News & Events

1,414 News items, Awards, Events and Talks related to MERL and its staff.


  •  TALK    [MERL Seminar Series 2022] Prof. Vincent Sitzmann presents talk titled Self-Supervised Scene Representation Learning
    Date & Time: Wednesday, March 30, 2022; 11:00 AM EDT
    Speaker: Vincent Sitzmann, MIT
    Research Areas: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, Machine Learning
    Abstract
    • Given only a single picture, people are capable of inferring a mental representation that encodes rich information about the underlying 3D scene. We acquire this skill not through massive labeled datasets of 3D scenes, but through self-supervised observation and interaction. Building machines that can infer similarly rich neural scene representations is critical if they are to one day parallel people’s ability to understand, navigate, and interact with their surroundings. This poses a unique set of challenges that sets neural scene representations apart from conventional representations of 3D scenes: Rendering and processing operations need to be differentiable, and the type of information they encode is unknown a priori, requiring them to be extraordinarily flexible. At the same time, training them without ground-truth 3D supervision is an underdetermined problem, highlighting the need for structure and inductive biases without which models converge to spurious explanations.

      I will demonstrate how we can equip neural networks with inductive biases that enables them to learn 3D geometry, appearance, and even semantic information, self-supervised only from posed images. I will show how this approach unlocks the learning of priors, enabling 3D reconstruction from only a single posed 2D image, and how we may extend these representations to other modalities such as sound. I will then discuss recent work on learning the neural rendering operator to make rendering and training fast, and how this speed-up enables us to learn object-centric neural scene representations, learning to decompose 3D scenes into objects, given only images. Finally, I will talk about a recent application of self-supervised scene representation learning in robotic manipulation, where it enables us to learn to manipulate classes of objects in unseen poses from only a handful of human demonstrations.
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  •  NEWS    Rui Ma gives an Invited Talk on Digital Intensive PA/Transmitter for RF Communications Workshop at IMS2022
    Date: June 19, 2022
    Research Areas: Communications, Electronic and Photonic Devices, Machine Learning
    Brief
    • MERL Researcher Rui Ma will give an invited talk titled "All Digital Transmitter with GaN Switching Mode Power Amplifiers"at a technical workshop during International Microwave Symposium (IMS)2022. This IMS workshop (WSN) invites members from academia and industry to discuss the latest development activities in the area of digital-intensive power amplifiers and transmitters for RF communications.

      In addition, Dr. Rui Ma is chairing a Technical Session(We2C) on "AI/ML on RF and mmWave Applications" at IMS2022.

      IMS is the flagship annual conference of IEEE Microwave Theory and Technology Society(MTT-S).

