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This content is taken from the University of Basel's online course, Statistical Shape Modelling: Computing the Human Anatomy. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds Welcome to the free online course Statistical Shape Modelling. Hi. I’m Marcel. I will introduce you to the mathematical theory behind shape modelling. What I like about shape modelling is that it brings mathematics to life, and that we can get a visual understanding of otherwise pretty abstract mathematical concepts.

Skip to 0 minutes and 33 seconds And I’m Ghazi Bouabene. I will guide you through the practical aspects of shape modelling. This field fascinates me because of the multitude of applications it can have in medical imaging and other engineering areas. In this course, you will also meet Dr. Mark Metzger, a doctor and surgeon; Dr. Stefan Schlager, a biological anthropologist; and last, but not least, the head of the graphics and vision research group in which Scalismo was developed, Professor-Doctor Thomas Vetter.

Skip to 1 minute and 8 seconds Shapes. They’re all around us.

Skip to 1 minute and 14 seconds Usually objects are not identical, but belong to shape families.

Skip to 1 minute and 24 seconds In this course, we will focus on biological shapes.

Skip to 1 minute and 30 seconds In particular, parts of the human body. Faces, skulls, femurs, or livers.

Skip to 1 minute and 50 seconds We will disregard surface properties such as colour and texture, and instead we will focus on the pure shape itself.

Skip to 2 minutes and 6 seconds Let us now consider the shape family of human skulls. Here we find a large variety of similar shapes. Some of these shapes are more likely to occur than others, if we look at their distribution in a given population. At some point, it becomes doubtful whether the shape still belongs to the same family.

Skip to 2 minutes and 33 seconds In this course, you will learn the mathematical tools for shape modelling. You will also be instructed in the use of the shape modelling software framework, Scalismo. You will have the opportunity to do hands on manipulation on real medical data using our software framework.

Skip to 2 minutes and 51 seconds You will also help us to solve a distressing problem. An evil wizard has made Professor Vetter’s nose disappear. By the end of the course, you will be able to design a suitable new nose for him.

Skip to 3 minutes and 7 seconds Ready? Let’s start.

Introducing the course

Welcome to Statistical Shape Modelling!

Welcome to our course Statistical Shape Modelling: Computing the Human Anatomy. Over the next eight weeks, you will learn to use our shape modelling software Scalismo and, at the same time, learn to understand the mathematical concepts behind Scalismo.

Dr Marcel Lüthi and Dr Ghazi Bouabene are the lead educators in this course. Other people you will meet are Professor Thomas Vetter, the head of the research group in which Scalismo was developed, Dr Marc Metzger, a doctor and surgeon who uses shape modelling technology for his work, and Dr Stefan Schlager, a biological anthropologist who will show you the advantages introduced to his work by shape modelling. Finally, Antonia ‘the voice’ will be the narrator in this course.

Like all FutureLearn courses, this one includes different components such as theory presentations, articles, tutorials, discussions, quizzes and tests. A special feature of this course is that each tutorial will be followed by an exercise which allows you to immediately apply the skills you learned in the tutorial. You will do these exercises in a programming tool installed on your own laptop or desktop computer. In the second half of the course, you will also be working on a larger project.

Quizzes and tests will help you to assess your understanding of the mathematical theory, while the programming tool will provide immediate visual feedback on your success in solving the exercises. If you have questions concerning the theory or the tutorial, or would like to discuss your experiences in working on the exercises and the project, use the comment function and engage in the discussion steps that appear regularly. Please understand that our educators will not be able to answer your questions individually; they will, however, be present in the discussions and react to questions there. Make sure to ‘follow’ them to be sure to see all their comments.

Last but not least, we have prepared a Shapes Gone Wrong wall on Padlet, where you can post any weird shapes that might come out of your exercises - to have some fun even at the start of the course, we have provided some examples from our own work.

Now, we wish you a good start!

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This video is from the free online course:

Statistical Shape Modelling: Computing the Human Anatomy

University of Basel