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Research Proposal (general research proposal for doctoral thesis to the graduate department) - Essay Example

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The intent of this letter is to present a general research proposal for my doctoral thesis to the graduate department of _at the University of _. In order to present my proposal, I will review my previous research work and constructively form the area of study for my proposal and future studies.
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Research Proposal (general research proposal for doctoral thesis to the graduate department)
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To Whom It May Concern, The intent of this letter is to present a general research proposal for my doctoral thesis to the graduate department of _________at the University of __________. In order to present my proposal, I will review my previous research work and constructively form the area of study for my proposal and future studies.
My choice to conduct field research at this university is based on the high ranking status of the university's computer science department. In particular, I have a great desire to work with a professor in this department who is highly admired and well respected in his field.
My research during the first year of my master's program at the University of Victoria covered multiple topics within non-photorealistic rendering (NPR), graphics, and animation. During the course of my research, I completed a class on perception and graphics that resulted in a project that will be submitted this month for the _(name of journal)____, a reputable __enter subject__ journal . The project involved the study of human vision and perception and prompted me to expand my topic of NPR with perception into the formation of my master's thesis. My master's thesis titled, "Perceptual Imitation of Human Drawn lines" involved study within the areas of Newtonian Physics, Image Processing, and Artificial Intelligence. From my research and findings with this thesis, I intend to publish two papers in NPAR'08 and CAE'08.
Therefore, for my doctoral study I wanted to get more in depth in my research in these particular topics. First, I would like to expand on the subject of lines to full animated cartoon character images. Image processing is naturally an essential field of study in NPR and will play a major role in my thesis. Also, image processing will lead to more critical study of perception. The study of perception falls into the area of psychology. Surprisingly, psychological research on NPR is limited. It was briefly discussed in my master's thesis. However, due to the dynamic of the interaction with visual media (such as computer graphics) and human viewers, it is an important area to elaborate upon and analyze further. Statistical analysis of the perception of animated characters by human subjects will be a key research method.
In the study entitled, "Psychology and Non-Photorealistic Rendering: The Beginning of a Beautiful Relationship," Halper et al. explain that understanding the relationship between the human viewer and NPR, "will contribute to a more precise understanding of the cognitive, emotional and behavioral impacts of NPR, [and]could then facilitate the development of functional rendering techniques within visual user interfaces applicable to both research and industry demands" (278). As a result, the focus on the psychological aspect of human perception and NPR proves to be beneficial in contributing research in the field of NPR and in the creation of technological advancement in NPR systems.
Currently, there are studies being conducted on perception and NPR, and the concentration of these studies lie more on spatial relations or shape perception. These studies will play an important role in building my thesis on fully animated figures. Nevertheless, even though I will be focusing on perception with fully animated characters, I will still be using research about lines and perception as a beginning stance to build upon for the development for the perception of more complicated shapes. The line is a fundamental element of drawing and sketching, and is a key building block in NPR. In the study by Halper et al. they conducted an experiment assessing the perception of safety of differing line styles. In the experiment, several subjects were asked to examine a series of drawings with varying line styles with the intent of investigating how safe the objects in the drawings appeared to be. The result of the study revealed that subjects perceived the drawings with straight, solid lines to be safer than those that were wavy or not completely straight. Also, Halper et al. states that the subjects believed that "characters rendered with thicker, more solid lines [are viewed] as strong, and the sketchy, thin-lined characters as weak" (280). This study is important in the formation of an appropriate style of NPR that is not too threatening or unfavorable to a viewer. This style influences not only the perception of the line but also fully animated cartoon characters.
By examining the process and creation of animated characters in conjunction with human perception, it is possible to create a more functional and efficient style of NPR. Thus, my ideal approach would begin with the query of how humans perceive human drawn lines and complex figures such as animated characters through the study of Image Processing and follow with the assessment of how that information can translate effectively into an accurate method of NPR for computer graphics through the study of Artificial Intelligence. Although my thesis will concentrate more on the shape, line and style of animated cartoon characters, I would like to try to accompany that research with a segment on animated characters in motion. Consequently, by delving into the study of perception in relation to the varying elements of animation characters, I propose to find a more advanced way to create images that are functional and pleasing to the user.
Throughout my years of advanced study, I have found this work to be intriguing. I desire to learn more about perception within the realm of NPR and in particular, discover how people can interpret different visual presentations in order to effectively judge an object. I find that the area of non-photorealistic rendering allows computer science technicians to explore perception freely in order to achieve the goal of creating appropriate visual content.
Overall, I believe that I am a suitable candidate for this program because I have excelled in my work over the past year. In addition, I am productive in my field of study, a quick and efficient learner, and I display a high level of enthusiasm for my field work. Once I have completed the program, I aim to hold an academic position in an institution of higher learning.
In closing, when reviewing my proposal for my doctoral thesis, please keep in mind that as I advance in my research and consultations with my advisor, certain areas may change. In which case, I will still continue to keep my study focused within the area of NPR and perception, with the use of possibly differing research approaches. I strongly feel that this particular area in computer science is worth careful, well-researched exploration, and I feel that I am the best candidate for this endeavor.
With High Regards,

Works Cited
Halper, Nick, Mara Mellin, et al. "Psychology and Non-Photorealistic Rendering: The Beginning of a Beautiful Relationship." Mensch & Computer, September 8-10, 2003: Interaktion in Bewegung, Stuttgart, Germany . Ed. G. Szwillus and J. Ziegler. Stuttgart: Teubner Verlag, 2003. 277-286. 24 September 2007. . Read More
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