Research Associate

Harvard Medical School

Boston, MA

ID: 7061783
Posted: October 28, 2019
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Project: Develop image forensics tools to determine if -- and the manner in which -- an image has been duplicated from a given (large) dataset, with or without manipulation.

Location: Image and Data Analysis Core, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Duration/Salary: 10 months full time (40h/week). Competitive compensation.

Requisites: Considerable experience in computer vision and machine learning -- specifically convolutional neural networks.

The Image and Data Analysis Core and the Office for Academic and Research Integrity at Harvard Medical School have an ongoing collaboration developing tools to identify re-use of images in academic publications. As widely publicized by venues such as Retraction Watch, this problem is of increasing relevance. Most of these manipulations are currently detected by humans subjectively, or using at most manual or semi-automated tools.

To tackle this problem at scale, our team is currently developing methods to determine if, given two images, one is a manipulated version of the other -- and, in case they are, further identify subregions in the images that provide matching evidence. ‘Manipulation’ can include a broad range of transformations representing common alterations and obfuscations ranging from simple crop and rigid transformation to projective and nonlinear transformations, histogram adjustment, or local alterations such as partial erasing, the addition of text and annotations, etc. We therefore apply metric-learning approaches based on convolutional neural networks to produce similarity functions which are invariant to these manipulations. These models are trained on a large database of synthetically altered biological images and tested on real-world cases of image manipulation which were discovered in peer-reviewed publications.

The facility is seeking a candidate to work closely with the team in order to further develop and deploy these forensic tools. Candidates are expected to possess solid knowledge and experience developing state of the art machine learning models for image analysis, using modern frameworks such as TensorFlow or PyTorch. The selected candidate will be provided access to adequate hardware (including multiple GPUs) for the task. Previous experience in closely related topics, such as metric learning, siamese networks, and image search, will incur extra credit.

Compensation is competitive. The developed tools will be open-sourced, and the selected candidate will be encouraged to publish the results in conferences/journals in the field.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, age, protected veteran status, disability, genetic information, military service or other protected status.

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