Introduction to Remote Sensing
Fall, 2014

Instructor: Kevin Reath
Office: 201 Thaw
Office Phone: 624-9324
Office Hours: Tu, Th (2:00 - 4:00pm)
T.A./Lab Instructor: Daniel Williams
Office: 201 Thaw
Office Phone: 624-9324
Office Hours: M, F (11:00am - 12:00pm)

  1. Objective: This course provides a foundation in the theory and techniques of remote sensing and geospatial data visualization spanning the electromagnetic spectrum from the ultraviolet to microwave. Topics will include light/matter interaction, optics and sensor design, image analysis using commercial state-of-the-art software, as well as current applications of remote sensing to science and engineering problems. The course and integrated laboratory are designed to provide you with an appreciation of current remote sensing issues, the geologic and human processes that impact remotely-gathered data, and how those processes can be measured using remote sensing.

  2. Required Text: "Remote Sensing of the Environment: An Earth Resource Perspective", 2nd edition, by: J.R. Jensen (Prentice Hall Publishing; 2007, ISBN: 0-13-188950-8).

    Supplementary Text: "Remote Sensing: Principles and Interpretation" 3rd edition, by: F. F. Sabins (W. H. Freeman & Co.; 1996, ISBN: 0-71-672442-1).

  3. Both text books will be available on two-hour loan at the Engineering Library. However, it is strongly recommended you have your own copy of the required text book for exam preparation and laboratory projects.

  4. Lecture Times: Wednesday from 6:00pm - 8:50pm in Thaw 102 (lecture) & SRCC 207 (computer labs). Attendance is mandatory for all scheduled class and laboratory meetings. Much of the exam material and laboratory insights will be derived from my class notes and therefore attendance is beneficial to your grade. The three computer labs will meet during the regular class meeting times (see schedule). During those weeks, no lectures will be given and students are expected to meet in the computer laboratory.

  5. Course Requirements:

    1. Exams:

      There will be two exams (one mid-term and one final) with equal weighting. The exams may include essay questions, quantitative problem solving, short answers, and multiple choice. Exam questions will be based on material covered in the lectures and text book and will not be cummulative. I do not give make-up exams or work, so please do not even ask!

    1. Image-processing Laboratories:

      There will be three primary labs in addition to one introductory lab. These labs will meet in SRCC room 207 during the class meeting time, so no additional hours need to be scheduled. However, the lab exercises will likely take longer than the scheduled meeting time. Extended laboratory hours will be announced. In addition, the size of the class may require lab/computer time to be scheduled. More details will follow. The TA will decide on a grading policy for late lab reports - you will loose significant points if your lab is more than 1 week late!

  6. Grading: Grading will be based on both exams, class participation, and the laboratories, with the exact breakdown will be:

  7. Mid-term exam 30%
    Final exam 30%
    Laboratory #1 5%
    Laboratory #2 10%
    Laboratory #3 15%
    Class participation 10%

  8. Cheating: This is not even worth bringing up in a university-level course. Cheating/plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students suspected of violating the University of Pittsburgh Policy on Academic Integrity will be required to participate in the outlined procedural process as initiated by the instructor. A minimum sanction of a zero score for the quiz, exam or paper will be imposed. No excuses.

  9. Disability Resources: If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Resources and Services, 216 William Pitt Union, 412-648-7890/412-383-7355 (TTY), as early as possible in the term. Disability Resources and Services will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.

  10. E-mail Communication Policy: Your University e-mail address ( is be used by the University (and me) for official communication. Students are expected to read e-mail sent to this account on a regular basis. Failure to read and react to email in a timely manner does not absolve the student from knowing and complying with the content of the communications. The University provides an e-mail forwarding service that allows students to read their e-mail via other service providers. Students that choose to forward their e-mail from their address to another address do so at their own risk. If e-mail is lost as a result of forwarding, it does not absolve the student from responding to official communications sent to their University e-mail address. Please see the E-mail Communication Policy for details.

  11. Course Web Site: The primary web site for this course is located at: and notes will be posted on Courseweb. It main site contains the syllabus, announcements, and assignments for the class.

  12. Web Links:

This page last updated: Thursday, 28-Aug-2014 17:10:18 EDT