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Multimedia Systems


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


(additional details and up-to-date information can be found on the main course website -

Multimedia systems is a wide and diverse area. In this course we focus on the scientific view of multimedia systems as presented in top major conferences and journals and we provide advice, support and guidance for a final project that will be distributed (or placed online) to the public.
The intention is to focus on current research trends such as social computing, speech recognition, robotics, and computer vision and gain insight into what is novel from a modern scientific perspective. From a practical standpoint, the technologies may be areas where the student will do further research, take in-depth courses in the specific area (i.e. Speech Understanding) or be used as components for future multimedia systems.

This is a masters level course, where instead of having only lectures and an exam, we have a combination of lectures and student presentations and novel programming projects. Two projects which emphasize the students vision on future multimedia technologies are mandatory: (1) In the future vision video project, the student is expected to show their own vision on how multimedia technology will effect society in the future. (2) In the final project, the students create a working prototype of a novel multimedia system based on thier own vision and interests. In summary, we show you the diverse landscape of multimedia technology as a broad foundation, and based on that foundation you develop your own interests and vision. We will discuss the following topics in multimedia systems: speech recognition, social computing, robotics, computer vision & machine learning (OpenCV, CUDA), video understanding & retrieval, and biometrics & face recognition.

Course objectives

At the end of the Multimedia Systems course, the student should be able to

  • understand how scientific researchers view multimedia systems.

  • have insight into the state-of-the-art in the prominent areas of scientific multimedia research including social computing, advanced Internet technologies, speech recognition, robotics, computer vision, video tracking, and biometrics.

  • have insight into building a multimedia system from diverse core technologies.

  • have insight into the challenges and limitations of current multimedia systems.

  • scientifically evaluate a multimedia system.

  • develop skills in writing scientific reports

  • build a prototype multimedia system.


The most recent timetable can be found at the main course website (see link at bottom of this webpage below) and the Computer Science (MSc) student website.

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

  • lectures

  • seminar

  • student discussions

  • presentations

  • homework and software assignments

Course load

Total hours of study: 168 hrs.
Lectures/Presentations: 20:00 hrs.
Programming: 100:00 hrs.
Student Presentations: 12:00 hrs.
Other 36:00 hrs.

Assessment method

The final grade is composed of (1) Multimedia Project (60% of grade), (2) Future Vision Project (10% of grade), (3) Student Presentations, Class Discussion, Problem Sets (30% of grade).

Late submissions will incur -1 per day penalty. For every assignment, to receive credit, each student must submit their own answer whether they are working alone or in teams (2 people on a team means 2 submissions).
Class discussion is important and is included as part of the grade.

The teacher will inform the students how the inspection of and follow-up discussion of the exams will take place.

Reading list

Research papers from recent ACM conferences and journals.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Lecturers: Prof. Michael Lew & dr. Erwin Bakker
Website: Multimedia Systems