Bio-inspired Polarization Imagers - Making the invisible visible

Seminar Information

Talk title: Bio-inspired Polarization Imagers - Making the invisible visible

Talk time: Oct. 16th, Sunday, 10:30am

Talk by: Jan Van der Spiegel, Professor, University of Pennsylvania,

Fellow of the IEEE, President of IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society

Place: Building of Microelectronics, Room 401

Hosted by: Prof. Guoxing Wang


Biology provides us with fascinating examples of intelligent, low power, and highly efficient sensory systems.  With the advances in CMOS technology, it has become feasible to build microelectronic systems that mimic some of the key features found in biology.

This talk will focus on CMOS vision sensors for polarization imaging. We will review briefly the concepts of polarization and how it is used by various species in nature to enhance their vision or to aid with navigation and communication.

Inspired by the biology we have explored polarization for a variety of applications to detect features that are hard to see or even invisible to the human eye. More recent results from the literature including the use of polarization imaging for disease detection will be reviewed. Motivated by the potential advantages of polarization imaging, we have developed a CMOS imager that combines the pixel array with micropolarizers and on-chip processing. Details of the design and polarizer optimization will be described.


Jan Van der Spiegel is a Professor of the Electrical and Systems Engineering Department, and the Associate Dean for Professional Programs at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Van der Spiegel received his Masters degree in Electro-Mechanical Engineering and his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Leuven, Belgium. His primary research interests are in mixed-mode VLSI design, CMOS vision sensors for polarization imaging, biologically based image sensors and brain-machine interfaces. He is the author of over 180 journal and conference papers and holds 4 patents.

He is a fellow of the IEEE, the recipient of the IEEE Major Educational Innovation Award, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, the UPS Foundation Distinguished Education Chair and the Bicentennial Class of 1940 Term Chair.

He has served on several IEEE program committees and was the technical program chair of the 2007 International Solid-State Circuit Conference (ISSCC 2007). He is a member of the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society AdCom, he is an Associate Editor of the Transaction of BioCAS, and a member of the Editorial Board of the IEEE Proceedings. He is currently the president of the IEEE SSCS.

[ 2016-10-14 ]