Faculty

Joel A. Tropp

Steele Family Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics

Joel Tropp's work lies at the interface of applied mathematics, electrical engineering, computer science, and statistics. This research concerns the theoretical and computational aspects of data analysis, sparse modeling, randomized linear algebra, and random matrix theory.

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Christopher Umans

Professor of Computer Science; EAS Division Deputy Chair

Professor Umans is interested in theoretical computer science, and especially computational complexity. He enjoys problems with an algebraic flavor, and this often leads to research questions in derandomization and explicit combinatorial constructions, algebraic algorithms, coding theory, and hardness of approximation.

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Kerry J. Vahala

Ted and Ginger Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Applied Physics

Kerry Vahala has pioneered nonlinear optics in high-Q optical micro resonators. His research group has launched many of the areas of study in this field and invented optical resonators that hold the record for highest optical Q on a semiconductor chip.  Vahala has applied these devices to a wide range of nonlinear phenomena and applications. This includes the first demonstration of parametric oscillation and cascaded four-wave mixing in a micro cavity - the central regeneration mechanisms for frequency micro combs; electro-optical frequency division - used in the most stable commercial K-band oscillators;  and the first observation of dynamic back action in cavity optomechanical systems. His micro-resonator devices are used at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in chip-based optical clocks and frequency synthesizers. They have also been used at the Keck II observatory in Hawaii as miniature astrocombs in the search for exoplanets. Vahala's current research is focused on the application of high-Q optical micro resonators to miniature precision metrology systems as well as monolithic optical gyroscopes. Professor Vahala was also involved in the early effort to develop quantum-well lasers for optical communications. That work formed the basis for nearly all of today’s high-speed semiconductor laser design for lightwave high-speed telecommunications, particularly in the metropolitan and local-area arena.

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P. P. Vaidyanathan

Kiyo and Eiko Tomiyasu Professor of Electrical Engineering

Sparse arrays for signal processing, network signal processing, compressive sensing and sparse reconstruction, spectrum sensing and applications in cognitive radio, filter banks, transform domain techniques for signal analysis, and data driven signal processing.

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Thomas Vidick

Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences

Professor Vidick’s research is situated at the interface of theoretical computer science, quantum information and cryptography. He is interested in applying techniques from computer science, such as complexity theory, to study problems in quantum computing. He has investigated the role of entanglement in multi-prover interactive proof systems and obtained the first substantial computational hardness results on the power of entangled provers. Entanglement also plays a major role in quantum cryptography, and he has made important contributions to the field of device-independent cryptography. He is also interested in using quantum information theory to shed new light on fundamental techniques in theoretical computer science such as semidefinite programming and approximation algorithms.

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Lihong Wang

Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering

Professor Wang’s research focuses on biomedical imaging. In particular, his lab has developed photoacoustic imaging that allows peering noninvasively into biological tissues. Compared to conventional optical microscopy, his techniques have increased the penetration by nearly two orders of magnitude, breaking through the optical diffusion limit. The Wang lab has invented or discovered functional photoacoustic tomography, 3D photoacoustic microscopy, optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy, photoacoustic Doppler effect, photoacoustic reporter gene imaging, microwave-induced thermoacoustic tomography, universal photoacoustic reconstruction algorithm, time-reversed ultrasonically encoded optical focusing, and compressed ultrafast photography (world’s fastest camera capable of 10 trillion frames per second). Combining rich optical contrast and scalable ultrasonic resolution, photoacoustic imaging is the only modality capable of providing multiscale high-resolution structural, functional, metabolic, and molecular imaging of organelles, cells, tissues, and organs as well as small-animal organisms in vivo. Broad applications include early-cancer detection, surgical guidance, and brain imaging. For example, it can help surgeons effectively remove breast cancer lumps, reducing the need for follow-up surgeries. Professor Wang’s Monte Carlo model of photon transport in scattering media is used worldwide as a standard tool.

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Michael Watkins

Vice President and Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Professor of Aerospace and Geophysics

Paul O. Wennberg

R. Stanton Avery Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Science and Engineering; Executive Officer for Environmental Science and Engineering; Director, Ronald and Maxine Linde Center for Global Environmental Science

Paul Wennberg studies the composition of the atmosphere of Earth and other planets.  He is trained as a physical chemist and most of his investigations begin with atmospheric observations made by his research group in the laboratory or in the field. A hierarchy of models are used to study these observations. His group studies the carbon cycle, photochemistry, and air quality.

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Adam Wierman

Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences; Executive Officer for Computing and Mathematical Sciences; Director, Information Science and Technology

Adam Wierman's research interests center around resource allocation and scheduling decisions in computer systems and services. More specifically, his work focuses both on developing analytic techniques in stochastic modeling, optimization, machine learning, and game theory, and applying these techniques to application domains such as energy-efficient computing, the cloud, the smart grid, and social networks.

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Erik Winfree

Professor of Computer Science, Computation and Neural Systems, and Bioengineering

Professor Winfree's research involves theoretical and experimental aspects of molecular programming. Models of computation are developed that incorporate essential features of molecular folding, molecular self-assembly, biochemical circuits, and molecular robotics. These models are studied to determine their expressiveness for programming molecular-level tasks including decision-making, memory, behavior, and morphogenesis.  Methods for compiling abstract molecular programs into actual molecules are developed and tested in the laboratory.

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Changhuei Yang

Thomas G. Myers Professor of Electrical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Medical Engineering

The research of the Biophotonics Laboratory, led by Professor Changhuei Yang, is focused on the development of novel tools that combine optics and microfluidics to tackle diagnostic and measurement problems in biology and medicine. His main research areas are ePetri, Fourier Ptychographic microscopy, and time-reversal optical focusing.

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Amnon Yariv

Martin and Eileen Summerfield Professor of Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering

Professor Amnon Yariv's research focuses on the theoretical and technological underpinning of optical communication. Present projects include: new types of semiconductor lasers, optical phase-lock systems and coherent photonics, hybrid Si/III-V devices for lasers, detectors and modulation, "Slow" light propagation in artificial periodic dielectric waveguides.

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Yisong Yue

Assistant Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences

Yisong Yue's research interests lie primarily in the theory and application of statistical machine learning. He is particularly interested in developing novel methods for interactive machine learning and structured machine learning. In the past, his research has been applied to information retrieval, recommender systems, text classification, learning from rich user interfaces, analyzing implicit human feedback, clinical therapy, tutoring systems, data-driven animation, behavior analysis, sports analytics, experiment design for science, learning to optimize, policy learning in robotics, and adaptive planning & allocation problems. 

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