      Learn more here:
      Sessions
      Workshops
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  •  AWARD    Japan Telecommunications Advancement Foundation Award
    Date: March 15, 2022
    Awarded to: Yukimasa Nagai, Jianlin Guo, Philip Orlik, Takenori Sumi, Benjamin A. Rolfe and Hiroshi Mineno
    MERL Contacts: Jianlin Guo; Philip V. Orlik
    Research Areas: Communications, Machine Learning
    Brief
    • MELCO/MERL research paper “Sub-1 GHz Frequency Band Wireless Coexistence for the Internet of Things” has won the 37th Telecommunications Advancement Foundation Award (Telecom System Technology Award) in Japan. This award started in 1984, and is given to research papers and works related to information and telecommunications that have made significant contributions and achievements to the advancement, development, and standardization of information and telecommunications from technical and engineering perspectives. The award recognizes both the IEEE 802.19.3 standardization efforts and the technological advancements using reinforcement learning and robust access methodologies for wireless communication system. This year, there were 43 entries with 5 winning awards and 3 winning encouragement awards. This is the first time MELCO/MERL has received this award. Our paper has been published by IEEE Access in 2021 and authors are Yukimasa Nagai, Jianlin Guo, Philip Orlik, Takenori Sumi, Benjamin A. Rolfe and Hiroshi Mineno.
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  •  TALK    [MERL Seminar Series 2022] Analog CMOS Computing Chips for Fast and Energy-Efficient Solution of PDE Systems
    Date & Time: Tuesday, March 15, 2022; 1:00 PM EDT
    Speaker: Arjuna Madanayake, Florida International University
    Research Areas: Applied Physics, Electronic and Photonic Devices, Multi-Physical Modeling
    Abstract
    • Analog computers are making a comeback. In fact, they are taking the world by storm. After decades of “analog computing winter” that followed the invention of the digital computing paradigm in the 1940s, classical physics-based analog computers are being reconsidered for improving the computational throughput of demanding applications. The research is driven by exponential growth in transistor densities and bandwidths in the integrated circuits world, which in turn, has led to new possibilities for the creative circuit designer. Fast analog chips not only furnish communication/radar front-ends, but can also be used to accelerate mathematical operations. Most analog computer today focus on AI and machine learning. E.g., analog in-memory computing plays an exciting role in AI acceleration because linear algebra operations can be mapped efficiently to compute in memory. However, many scientific computing tasks are built on linear and non-linear partial differential equations (PDEs) that require recursive numerical PDE solution across spatial and temporal dimensions. The adoption of analog parallel processors that are built around speed vs power efficiency vs precision trade-offs available from circuitry for PDE solution require new research in computer architecture. We report on recent progress on CMOS based analog computers for solving computational electromagnetics and non-linear pressure wave equations. Our first analog computing chip was measured to be more than 400x faster than a top-of-the-line NVIDIA GPU while consuming 1000x less power for elementary computational electromagnetics computations using finite-difference time-domain scheme.
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  •  NEWS    Arvind Raghunathan delivers Optimization and Systems Theory seminar at KTH Royal Institute of Technology
    Date: March 10, 2022
    Where: Department of Mathematics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
    MERL Contact: Arvind Raghunathan
    Research Area: Optimization
    Brief
    • Arvind Raghunathan will present the Optimization and System Theorem seminar in the Department of Mathematics at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The title of the talk is Recursive McCormick Linearizations of Multilinear Programs: Minimum Size Formulations.
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  •  NEWS    Devesh Jha delivers invited talk at Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, NYU
    Date: March 1, 2022
    Where: Online/Zoom
    MERL Contact: Devesh K. Jha
    Research Areas: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics
    Brief
    • Devesh Jha, a Principal Research Scientist in MERL's Data Analytics group, gave an invited talk at the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, NYU. The title of the talk was "Robotic Manipulation in the Wild: Planning, Learning and Control through Contacts". The talk presented some of the recent work done at MERL for robotic manipulation in unstructured environments in the presence of significant uncertainty.
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  •  NEWS    MERL work on scene-aware interaction featured in IEEE Spectrum
    Date: March 1, 2022
    MERL Contacts: Anoop Cherian; Chiori Hori; Jonathan Le Roux; Tim K. Marks; Anthony Vetro
    Research Areas: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Speech & Audio
    Brief
    • MERL's research on scene-aware interaction was recently featured in an IEEE Spectrum article. The article, titled "At Last, A Self-Driving Car That Can Explain Itself" and authored by MERL Senior Principal Research Scientist Chiori Hori and MERL Director Anthony Vetro, gives an overview of MERL's efforts towards developing a system that can analyze multimodal sensing information for highly natural and intuitive interaction with humans through context-dependent generation of natural language. The technology recognizes contextual objects and events based on multimodal sensing information, such as images and video captured with cameras, audio information recorded with microphones, and localization information measured with LiDAR.

      Scene-Aware Interaction for car navigation, one target application that the article focuses on, will provide drivers with intuitive route guidance. Scene-Aware Interaction technology is expected to have wide applicability, including human-machine interfaces for in-vehicle infotainment, interaction with service robots in building and factory automation systems, systems that monitor the health and well-being of people, surveillance systems that interpret complex scenes for humans and encourage social distancing, support for touchless operation of equipment in public areas, and much more. MERL's Scene-Aware Interaction Technology had previously been featured in a Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Press Release.

