March 14, 2005
Engineering professor leads an emerging research
By Tim Stephens
Peyman Milanfar, an associate professor of electrical engineering,
coauthored a paper in 2001 that represents an emerging research
front in the field of engineering, according to an analysis
by Thomson ISI, a Philadelphia-based company that specializes
in analyzing scientific literature.
Photo: Sina Farsiu
The paper described a new technique for producing a high-resolution
image from a set of low-resolution images (see earlier
Since its publication, the paper has been cited by other researchers
across multiple disciplines so frequently that it stood out
in an ISI analysis designed to identify emerging research fronts
in different fields.
An interview with Milanfar discussing the paper and its significance
can be found on the ISI
web site. The ISI web site also provides a detailed description
of the methodology
the company uses to identify emerging research fronts. The basic
concept is described as follows:
"Research areas in science, particularly those at the
cutting edge of their fields, are characterized by patterns
of intense communication between scientists. This communication
manifests itself in various ways, both formally and informally,
but prominent among these are citations from one scientist's
work to another.
Patterns of citation reflect a fine-grained selection process
of how scientists build on each other's work, and the relationship
of these works to one another. Such patterns can be used to
create a picture of the state of a specific research area in
terms of the papers that constitute its core of seminal work."
Milanfar's coauthors on the paper were Nhat Nguyen, then at
KLA Tencor, and Gene Golub of Stanford University. Milanfar
said that since 2001, he and his students and collaborators
have improved on the methods described in the original paper,
and interest in the subject has grown to the point where special
conferences are now held for researchers in this area.
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