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Give me your digits!: introduction and background


Digital technology can allow us to save labor and time through the automation of menial tasks. Here we are developing a program to transcribe digits using a computer and a camera. Computers are notorious for excelling at repeating similar tasks/ instructions. The following modules will describe how we have implemented a rudimentary system to acquire, process, and identify handwritten digits (0-9).


The conversion of handwriting to the digital regime has been implemented industrially by the USPS; more theoretical work has been compiled by academia most notably by Dr. Yann Lecun. We identified and classified handwritten digits through the utilization of the MNIST (modified national institute of standards and technology) database and classifiers – which include feature extractors and identifiers. We also preprocessed input images through the usage of morphological operators. All of the computation was done using Matlab version 7.1. The process we have developed and many like it have its usages in a world which is developing and converting to the digital regime.

Process overview

The systematic process of identifying handwritten digits follows 3 major parts: image acquisition, image processing, and identification.

Image acquisition

Firstly in the project an image must be acquired. This part of the project could have been simplified with the usage of a scanning device. Instead we opted for the usage of a digital camera to make our system more flexible. Along the way we found that the images produced by a digital camera required more rigorous image processing steps due to varying input qualities of images.


The MNIST database: Its extensiveness is described here. We tested our identification algorithms using the database alone.

Image processing

This part of the process deals with converting raw input images into the standard MNIST database format. Most notably here we deal with cleaning up images and use morphological operators to help us separate digits.

Identification algorithms

This part of the process deals with extracting features from each individual input digit and comparing them with features of images in the MNIST database. Feature extraction was implemented in the field with the 2D FFT. Identification/ classification or the actual matching algorithms goes into the regime of computer science courses and is slightly out of the scope of this course.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Elec 301 projects fall 2008. OpenStax CNX. Jan 22, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10633/1.1
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