      IEEE Spectrum is the flagship magazine and website of the IEEE, the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and the applied sciences. IEEE Spectrum has a circulation of over 400,000 engineers worldwide, making it one of the leading science and engineering magazines.
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  •  TALK    [MERL Seminar Series 2022] Learning Speech Representations with Multimodal Self-Supervision
    Date & Time: Tuesday, March 1, 2022; 1:00 PM EST
    Speaker: David Harwath, The University of Texas at Austin
    MERL Host: Chiori Hori
    Research Areas: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Speech & Audio
    Abstract
    • Humans learn spoken language and visual perception at an early age by being immersed in the world around them. Why can't computers do the same? In this talk, I will describe our ongoing work to develop methodologies for grounding continuous speech signals at the raw waveform level to natural image scenes. I will first present self-supervised models capable of discovering discrete, hierarchical structure (words and sub-word units) in the speech signal. Instead of conventional annotations, these models learn from correspondences between speech sounds and visual patterns such as objects and textures. Next, I will demonstrate how these discrete units can be used as a drop-in replacement for text transcriptions in an image captioning system, enabling us to directly synthesize spoken descriptions of images without the need for text as an intermediate representation. Finally, I will describe our latest work on Transformer-based models of visually-grounded speech. These models significantly outperform the prior state of the art on semantic speech-to-image retrieval tasks, and also learn representations that are useful for a multitude of other speech processing tasks.
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  •  NEWS    Rien Quirynen appointed as an Associate Editor for Journal of Optimal Control Applications and Methods (OCAM)
    Date: February 24, 2022
    MERL Contact: Rien Quirynen
    Research Areas: Control, Optimization
    Brief
    • Rien Quirynen has accepted an invitation to serve on the editorial board of Journal of Optimal Control Applications and Methods (OCAM) as an Associate Editor.

      OCAM provides a forum for papers on the full range of optimal control and related control design methods. The aim is to encourage new developments in optimal control theory and design methodologies that may lead to advances in real control applications.
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  •  TALK    [MERL Seminar Series 2022] Beyond the First Portrait of a Black Hole
    Date & Time: Tuesday, February 15, 2022; 1:00 PM EST
    Speaker: Katie Bouman, California Institute of Technology
    MERL Host: Joshua Rapp
    Research Area: Computational Sensing
    Abstract
    • As imaging requirements become more demanding, we must rely on increasingly sparse and/or noisy measurements that fail to paint a complete picture. Computational imaging pipelines, which replace optics with computation, have enabled image formation in situations that are impossible for conventional optical imaging. For instance, the first black hole image, published in 2019, was only made possible through the development of computational imaging pipelines that worked alongside an Earth-sized distributed telescope. However, remaining scientific questions motivate us to improve this computational telescope to see black hole phenomena still invisible to us and to meaningfully interpret the collected data. This talk will discuss how we are leveraging and building upon recent advances in machine learning in order to achieve more efficient uncertainty quantification of reconstructed images as well as to develop techniques that allow us to extract the evolving structure of our own Milky Way's black hole over the course of a night, perhaps even in three dimensions.
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  •  TALK    [MERL Seminar Series 2022] Extreme optics design as a large-scale optimization problem
    Date & Time: Tuesday, February 8, 2022; 1:00 PM EST
    Speaker: Raphaël Pestourie, MIT
    MERL Host: Matthew E. Brand
    Research Areas: Applied Physics, Electronic and Photonic Devices, Optimization
    Abstract
    • Thin large-area structures with aperiodic subwavelength patterns can unleash the full power of Maxwell’s equations for focusing light and a variety of other wave transformation or optical applications. Because of their irregularity and large scale, capturing the full scattering through these devices is one of the most challenging tasks for computational design: enter extreme optics! This talk will present ways to harness the full computational power of modern large-scale optimization in order to design optical devices with thousands or millions of free parameters. We exploit various methods of domain-decomposition approximations, supercomputer-scale topology optimization, laptop-scale “surrogate” models based on Chebyshev interpolation and/or new scientific machine learning models, and other techniques to attack challenging problems: achromatic lenses that simultaneously handle many wavelengths and angles, “deep” images, hyperspectral imaging, and more.
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  •  NEWS    Dr. Benosman is invited to give the mini-course in control theory at the 2022 edition of the Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control
    Date: July 5, 2022 - July 7, 2022
    MERL Contact: Mouhacine Benosman
    Research Areas: Control, Data Analytics, Dynamical Systems
    Brief
    • The Benelux meeting is an annual conference gathering of the scientific community of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg around systems and control. It is especially intended for PhD researchers and a number of activities are dedicated to them, including plenary talks and a mini-course.

