I'm now entering my last semester at UConn in the biomedical engineering master's program with only one class left to take... and I need to finish the thesis too. Since January, I used my little 3D measuring program to measure 95 aortic valves and found some interesting results, such as: there is a significant difference in valve sizes between genders, but not between age groups. To make the paper more interesting, we also added measures obtained from different methods such as 3D surfaces and 2D automatic measuring.
My original plan when I started doing my thesis was to work on 3D active appearance models. This is slowly turning out to be more work that it will be worth. The amount of time necessary to pick the landmarks for a single 3D model is far more than for a 2D model. If a good 2D model has 50 points, a good 3D model of the aortic valve would have 20 slices, each with 50 points, for a total of 1000 points. That number can be reduced, but how many landmarks can you remove before the model is no longer usable by the AAM algorithm. It just seemed improbable, even if I could extend the 2D methods to 3D, to make this 3D method work. There was just way too much manual work necessary to create the point models before even applying them to targets.
The next thing I wanted to try was a generic approach, which seems much simpler and more computationally efficient. SPM (statistical parametric mapping) has a high dimensional warping toolbox which deforms a target to fit a template, in 3D, and it allows control of the amount of deformation. So far, its looking promising, but only testing will determine its usefulness. This will probably become the bulk of my thesis.
After the thesis and class are finished, its graduation time! Then who knows what will happen :)
