Currently a Professor at the Florida Institute of Technology Debasis Mitra is a Physicsist and a Computer Scientist. He was at Jackson State University before.

A central theme of Mitra's present research is to squeeze knowledge nuggets out of noisy spatio-temporal data, especially in Bio-medical images. One of these efforts is dedicated to improving reconstruction of Nuclear Medical images of heart and brain. A long term vision is to understand the molecular biology of deseases for improving human health. In the past Mitra has made contributions in artificial intelligence studying the qualitative reasoning problems with spatial and temporal constraints.


I do not teach. I learn, along with my students.

On a: learning contract
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Primary question my lab asks is given sequence of images acquired at different points in time and perspective, or spatio-temporal data/image, where we have some preliminaray model, how much information can we extract from it? Apart from oerall statistical model of noise, we often have extra knowledge about what we are looking for. Can we embed such knowldge in the processing pipeline to go beyond the information content in the data? In essence this is combined output of data and qualitative knowledge on the target objective.

Message for prospective students

A talk on Medical imaging

Graduate Students

  • Haoran Chang
  • Lavanya Vattikutti

Alumni (Dissertation/Thesis/Capstone)

  • Hui Pan, Ph.D., at Microsoft Corp.
  • Mahmoud Abdalah, Ph.D., a Post Doc, Moffitt Cancer Research Center, U of South Florida, Tampa
  • Stephen Johnson, Ph.D., at East Florida State College, Palm Bay, Florida
  • Chen Shi, M.S.
  • Bo Li, M.S.
  • Kimberley Day, B.S., at Google Corp.
  • Daniel Eiland, M.S., at Harris Corp.
  • Antall Fernandes, M.S., at Visible Measures Corp, Boston
  • Richard Hoch, M.S., at General Dynamics
  • Abhishek, Bannerjee, B.Tech.-IIT, Google, India
  • Florent Launay, M.S., Microsoft Corp.
  • Sung Park, M.S., at Microsoft Corp.
  • Keith Ledig, M.S., at Harris Corp.
  • Gandhali Samanth, M.S., at Progressive Insurance
  • Michael Smith, M.S., (somewhere in New York!)

Alan Bundy's Page on how-to-do research



Some university rankings

Learning about the laws of nature has always facinated me. So I started my higher education studying physics. I did my first Ph.D. on mathematical physics, working on Lorentz Groups. While pursuing my Ph.D. at IIT I was hired by one of the largest companies, Oil and Natural Gas Commission, in India, my country of origin. I worked as an exploration geophysicist there, on areas like petroleum geology, onshore and offshore field geophysics, and yes, a lot of data processing. I fell in love with the art of programming and became overwhelmed with the idea that the computers could be 'programmed' to think. At this point in my career I decided that I have had enough in oil business and should learn about computers and artificial intelligence more seriously. I joined the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as a Ph.D. student in computer science. 'Time' became once again my area of investigation, as it was during my past graduate study in physics. This time I looked into it from the computational point of view - how to reason with it. After completing my second doctorate I have decided to teach computer science while continuing my journey of delving more and more into 'space' and 'time.'

In the end I became fatigued with working on complete abstractions, and wanted to dip my hands into some real data, as I was doing during my early infatuation with computers. Mathematical or scientific computing started attracting me more. With a sabbatical at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab I was introduced to inverse problems over noisy nuclear imaging data. Medical image processing and management became my staple, but once again, on spatio-temporal data or dynamic images. Thanks to a number of extraordinary collaborators and students, our learning curve in this new area is steady. So, here I am! But, stay tuned for more, in case you are tracking me :)

A disclaimer: I am not the Debasis Mitra, who works on distributed computing, now in Columbia University.



Medical Imaging
Our objective in this project is to transform raw data from SPECT (Single Photon Emmission Computer Tomography) and PET (Positron Emmission Tomography) scans into diagnostic or prognostic information. The group develops and implements algorithms for tomographic data that is dynamic in nature (4D). We develop novel reconstruction and optization algorithms and implement them on high-performance computing systems. We collaborate with imaging scientists, physicists, cardiologist, neurologist, from the Lawrence Berkeley National laboratory and from the University of California San Francisco.

