographic features in 3D Aerial images. The successful candidate will join the Aston Laboratory for Immersive Virtual Environments (ALIVE) on this innovative project co-funded by the Ordnance Survey. This opportunity is open to UK and EU students who have at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree in psychology, neuroscience, computer science or a related subject.

Cartographers are required to identify geographical features in 3D aerial images. Such images are taken from above and thus objects are presented from an unusual viewing angle for the human visual system. We know that object recognition is highly compromised for unfamiliar views. Further, while the images are of very high quality there will always be some noise in the form of sensor noise in the camera and clutter in the scene. Thus recognising objects and finding their boundaries in 3D aerial images requires expertise. Understanding the nature of such expertise in image analysis may be beneficial for both training and automation. Classification Images can be used to identify detection and recognition templates for human observers that both reveal the key features that support each task and can also, in principle, be used to construct templates for machine vision systems. This approach has been used in medical imaging where a similar level of expertise is required.

Aston University was ranked in 5th of 94 UK Higher Education Institutions for research in Allied Health Professions (REF 2014) and was ranked 1st for research environment. Additional information about research in the School can be found at https://www2.aston.ac.uk/lhs/research. Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr Andrew Schofield (E-mail: a.schofield@aston.ac.uk).

Financial Support

Home/EU students will receive funding to cover full tuition fees and a tax-free stipend will be provided at the current RCUK rate of £15,009 p.a. The Studentship is available for three years, subject to satisfactory progress review at the end of the first year, with an anticipated registration date of 1st April 2020.

Application Requirements:

  • Eligible Applicants should have been awarded, or expect to achieve, a Master’s degree in a relevant subject with a 60% or higher weighted average, and/or a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution).
  • EU Applicants will need to demonstrate adequate proficiency in English Language skills, with a minimum overall score of 93 (Internet Based) (with a minimum score in each section of: R: 18, W: 23, L: 19 and S: 19) in TOEFL or IELTS with minimum marks of 6.0 in each section and an overall band of 6.5.
  • The Closing Date for applications is: Friday, 28th February 2020.