Joseph Sgro

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Joseph A. Sgro
Joseph Sgro at Columbia University in 1984.jpg
Joseph A Sgro at Columbia University in 1984
Born (1949-09-20)20 September 1949
San Diego, California
Nationality United States
Fields Mathematics
Mathematical logic
Neurology
Neurophysiology
Machine Vision
Institutions Yale University
Princeton Institute for Advanced Study
Columbia University
VCU Medical Center
Alacron, Inc.
FastVision, LLC
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
University of Wisconsin
Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
Doctoral advisor H. J. Keisler

Joseph A. Sgro (born September 20, 1949, San Diego, California) is a mathematician, neurologist and a engineering technologist / entrepreneur in the field of frame grabbers, high speed smart cameras, image processors, and related computer vision and machine vision technologies.

Sgro began his career as an academic researcher in advanced mathematics and logic. He received an AB in Mathematics in 1970 from UCLA followed by an MA in mathematics in 1973 and a PhD in mathematics in 1975 from the University of Wisconsin, where he studied mathematical logic under H. Jerome Keisler[1] who along with Jon Barwise and Kenneth Kunen formed his doctoral committee.

After serving as an instructor and post doctoral fellow at Yale and also holding a membership at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, New Jersey, Sgro returned to school to study neurology, and received his M.D. in 1980 from the Ph.D to M.D. Program[2] of the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, followed by an internal medicine internship at UNC Memorial Hospital, residency in neurology, a fellowship, and faculty position in clinical neurophysiology at the Neurological Institute of New York.

As an outgrowth of his work in neurophysiology, while still working as a post-doctoral fellow and an assistant professor of neurology, Sgro founded Alacron, Inc. (formerly Corteks, Inc.) in 1985 to manufacture technologies relevant to his neurological research. In 1989 he commercialized this technology and began developing array processors, frame grabbers, vision processors, and most recently supported advances in BSI sensor technology. Extending his work in machine vision technology, in 2002, Sgro founded FastVision, LLC, a maker of smart cameras, as a subsidiary of Alacron, Inc .

Mathematical Research[edit]

During his first year as a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin, Sgro proved that a topological extension of first-order logic using the open set logic quantifier has logical completeness, which had previously been widely believed but had not been proven. Sgro’s proof drew attention throughout mathematical world, and, in 1974, a year before finishing his PhD, he was awarded an appointment as a Josiah Willard Gibbs Instructor in Mathematics at Yale University, received an NSF research grant to continue his work in topological model theory.[3] Yale allowed him to accept this honor while remotely completing his thesis and dissertation at Wisconsin, which he did in 1975. His conclusions regarding the topological model theory formed the basis of his PhD thesis and dissertation. During the 1976-1977 academic year Sgro received a Centennial Fellowship[4] from the AMS. His work also resulted in an invitation to speak at the Logica Colloquim ’77 European Meeting of the Association for Symbolic Logic. This event was held in Wrocław, Poland, which was then still part of the Eastern Bloc, making Sgro among the first mathematicians from the West to speak at an event “behind the Iron Curtain.”[5] Sgro also spent 1977-1978 at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University.[6]

Published in 1977, Sgro’s thesis “Completeness Theorems for Topological Models”[7] and extensions of this research including the axiomatization and completeness of continuous functions on product topology open set quantifiers was published in 1976 in the Israel Journal of Mathematics.[8] Following these results, Sgro published a proof that an extension of the open set quantifier logic using interior operator quantifier logic has completeness and satisfies Craig interpolation.[9] He further showed that the Souslin-Kleene closure[10] of the open set quantifier logic fails Craig Interpolation which implies that it is strictly weaker than the interior operator logic.[11] His later research concentrated on proving the existence of maximal extensions of first order logic which satisfy Łoś's theorem on ultraproducts and have the Souslin-Kleene property.[12] Also this was extended to ultraproduct extensions of first order logic which satisfied both the Łoś's theorem and an extended form of the compactness theorem.[13]

Neurological Research[edit]

While researching mathematical logic, Sgro became interested in investigating the logic systems that the brain uses to process motor and sensory information, and returned to school, intending to study clinical neurophysiology, the branch of neurology and physiology that examines the functioning of the peripheral and central nervous system. Neurophysiological research typically uses imaging tools for visualizing chemical and electrical activity in nerve pathways, and today includes fMRI, electroencephalography (EEG), evoked potentials (EPs), TMS and other technologies to visualize and evaluate brain activity.

