Margrit Betke


Professor (CS, ECE, BME)

Professor (CS, ECE, BME)

  • Primary Appointment Department of Computer Science
  • Education Ph.D. in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Additional Affiliations Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Honors and Awards Margrit Betke was elected to Senior Member of the ACM and Senior Member of the IEEE in October 2012. She was one of two academics to win the “Top 10 Women to Watch in New England” Award in 2005. More importantly, sixteen of her student research assistants have won various awards.
  • Classes Taught Artificial Intelligence (CS 440/640) in Spring 2016, Room SCI 113, Tue, Thu 12:30-2 pm
    Geometric Algorithms (CS 132) in Fall 2010
    Image and Video Computation (CS 585) in Fall 2015: Tue/Thu 12:30-2 pm, MCS B19
    Directed Study in Image and Video Computing: CAS CS 492, GRS CS 941, or GRS CS 979, or Directed Study in AI: GRS CS 941, ongoing.
  • Areas of Interest Cell image analysis, medical imaging, video-based interfaces for people with disabilities, visual observation and analysis of bats and their group behavior, object detection, segmentation, tracking & recognition and BCE.
  • Research Areas Biological and Biomedical Image Analysis, Computer Vision, and Assistive Technologies


Margrit Betke is a Professor of Computer Science at Boston University, where she co-leads the Image and Video Computing Research Group. She conducts research in computer vision, in particular, the development of methods for detection, segmentation, registration, and tracking of objects in visible-light, infrared, and x-ray image data. She has worked on gesture, vehicle, and animal tracking, video-based human-computer interfaces, statistical object recognition, and medical imaging analysis. She has published over 100 original research papers. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995. Prof. Betke has received the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award in 2001 for developing “Video-based Interfaces for People with Severe Disabilities.” She co-invented the “Camera Mouse,” an assistive technology used worldwide by children and adults with severe motion impairments. While she was a Research Scientist at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, she co-developed the first patented algorithms for detecting and measuring pulmonary nodule growth in computed tomography. She was one of two academic honorees of the “Top 10 Women to Watch in New England Award” by Mass High Tech in 2005. She is a Senior Member of the ACM and IEEE. Recently she led a $2.8 million NSF research project to develop intelligent tracking systems that reason about group behavior of people, bats, birds, and cells.

Margrit Betke was part of team awarded a 5-year $7.5 million ONR MURI grant to develop unmanned aircraft inspired by the flight mechanics and flight behavior of bats, birds, and insects.

Prof. Betke’s research has been supported by the NSF grants 1421943133786609109080855065071322900933670308213032648303290090202067, and 9871219:

  • RI: Small: Using Humans in the Loop to Collect High-quality Annotations from Images and Time-lapse Videos of Cells 1421943,
  • MRI Collaborative: Development of iRehab, an Intelligent Closed-Loop Instrument for Adaptive Rehabilitation, 1337866, $ 200,109 for 3 years (PI).
  • HCC: Large: Intelligent Tracking Systems that Reason about Group Behavior, 0910908, $ 2,858,292 for 5 years (PI).  Project website.
  • II-EN: Infrastructure for Gesture Interface Research Outside the Lab, 0855065 (Co-PI)
  • HCC: Intelligent Interfaces to Empower People with Disabilities to Participate in the Information Society, 0713229 (PI)
  • CAREER: Video-Based Computer Interfaces for People with Severe Disabilities, 0093367 (PI)
  • Mining and Indexing Spatio-Temporal Patterns in Video Databases of Human Motion, 0308213 (Co-PI)
  • ITR: Advanced Imaging and Information Technology for Assessing the Ecological and Economic Impact of Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats on Agroecosystems, 0326483 (Co-PI)
  • Pattern Discovery in Signed Languages and Gestural Communication, 0329009 (Co-PI)
  • CISE Research Infrastructure: SENSORIUM: Research Infrastructure for Managing Spatio-Temporal Objects in Video Sensor Network, 0202067 (Co-PI)
  • MRI: Research Laboratory for Computer Science, 9871219 (PI)

Prof. Betke’s research has also been supported by grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, The Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and Bat Conservation International in 2009, a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife in 2008, The Whitaker Foundation, 2001-2004, and a subcontract from MIT Lincoln Laboratory under a US Air Force prime contract in 2005.

Affiliation: Primary & Affiliated Faculty (BME), Primary & Affiliated Faculty (ECE)