Muon Tomography
Muons are leptons (weakly interacting elementary particles) that are highly penetrating because of low charge (same as that of electron) but high momentum (about two hundred times heavier than electron). This makes them ideal probe for detecting materials with higher atomic numbers (Z). Steady flux of muons are produced by cosmic ray at upper atmosphere. This type of natural muons can be used as non-invasive probes for charting magma chambers in volcanos, hidden chambers in pyramids, and for detecting Uranium-like high-atmoic number materials in cargo containers. Our project is related to the last area. Our group collaborates with a High Energy Physics group at FIT. We work on reconstruction algorithms for muon-tomography.


Science or engineering researchers produce copious amounts of data in their experiments. Often management of data becomes unwildy, even when each data set is not necessarily very large. Typically researchers keep track of data with directory hierarchies and file naming conventions. This becomes extremely cumbersome and expensive in terms of time needed to find out necessary data and may result in repetition of experiments done before. A database for keeping track of metatdata (information on data) is essential. We engaged ourselves in studying this aspect of experiment-related data management. We also address the issue of organizing knowledge behind a scientific or engineering experiment or data processing activities. The objective is to help a scientist in answering queries about the experiment or data produced for the experiments. A long term goal is to understand how creativity can be computationally modeled in scientific works and how such a knowledge management system can debug an experimental procedure. Our present application focus is in bio-medical experiments.


Computational Molecular Biology
A protein is a chain of amino acids that forms a complex structure in 3D. Each protein typically has the same structure and its function is often determined by this structure. Thus, proteins are classified according to their strucutures and comparing protein structures is a serious algorithmic business. We are engaged in studying and developing such structural comparison techniques.


Spatio-temporal Reasoning
A typical Constraint Reasoner checks for satisfiability in an input set of constraints. For a satisfiable set it may also generate a consistent scenario. However, traditionally nothing is done with an inconsistent set of information. Any user of such a system would often wish that the system were more helpful in debugging an inconsistet situation. We addressed this issue in relation to time-interval relations where constraints are qualitative and disjunctive (e.g.,"before or overlaps") in nature.
For the other past projects please see the full CV


Nuclear Imaging

  • “Reconstruction of 4-D Dynamic SPECT Images From Inconsistent Projections Using a Spline Initialized FADS Algorithm (SIFADS).” Mahmoud Abdalah, Rostyslav Boutchko, Debasis Mitra, Grant T. Gullberg. IEEE Transactions in Medical Imaging, 34(1): 216-228, 2015.
  • “Clustering Initiated Factor Analysis (CIFA) Application for Tissue Classification in Dynamic Brain PET.” Rostyslav Boutchko, Debasis Mitra, Suzane Baker, William Jagust, and Grant T. Gullberg. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism – Nature, doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2015.69, 2015.
  • “High Performance Fully 3D and 4D Image Reconstruction in SPECT Using a Big Data Analytic Tool Running on a Supercomputer.” Huang S-Y., Lee J.H., Pan H., Boutchko R., Shrestha U., Gullberg G.T., Mitra D., Yao Y., and Seo Y. The 13th International Meeting on Fully Three-Dimensional Image Reconstruction in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine (Fully-3D), Newport, Rhode Island, USA, 2015.
  • “Parallelization of Iterative Reconstruction Algorithms in Multiple Modalities,” D. Mitra, H.Pan, Fares Alhassen, and Youngho Seo. Proc. IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, Seattle, WA, 2014.
  • "SinoCor: Sinogram Level Motion Correction in SPECT", Debasis Mitra, Daniel Eiland, Rostyslav Boutchko, Grant T. Gullberg. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Software Licensee CR-3016, 2013

Muon Tomography

  • "A Volume Clearing Algorithm for Muon Tomography” D. Mitra, K. Day, and M. Hohlmann. Proceedings of IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference, Seattle, WA, 2014.
  • "Imaging of high-Z material for nuclear contraband detection with a minimal prototype of a muon tomography station based on GEM detectors." Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A, , Kondo Gnanvo, Leonard V. Grosso III, Marcus Hohlman, Judson B. Locke, Amilkar Quintero, and Debasis Mitra. 652 (2011) 16–20
  • “GEANT4 Simulation of a Cosmic Ray Muon Tomography System with Micro-Pattern Gas Detectors for the Detection of High-Z Materials,” "Transactions on Nuclear Science", Vol. 56, No. 3, June 2009, Marcus Hohlmann, Patrick Ford, Kondo Gnanvo, Jennifer Helsby, David Pena, Richard Hoch, and Debasis Mitra. [PDF]
  • “Muon Tomography Algorithms for Nuclear Threat Detection,” "Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence" series, Springer Verlag, 2009, Richard Hoch, Debasis Mitra, Marcus Hohlman, and Kondo Gnanvo. [PDF]
  • “Performance Expectations for a Tomography System Using Cosmic Ray Muons and Micro Pattern Gas Detectors for the Detection of Nuclear Contraband,” in Proc. of the IEEE Nucl. Sci. Symp. 2008, Dresden, Germany, pp. 1278-1284, IEEE Cat. CFP08NSS-CDR, ISBN 978-1-4244-2715-4, ISSN 1082-3654, e-Print: arXiv:0812.1007, Kondo Gnanvo, Patrick Ford, Jennifer Helsby, Richard Hoch, Debasis Mitra, and Marcus Hohlman. [PDF]