After Sgro completed his internship in internal medicine at the University of North Carolina in 1981 and his residency in neurology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in 1984. Sgro served as a post-doctoral fellow in clinical neurophysiology (1983–1985), as an Associate in Neurology (1985–1986) and then as an Assistant Professor of Neurology (1986–1987) at The College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City. To commercialize hardware developed initially for evoked potentials research, in 1985, Sgro co-founded Alacron, Inc. to do basic research and to build commercial medical imaging products such as frame grabbers. Sgro relocated to Richmond, Virginia where he was an Associate Professor of Neurology and the Head of Neurophysiology (1987–1991) and finally, as Chief of the Division of Clinical Neurophysiology (1991–1994) at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. He was also appointed as an adjunct associate professor of Neurology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in 1994.

While working as a neurology researcher, Sgro focused increasingly on the use of imaging and machine vision technologies to acquire graphical imagery measuring the operation of neurological function in various states of consciousness and disease.

During his post-doctoral fellowship at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Sgro achieved recognition in the medical community for his research and findings on the theory of evoked potentials, with a particular focus on Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SSEPs). A summary of Sgro's efforts to improve evoked potential recording recording technology is found in Keith Chiappa's book.[14] This article covers many one and two dimensional, linear and non-linear digital filters. Two approaches to improve recording fidelity is by increasing the signal to noise ratio (SNR) by the reduction of coherent electrical noise[15] and second the development of a two dimensional DFT digital filtering of evoked potentials which trades off the SNR improvement of the moving average technique with the detection of changes in the averaged waveform.[16] Using this technology, Sgro proved that SSEPs were “state dependent,” varying depending on whether the patient was awake or asleep (anesthetized).[17] Following these findings with funding from the Whitaker Foundation,[18] Sgro developed technology and techniques to analyze evoked potentials based on stimulation run by an ultra fast (i.e. hundreds of Hz) pseudorandom m-sequences.[19][20][21] This work was demonstrated to be a more effective method of identification and predictor of sub-clinical diseases or damage such as mortality from status epilepticus[22][23][24] (diseases that otherwise went undetected until they become severe enough to qualify as clinically apparent) when compared to conventional evoked potentials.

While conducting research into the (afferent) sensory nervous system with evoked potentials, Sgro also began to investigate devices and techniques to determine the state of the (efferent) motor nervous system )using trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The theoretical design results of a high-strength rapid magnetic stimulator design is summarized in.[25]

Achieving more effective detection and treatment of sub-clinical diseases involved increasingly intensive intra-operative patient monitoring. This research and the resulting findings stimulated Sgro’s interest in machine vision, specifically the use of frame grabbers to monitor neurological impulses during complex surgery.

Entrepreneurial career[edit]

Alacron, Inc.[edit]

In 1985, Sgro co-founded Alacron, Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire. Sgro and the Alacron engineering team focused on the development and production of frame grabbers and high speed image processing computational subsystems. The product family currently includes frame grabbers, software, data recording devices and supporting peripherals. Despite initial focus on neurophysiology research and medical imaging, Alacron saw uses for its products expand outside the field of medicine into other applications, such as manufacturing, military, and other industries that use robotics extensively. Alacron is one of the largest frame grabber manufacturers in the Automated Imaging Association's annual market data report.[26]

Examples of broader machine vision uses of frame grabbers originally developed for use in medical imaging include AS&E, which incorporated Alacron technology in backscatter X-ray equipment used for border security, and as image capture used for Voyage Data Recorders, the maritime equivalent of aviation “black boxes.”

In addition to the commercial product lines offered by Alacron, Sgro continued to perform basic research in integrating frame grabber technology with specialized systems for various disciplines. The company received SBIR grants where Sgro acted as principal investigators, including:

  • "A Digital Signal Processing Evoked Potential Machine” NIH SBIR #1R44NS024494. 1986 (Phase 1), 1988-1990 (Phase 2).[27]
  • "A Self Optimizing Evoked Potential Amplifier,” NIH SBIR #1R43NS24490. 1986-1987 (Phase 1), 1989-1991 (Phase 2).[28]
  • "A Magnetic Stimulator for Neurophysiology," NIH SBIR #1R43NS24924, 1986-1987 (Phase 1); 1989-1991 (Phase 2).
  • "An Event Detecting Video/EEG Monitoring System,” NlH SBIR #1R43NS26204, 1988-1989.
  • "A Magnetic Neural Stimulator for Neurophysiology," NIH SBIR II #2R44NS24924, 1989-1991.[29]
  • ”An Efficient Lossless EEG Compression Engine,” NIH SBIR #1R43NS34211. 1995-1997 (phase 1); 1999-2003 (phase 2).[30]
  • "Scalable Programmable Accelerator for Affordable High Performance Computing,” DARPA Contract #N66001-96-C-8611, 1997-2001.

