Image processing, signal processing and computer vision are
increasing in importance, and are indeed slowly being considered
as core competences in computer science. The specification of
computing curricula by the ACM and the IEEE Computer Society
states that technical advances over the past decade have increased the importance of topics such as graphics and multimedia, and considers as a core topic Graphics and Visual Computing. With the advent of courses in digital media in electrical engineering and computer science, the increasing importance of computer imaging and vision is manifest, and not only in electrical engineering and computer science departments. The need for development and training of research students is more often than not badly catered for at the present time in Irish universities (Republic, Northern Ireland).
Research students are often from diverse discipline and educational
system backgrounds. A characteristic of a dynamic and effective
graduate and research student environment is not just the raw
numbers of PhDs produced, but also relative consensus on the
part of the 'community' on the most effective major directions
of innovation and of focus. On any such qualitative characteristic,
Irish universities, institutes of technology and research
institutes are not performing well. Successful models for such community-strengthening include doctoral networks at European level, and summer schools at national or regional level. This paper addresses specific issues: (i) the means by which the needs for graduate research level community-strengthening in the areas of signal processing, and image processing and computer vision, can be satisfied; (ii) what the most crucial elements of these fields are, i.e. proposed key areas and curricula.