      Dr. Benosman has been invited to give the mini-course of the 2022 edition of the conference. This course, entitled 'A hybrid approach to control: classical control theory meets machine learning theory', will be centered around the topic of safe and robust machine learning-based control.
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  •  NEWS    Radu Corcodel joins the IEEE-RAS Standing Committee for Standards & Human-Robot Interaction Terminology
    Date: February 3, 2022
    MERL Contact: Radu Corcodel
    Research Areas: Robotics, Human-Computer Interaction
    Brief
    • Radu Corcodel, a Principal Research Scientist in MERL's computer vision group, has been invited to join the IEEE-RAS Standing Committee for Standards & Human-Robot Interaction Terminology. This committee defines standard terms relevant to human-robot interaction in service, social, education, industrial, and research robotic applications. It establishes and defines a common terminology for practitioners and users of human-robot interaction (HRI) technologies. It is also intended to address issues common within the field of HRI, particularly surrounding the use of inconsistent and/or conflicting terms and definitions.

      The invitation is a recognition of Radu's excellent record of robotics research and a significant opportunity for him to contribute to new standards in robotics terminology.
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  •  NEWS    Arvind Raghunathan to serve on The Howard Rosenbrock Prize committee
    Date: May 31, 2022
    MERL Contact: Arvind Raghunathan
    Research Area: Optimization
    Brief
    • Arvind Raghunathan from MERL's Data Analytics group has been invited to serve on the The Howard Rosenbrock Prize committee. Instituted in 2015, Optimization and Engineering journal's Howard Rosenbrock Prize is awarded annually to honor the authors of the best paper published in the journal in the previous year.
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  •  NEWS    Jonathan Le Roux discusses MERL's audio source separation work on popular machine learning podcast
    Date: January 24, 2022
    Where: The TWIML AI Podcast
    MERL Contact: Jonathan Le Roux
    Research Areas: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Speech & Audio
    Brief
    • MERL Speech & Audio Senior Team Leader Jonathan Le Roux was featured in an extended interview on the popular TWIML AI Podcast, presenting MERL's work towards solving the "cocktail party problem". Humans have the extraordinary ability to focus on particular sounds of interest within a complex acoustic scene, such as a cocktail party. MERL's Speech & Audio Team has been at the forefront of the field's effort to develop algorithms giving machines similar abilities. Jonathan talked with host Sam Charrington about the group's decade-long journey on this topic, from early pioneering work using deep learning for speech enhancement and speech separation, to recent works on weakly-supervised separation, hierarchical sound separation, as well as the separation of real-world soundtracks into speech, music, and sound effects (aka the "cocktail fork problem").

      The TWIML AI podcast, formerly known as This Week in Machine Learning & AI, was created in 2016 and is followed by more than 10,000 subscribers on Youtube and Twitter. Jonathan's interview marks the 555th episode of the podcast.
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  •  AWARD    Joshua Rapp wins Best Dissertation Award from the IEEE Signal Processing Society
    Date: December 20, 2021
    Awarded to: Joshua Rapp
    MERL Contact: Joshua Rapp
    Research Areas: Computational Sensing, Signal Processing
    Brief
    • Joshua Rapp has won the 2021 Best PhD Dissertation Award from the IEEE Signal Processing Society.
      The award recognizes a PhD thesis completed on a signal processing subject within the past three years for its relevant work in signal processing while stimulating further research in the field.