Academic presentations of Alacron’s technology and research include:

FastVision, LLC[edit]

In 2002, Sgro launched FastVision, LLC. FastVision builds high-speed megapixel-plus digital cameras, based on CMOS and CCD image sensors . The company's goal is to produce smart cameras, i.e. cameras with high-speed scalable integrated image processing capabilities built into the same package housing the opto-electronics. Like most smart camera vendors, FastVision’s suite includes FPGA processing and memory subsystems to enable in-camera image processing. When integrated with a high powered frame grabber or vision processor board (or a host subsystem), the resulting system capabilities can be expanded beyond simple image compression. The smart camera subsystem can be integrated with disk or non-volatile semiconductor storage inside or outside the camera to hold sustained real-time data acquisition, a valuable aid to system effectiveness when network connectivity is overloaded or is unavailable.

Applications for smart cameras range from security and surveillance, to robotics in medicine and manufacturing, to military applications such as bots, drones and intelligent weaponry, to satellites and inner and outer space exploration.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mathematics Genealogy Project entry for Joseph A. Sgro.
  2. ^ Koniaris, Leonidas G.; Cheung, Michael C.; Garrison, Gwen; Awad Jr, William M.; Zimmers, Teresa A. (2010). "Perspective: PhD Scientists Completing Medical School in Two Years: Looking at the Miami PhD-to-MD Program Alumni Twenty Years Later". Academic Medicine 85 (4): 687–91. doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181d296da. PMID 20354390. 
  3. ^ "Topological Model Theory," National Science Foundation, Division of Mathematical Sciences, award number 77-04131, 1977
  4. ^ Centennial Fellowship Overview and Roster
  5. ^ Logic Colloquium ’77, Wroclaw, Poland. Macintyre, A., L. Pacholski, J. Paris, eds. In Studies in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics, Volume 96. Barwise, J., D. Kaplan, H. J. Keisler, et al., series eds. North-Holland Publishing Company, 1978. ISBN 0-444-85178-X.
  6. ^ Institute for Advanced Study membership roster entry for Joseph A. Sgro.
  7. ^ Completeness Theorems for Topological Models
  8. ^ Completeness theorems for continuous functions and product topologies
  9. ^ The interior operator logic and product topologies
  10. ^ Axioms for abstract model theory
  11. ^ lnterpolation fails for the Souslin-Kleene closure of the open-set quantifier logic
  12. ^ Maximal Logics
  13. ^ Ultraproduct invariant logic
  14. ^ Sgro, J. A., R. G. Emerson, and P. C. Stanton. "Advanced techniques of evoked potential acquisition and processing."Evoked Potentials in Clinical Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven (1997): 579-600. ISBN 978-0397516599
  15. ^ http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0013469485910211
  16. ^ http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0168559785900462
  17. ^ http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/092012119390095O
  18. ^ The Development of Methods for the Analysis of Non-Time-Stable Brain Responses. Whitaker Foundation grant, 1985-1989
  19. ^ Sgro, J. A., R. G. Emerson, and P. C. Stanton. "Advanced techniques of evoked potential acquisition and processing."Evoked Potentials in Clinical Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven (1997): 579-600. ISBN 978-0397516599
  20. ^ http://jenshee.dk/signalprocessing/mls.pdf
  21. ^ Marmarmelis, P. and Marmarmelis, V.Z., Analysis of Physiological System, Plenum Press, New York, NY, 1978.
  22. ^ http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/092012119390095O
  23. ^ "Assessment of Afferent and Efferent Neuropathways in Severe Head Injury," NIH Program Project Grant #2P01NS012587, 1989-1992..
  24. ^ "Mortality of Status Epilepticus," NIH Program Grant #1P01NS025630-01A1, 1989-1998.
  25. ^ Sgro, J.A., Stanton, P.C., and Emerson, R.G.- (1991) Comments on the theoretical and practical performance of magnetic stimulators and coils. Elecrtroenceph. and Clin. Neurophys. Supp43. 179-183
  26. ^ Automated Imaging Association annual market data report overview. Membership in AIA is required to obtain full report.
  27. ^ "A Digital Signal Processing Evoked Potential Machine,” NIH SBIR #1R44NS024494, 1986.
  28. ^ "A Self Optimizing Evoked Potential Amplifier," NIH SBIR #2R44NS024490, 1986-1991.
  29. ^ "A Magnetic Neural Stimulator for Neurophysiology," NIH SBIR II #2R44NS24924, 1989-1991.
  30. ^ ”An Efficient Lossless EEG Compression Engine,” NIH SBIR #1R43NS34211, 1995-2003.
  31. ^ Machine Vision Solutions for Life Sciences Applications at Pittcon, 2006.