Spatio-temporal Reasoning

  • “Explanation Generation over Temporal Interval Algebra,” in Qualitative Spatio-Temporal Representation and Reasoning: Trends and Future Directions. Shyamanta M. Hazarika (Editor), Information Science Publishing, ISBN: 1616928689, August 1, 2010.
    Debasis Mitra and Florent Launay. [PDF]
  • “Spatial-reasoning for Agents in Multiple Dimensions,” Journal of Universal Computer Science, vol. 8, no. 8, pp. 774-791, August, 2002
    Debasis Mitra, and Gerard Ligozat. [PDF]
  • “Spatial and Temporal Reasoning: Beyond Allen's Calculus,” Gerard Ligozat, Debasis Mitra and Jean-Francois Condotta, AI Communications (European journal on Artificial Intelligence), Vol. 17, no. 4, pp 223—233, 2004.
  • “Modeling and Reasoning with Star Calculus: An Extended Abstract,” Debasis Mitra, Proc. of Eighth International Symposium on AI and Math, January 2004, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. http:/
  • “Qualitative Direction Calculi with Arbitrary Granularity,” Jochen Renz and Debasis Mitra, Pacific Rim Conference on AI (PRICAI), 2004.
  • "Characterization of Temporal Sequences in Geophysical Databases," Arie Shoshani, Preston Holland, Janet Jacobsen and Debasis Mitra, Proc. of the Statistical and Scientific Database Management (SSDBM) conference, Sweden, 1996.

Mathematical Physics

  • “The Lorentz group in oscillator realization III - the group SO(3,1),” D. Basu and D. Mitra, Journal of Mathematical Physics, Vol 22, p 946, Am. Inst. Phys., 1981.
  • “The Lorentz group in oscillator realization II - integral transform and matrix elements of SO(2,1),” D. Basu and D. Mitra, Journal of Mathematical Physics, Vol 21, p 636, Am. Inst. Phys., 1980.

Data & Knowledge Management

  • “ReMI: An Object-relational Image Database for Nuclear Medicine Research,” Boutchko, Rostyslav; Fernandes, Antall; Pan, Hui; Abdalah, Mahmoud; Giannakidis, Archontis; Boswell, Martin; Mitra, Debasis; Gullberg, Grant T. Annual Conference of Society of Nuclear Medicine, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2013.
  • “A Data Management System with Web Interface for Pre-clinical Multi-modality Imaging: ReMI,” Mitra, Debasis ; Pan, Hui; Abdalah, Mahmoud; Boutchko, Rostyslav; Boswell, Martin; and Gullberg, Grant T. The Sixth World Molecular Imaging Congress, Savannah GA., 2013.
  • “Three generations of research in computational creativity and beyond,” in Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Spring Symposium on Creative Intelligent Systems (AAAI Tech Report). (Eds.) Ventura, D., Maher, M. L., and Colton, S.; Stanford, California, March 2008. Debasis Mitra.
  • “Data cleaning and enriched representations for anomaly detection in system calls,” G. Tandon, P. Chan, and D. Mitra. Book Chapter in Machine Learning and Data Mining for Computer Security: Methods and Applications, M. Maloof (editor), Springer, 2005.

Computatinal Molecular Biology

  • “Correlogram-based method for comparing biological sequences,” Debasis Mitra, Gandhali Samant and Kuntal Sengupta. Springer Verlag Lecture Notes on AI, 2006.
For a full list of all publications please see the full CV

Debasis Mitra

Creativity. With a purpose!

Florida Istitute of Technology,
Melbourne, Florida 32901

Spring 2016 Office Hrs. M & W: 12:30-2:30pm

dmitra at dot edu
Phone: 321-674-7737
Fax: 321-674-7046