      Dr. Rapp completed his PhD at Boston University in 2020 with a thesis entitled "Probabilistic Modeling for Single-Photon Lidar." The dissertation tackles challenges of the acquisition and processing of 3D depth maps reconstructed from time-of-flight data captured one photon at a time.
      The award will be presented at the 2022 IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP) in France.
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  •  NEWS    Uroš Kalabić joins editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology
    Date: December 14, 2021
    Research Area: Control
    Brief
    • MERL researcher Uroš Kalabić has been appointed to serve as an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology.

      The Transactions on Control Systems Technology bridge the gap between the theory and practice of control engineering. They feature publications on engineering needed to implement practical control systems.
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  •  TALK    [MERL Seminar Series 2021] Harnessing machine learning to build better Earth system models for climate projection
    Date & Time: Tuesday, December 14, 2021; 1:00 PM EST
    Speaker: Prof. Chris Fletcher, University of Waterloo
    MERL Host: Ankush Chakrabarty
    Research Areas: Dynamical Systems, Machine Learning, Multi-Physical Modeling
    Abstract
    • Decision-making and adaptation to climate change requires quantitative projections of the physical climate system and an accurate understanding of the uncertainty in those projections. Earth system models (ESMs), which solve the Navier-Stokes equations on the sphere, are the only tool that climate scientists have to make projections forward into climate states that have not been observed in the historical data record. Yet, ESMs are incredibly complex and expensive codes and contain many poorly constrained physical parameters—for processes such as clouds and convection—that must be calibrated against observations. In this talk, I will describe research from my group that uses ensembles of ESM simulations to train statistical models that learn the behavior and sensitivities of the ESM. Once trained and validated the statistical models are essentially free to run, which allows climate modelling centers to make more efficient use of precious compute cycles. The aim is to improve the quality of future climate projections, by producing better calibrated ESMs, and to improve the quantification of the uncertainties, by better sampling the equifinality of climate states.
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  •  NEWS    Toshiaki Koike-Akino Gives Seminar Talk at IEEE Boston Photonics
    Date & Time: December 9, 2021; 7pm EST
    Where: virtual
    MERL Contact: Toshiaki Koike-Akino
    Research Areas: Communications, Machine Learning, Signal Processing
    Brief
    • Toshiaki Koike-Akino (Signal Processing group, Network Intelligence Team) is giving an invited talk titled, `Evolution of Machine Learning for Photonic Research' for the Boston Photonic Chapter of the IEEE Photonic Society on December 9. The talk covers recent MERL research on machine learning for nonlinearity compensation and nanophotonic device design.
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  •  TALK    [MERL Seminar Series 2021] Use the [Magnetic] Force for Good: Sustainability Through Magnetic Levitation
    Date & Time: Tuesday, December 7, 2021; 1:00 PM EST
    Speaker: Prof. Eric Severson, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    MERL Host: Bingnan Wang
    Research Area: Electric Systems
    Abstract
    • Electric motors pump our water, heat and cool our homes and offices, drive critical medical and surgical equipment, and, increasingly, operate our transportation systems. Approximately 99% of the world’s electric energy is produced by a rotating generator and 45% of that energy is consumed by an electric motor. The efficiency of this technology is vital in enabling our energy sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint. The reliability and lifetime of this technology have severe, and sometimes life-altering, consequences. Today’s motor technology largely relies upon mechanical bearings to support the motor’s shaft. These bearings are the first components to fail, create frictional losses, and rely on lubricants that create contamination challenges and require periodic maintenance. In short, bearings are the Achilles' heel of modern electric motors.

