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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign launches first-of-its-kind Master of Science in Biomedical Image Computing degree

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

URBANA, Ill. - October 26, 2021 - (

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has launched a new Master of Science in Biomedical Image Computing (M.S. in BIC) degree program that provides rigorous training focused at the intersection of biomedical imaging science, machine learning and high-performance computing. The program comprises 36 credit hours of coursework that blends biomedical imaging, machine learning and computing concepts, and is spread over three semesters. Applications for the Fall 2022 on-campus cohort are currently being accepted on a rolling basis.

Biomedical image computing is a large and rapidly growing industry and research field. Image formation and analysis technologies are being revolutionized at an exponential rate due to the emergence of machine learning techniques. 

"We are very excited about this new program that will provide cutting-edge training in computational imaging and machine learning for biomedical imaging applications," said professor Mark A. Anastasio, bioengineering department head and a co-director of this program. "Because the program integrates fundamental imaging science with modern machine learning, it is unlike any existing program and it will prepare students to be leaders in the field of computational biomedical imaging."

This innovative curriculum was developed by experts in computational imaging and machine learning for imaging applications in the Department of Bioengineering at UIUC's Grainger College of Engineering. Students will also partake in practical training through a capstone project that uses real-world data and addresses a pressing current challenge. This type of hands-on experience will provide immediate value to students and future employers. Graduates of this degree program will be well prepared for a career as engineers who are developing, translating and evaluating biomedical imaging technologies that leverage modern machine learning. 

"Our vision is to train a new generation of students and leaders to meet the ever-increasing demand of talents from both industry and research institutions in this space," said Fan Lam, bioengineering professor and co-director of M.S. in BIC. Although applicants are expected to have an undergraduate degree in an engineering or other quantitative discipline, they are not expected to possess expertise in imaging or machine learning. As such, the degree will be accessible to a wide range of students who wish to pursue careers in the biomedical imaging industry as machine learning engineers or computational imaging scientists.

UIUC has a robust history and reputation for imaging science and computation. The department of bioengineering here traces its origins to the groundbreaking research in the 1950s by ultrasound pioneers William Fry and Floyd Dunn. Their fundamental work on the medical application of ultrasound made it a safe and efficient diagnostics tool. Illinois professor Paul Lauterbur was one of the first scientists to use nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the study of molecules and materials - and later on biological organisms. His pioneering work in the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) led him to receive a Nobel Prize in 2003. 

Students of this degree program will have access to and benefit from various biomedical imaging modalities, high-performance computing and machine learning resources on campus. This includes access to state-of-the-art facilities at Everitt Laboratory, the Biomedical Imaging Center, the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications among others.

About The Grainger College of Engineering

The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is one of the world's top-ranked engineering institutions, and a globally recognized leader in engineering education, research, and public engagement. With a diverse, tight-knit community of faculty, students, and alumni, Grainger Engineering sets the standard for excellence in engineering, driving innovation in the economy and bringing revolutionary ideas to the world. Through powerful research and discovery, our faculty, staff, students and alumni are changing our world and making advances once only dreamed about, including the MRI, LED, ILIAC, Mosaic, YouTube, flexible electronics, electric machinery, miniature batteries, imaging the black hole, and flight on Mars. The world's brightest minds from The Grainger College of Engineering tackle today's toughest challenges. And they are building a better, cooler, safer tomorrow. Visit for more information.

Media Contacts:

The Grainger College of Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Huan Song (Department of Bioengineering)

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