The Signal and Image Processing Institute (SIPI), founded by Bill Pratt, was one of the first organizations in the world dedicated to image processing.
Image processing work began at USC in 1962 and the institute itself was founded in 1971 with support from the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). Much of the early work at SIPI was on transform coding, now the basis of the JPEG and MPEG standards for still and video image compression and transmission over the internet. The SIPI image database was first made available in the 1970s and has been distributed world wide. The database has provided many of the standard test images found throughout the image processing literature of the past 30 years. It is currently available on the internet through the SIPI website.
Since its early days, SIPI has broadened its scope to include many aspects of signal processing theory, implementation and applications.
Fundamental work based on higher-order statistics, fuzzy logic and artificial neural networks has put SIPI at the forefront of signal processing research. SIPI researchers are also active in the design of VLSI, optical and opto-electronic systems for fast implementation of signal processing algorithms. Faculty in SIPI are involved in applying the latest signal processing techniques to a wide range of real world problems. Recent applications include medical imaging, array signal processing, immersive audio, video image compression and other multimedia related technologies.
Twelve full-time faculty and more than 60 PhD students are involved in the research efforts of this institute. Faculty and students in SIPI have access to a number of world class facilities including image compression, immersive audio, and optical computing labs. Facilities for fabrication of micro-electronic and electro-optical devices and a network of workstations and computers provide a rich infrastructure for research in signal and image processing.