      This seminar will explore the use of actively controlled magnetic forces to levitate the motor shaft, eliminating mechanical bearings and the problems associated with them. The working principles of traditional magnetic levitation technology (active magnetic bearings) will be reviewed and used to explain why this technology has not been successfully applied to the most high-impact motor applications. Research into “bearingless” motors offers a new levitation approach by manipulating the inherent magnetic force capability of all electric motors. While traditional motors are carefully designed to prevent shaft forces, the bearingless motor concept controls these forces to make the motor simultaneously function as an active magnetic bearing. The seminar will showcase the potential of bearingless technology to revolutionize motor systems of critical importance for energy and sustainability—from industrial compressors and blowers, such as those found in HVAC systems and wastewater aeration equipment, to power grid flywheel energy storage devices and electric turbochargers in fuel-efficient vehicles.
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  •  EVENT    Prof. Melanie Zeilinger of ETH to give keynote at MERL's Virtual Open House
    Date & Time: Thursday, December 9, 2021; 1:00pm - 5:30pm EST
    Location: Virtual Event
    Speaker: Prof. Melanie Zeilinger, ETH
    Research Areas: Applied Physics, Artificial Intelligence, Communications, Computational Sensing, Computer Vision, Control, Data Analytics, Dynamical Systems, Electric Systems, Electronic and Photonic Devices, Machine Learning, Multi-Physical Modeling, Optimization, Robotics, Signal Processing, Speech & Audio, Digital Video, Human-Computer Interaction, Information Security
    Brief
    • MERL is excited to announce the second keynote speaker for our Virtual Open House 2021:
      Prof. Melanie Zeilinger from ETH .

      Our virtual open house will take place on December 9, 2021, 1:00pm - 5:30pm (EST).

      Join us to learn more about who we are, what we do, and discuss our internship and employment opportunities. Prof. Zeilinger's talk is scheduled for 3:15pm - 3:45pm (EST).

      Registration: https://mailchi.mp/merl/merlvoh2021

      Keynote Title: Control Meets Learning - On Performance, Safety and User Interaction

      Abstract: With increasing sensing and communication capabilities, physical systems today are becoming one of the largest generators of data, making learning a central component of autonomous control systems. While this paradigm shift offers tremendous opportunities to address new levels of system complexity, variability and user interaction, it also raises fundamental questions of learning in a closed-loop dynamical control system. In this talk, I will present some of our recent results showing how even safety-critical systems can leverage the potential of data. I will first briefly present concepts for using learning for automatic controller design and for a new safety framework that can equip any learning-based controller with safety guarantees. The second part will then discuss how expert and user information can be utilized to optimize system performance, where I will particularly highlight an approach developed together with MERL for personalizing the motion planning in autonomous driving to the individual driving style of a passenger.
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  •  AWARD    Petros Boufounos Elevated to IEEE Fellow
    Date: January 1, 2022
    Awarded to: Petros T. Boufounos
    MERL Contact: Petros T. Boufounos
    Research Areas: Computational Sensing, Signal Processing
    Brief
    • MERL’s Petros Boufounos has been elevated to IEEE Fellow, effective January 2022, for “contributions to compressed sensing.”

      IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership of the IEEE. It honors members with an outstanding record of technical achievements, contributing importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology, and bringing significant value to society. Each year, following a rigorous evaluation procedure, the IEEE Fellow Committee recommends a select group of recipients for elevation to IEEE Fellow. Less than 0.1% of voting members are selected annually for this member grade elevation.
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  •  EVENT    Prof. Ashok Veeraraghavan of Rice University to give keynote at MERL's Virtual Open House
    Date & Time: Thursday, December 9, 2021; 1:00pm - 5:30pm EST
    Location: Virtual Event
    Speaker: Prof. Ashok Veeraraghavan, Rice University
    Research Areas: Applied Physics, Artificial Intelligence, Communications, Computational Sensing, Computer Vision, Control, Data Analytics, Dynamical Systems, Electric Systems, Electronic and Photonic Devices, Machine Learning, Multi-Physical Modeling, Optimization, Robotics, Signal Processing, Speech & Audio, Digital Video, Human-Computer Interaction, Information Security
    Brief
    • MERL is excited to announce the first keynote speaker for our Virtual Open House 2021:
      Prof. Ashok Veeraraghavan from Rice University.

      Our virtual open house will take place on December 9, 2021, 1:00pm - 5:30pm (EST).

      Join us to learn more about who we are, what we do, and discuss our internship and employment opportunities. Prof. Veeraraghavan's talk is scheduled for 1:15pm - 1:45pm (EST).

      Registration: https://mailchi.mp/merl/merlvoh2021

      Keynote Title: Computational Imaging: Beyond the limits imposed by lenses.

