Ke Gao – University of Missouri College of Engineering

Ke Gao

Ke Gao        

Luoyang, Henan, China

PhD, Computer Science        

Faculty Advisor
Kannappan Palaniappan

Where did you complete your undergraduate study?
MS, University of Missouri; BS, Henan University of  Science and Technology 

Why did you choose Mizzou for your graduate program?
I spent ten months in Midwest as an exchange student during my senior year of college. I had a great time so I wanted to come back for my master’s program. I chose Mizzou because it is a highly rated public school, and it has one of the best engineering schools in Midwest. More importantly, Mizzou has a good track record of supporting their international students, both in and outside of the classroom.

Tell us about your graduate research.  What are some potential outcomes or applications?
My graduate research interests include several computer vision and image processing applications such as aerial image matching, visual object tracking, and plant image analysis. Aerial image matching is the process of accurately detecting and matching thousands of repetitive objects and textures like windows and roads in urban scenes from arbitrary angle across an aerial video. It can be used for scene perception for autonomous air or ground vehicle navigation. Visual object tracking is to continuously detect and localize a target in a video sequence, given the initial appearance of the target. Visual object tracking is closely related to a wide range of computer vision applications such as automated surveillance, robotics, traffic monitoring and augmented reality. Plant image analysis utilizes computer vision techniques for automated measurement of plant morphometry.

What are some accomplishments you’ve achieved at Mizzou that you’re especially proud of?
In 2019, I received the Henry Mitchell Scholarship which carried an award to support a trip to the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in South Africa to build a high-throughput imaging robot for plants. The imaging robot optimizes data collection of root growth and utilizes computer vision to detect and measure the plant root. The technology could assist with crop resilience in South Africa. This could also help South Africa address water scarcity and food insecurity challenges. We spent 14 days in Cape Town constructing the machine and showcased our work to presidents and administrators of both UWC and University of Missouri. The robot is currently being used at both universities.

What do you hope to do after you complete your degree?
I am hoping to work in the industry after I complete my PhD program. Most work in industry is driven by a product or business goals. This type of clear direction is very appealing to me.

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