      Abstract: The lens has long been a central element of cameras, since its early use in the mid-nineteenth century by Niepce, Talbot, and Daguerre. The role of the lens, from the Daguerrotype to modern digital cameras, is to refract light to achieve a one-to-one mapping between a point in the scene and a point on the sensor. This effect enables the sensor to compute a particular two-dimensional (2D) integral of the incident 4D light-field. We propose a radical departure from this practice and the many limitations it imposes. In the talk we focus on two inter-related research projects that attempt to go beyond lens-based imaging.

      First, we discuss our lab’s recent efforts to build flat, extremely thin imaging devices by replacing the lens in a conventional camera with an amplitude mask and computational reconstruction algorithms. These lensless cameras, called FlatCams can be less than a millimeter in thickness and enable applications where size, weight, thickness or cost are the driving factors. Second, we discuss high-resolution, long-distance imaging using Fourier Ptychography, where the need for a large aperture aberration corrected lens is replaced by a camera array and associated phase retrieval algorithms resulting again in order of magnitude reductions in size, weight and cost. Finally, I will spend a few minutes discussing how the wholistic computational imaging approach can be used to create ultra-high-resolution wavefront sensors.
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  •  AWARD    Toshiaki Koike-Akino elected Fellow of Optica
    Date: November 18, 2021
    Awarded to: Toshiaki Koike-Akino
    MERL Contact: Toshiaki Koike-Akino
    Research Areas: Communications, Electronic and Photonic Devices, Signal Processing
    Brief
    • Toshiaki Koike-Akino's research activities in communications, error control coding and optical technologies at MERL have earned him election as a Fellow Member of Optica (formerly OSA), the foremost professional association in optics and photonics worldwide. Fellow membership in Optica is limited to no more than ten percent of the membership and is reserved for members who have served with distinction in the advancement of optics and photonics. Koike-Akino is one of 106 members from 24 countries in Optica’s 2022 Fellows Class, elected during the Board of Directors of Optica meeting held on 2nd of November, 2021.

      “Congratulations to the 2022 Optica Fellows,” said 2021 President Connie Chang-Hasnain, University of California, Berkeley, USA. “These members exemplify what it means to be a leader in optics and photonics. Your election, by your peers, confirms the important contributions made within our field. Thank you for your dedication to Optica, and for advancing the science of light.”

      Koike-Akino's elevation to Fellow is specifically “for outstanding and innovative contributions to R&D in enabling technologies for optical communications, including nonlinear equalizers, high-dimensional modulations, and FEC (Forward Error Correction),” said Meredith Smith, Director, Optica Awards and Honors Office. "Again, congratulations on joining this esteemed group of Optica members."

      About Optica

      Optica (formerly OSA) is dedicated to promoting the generation, application, archiving and dissemination of knowledge in optics and photonics worldwide. Founded in 1916, it is the leading organization for scientists, engineers, business professionals, students and others interested in the science of light. Optica’s renowned publications, meetings, online resources and in-person activities fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate scientific, technical and educational achievement.
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  •  AWARD    Mitsubishi Electric US Receives a 2022 CES Innovation Award for Touchless Elevator Control Jointly Developed with MERL
    Date: November 17, 2021
    Awarded to: Elevators and Escalators Division of Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc.
    MERL Contacts: Daniel N. Nikovski; William S. Yerazunis
    Research Areas: Data Analytics, Machine Learning, Signal Processing
    Brief
    • The Elevators and Escalators Division of Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. has been recognized as a 2022 CES® Innovation Awards honoree for its new PureRide™ Touchless Control for elevators, jointly developed with MERL. Sponsored by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the CES Innovation Awards is the largest and most influential technology event in the world. PureRide™ Touchless Control provides a simple, no-touch product that enables users to call an elevator and designate a destination floor by placing a hand or finger over a sensor. MERL initiated the development of PureRide™ in the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic by proposing the use of infra-red sensors for operating elevator call buttons, and participated actively in its rapid implementation and commercialization, resulting in a first customer installation in October of 2020.
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