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Invited Speakers



Steven Chu:
Steven Chu is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology in the Medical School at Stanford University. He has published 260 papers in atomic and polymer physics, biophysics, biology, biomedicine, batteries, and holds 10 patents. Dr. Chu was the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy from January 2009 until the end of April 2013. As the first scientist to hold a Cabinet position and the longest serving Energy Secretary, he recruited outstanding scientists and engineers into the Department of Energy. He began several initiatives including ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy), the Energy Innovation Hubs, the U.S. – China Clean Energy Research Centers (CERC), and was tasked by President Obama to assist BP in stopping the Deepwater Horizon oil leak. Prior to his cabinet post, he was director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Professor of Physics and Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley. Previously he was the Theodore and Francis Geballe Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University, and head of the Quantum Electronics Research Department at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Dr. Chu has numerous awards including the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for the laser cooling and atom trapping, shared with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William Phillips. He holds 26 honorary degrees and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Academia Sinica, and is a foreign member of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Korean Academy of Sciences and Technology.

Audrey Bowden:
Audrey K Bowden, PhD received her BSE in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University, her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and completed her postdoctoral training in Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. She received numerous awards as a graduate student, including an NSF Graduate Fellowship and the NSBE Golden Torch Award for Graduate Student of the Year, and her dissertation focused on development of phase-sensitive techniques for imaging contractility in cardiomyocytes. During her career, Dr. Bowden spent a short time as an International Fellow at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore and as a Legislative Assistant in the United States Senate through the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellows Program sponsored by the OSA and SPIE. She is a member of the OSA and SPIE and is the recipient of numerous faculty awards, including the Air Force Young Investigator Award, the NSF Career Award and the Hellman Faculty Scholars Award. Her primary research interest is in the use of biophotonics for applications in medicine.


Brian Lantz:
Dr. Lantz began working on the Laser Interferometer Gravitationalwave Observatory (LIGO) project in 1990 as an undergraduate in Rai Weiss’s lab at MIT. He worked on a variety of LIGO research projects there, and he received his Ph.D. studying shot noise in high-power interferometers, work which held the record for best shot-noise limited phase-sensitivity until the LIGO detectors came on line. Dr. Lantz then joined the Byer/ Fejer group and moved to Stanford to run the Engineering Test Facility to develop advanced concepts for LIGO. There, he has lead the research for the Advanced LIGO Seismic Isolation system with Prof. Dan DeBra. Dr. Lantz is now a Senior Research Scientist at Stanford, and he is the lead scientist for the seismic isolation systems which support the optics of Advanced LIGO. He is the chair of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration’s Working Group doing research on seismic isolation systems for the next generation of Gravitational Wave detectors, a role which involves precision engineering, servo control, precision measurements, interferometer operation and making big-physics experiments work.


Benjamin Lev:
Benjamin Lev is an Associate Professor in Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University. His research focuses on exploring the organizing principles of quantum matter through the development of techniques at the interface of ultracold atomic physics, quantum optics, and condensed matter physics. Projects include: 1) the study of quantum gases of the most magnetic element, dysprosium, in the presence of synthetic gauge fields; 2) development and use of the novel SQCRAMscope, a Scanning Quantum CRyogentic Atom Microscope for imaging transport in strongly correlated and topological materials; and 3) multimode cavity QED with matter waves to explore the physics associated with quantum liquid crystals, spin glasses and computation via dissipative neuromorphic quantum phase transitions. Benjamin has received a Packard Fellowship and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) as well as NSF CAREER, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, DARPA, Office of Navy Research Young Investigator Program, and Terman awards.


Soichi Wakatsuki:
Soichi Wakatsuki is a Professor of Photon Science at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory where he recently initiated the Biociences Division, and Professor of Structural Biology, Stanford School of Medicine. He received his B.S and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from University of Tokyo, and his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Stanford University in 1991. After postdoctoral studies on time-resolved x-ray crystallography of enzyme reactions in Oxford (1990 to 1994), he moved to Grenoble, France in 1994 to work at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) where he led Joint Structural Biology Group to develop high-brilliance x-ray crystallography beamlines and instruments, as well as several structural biology projects on protein transport. In 2000, Soichi moved back to Japan to start a new Structural Biology Research Center at KEK (High Energy Accelerator Research Organization), Tsukuba, Japan, and later served as Director of Photon Factory (national synchrotron radiation facility) from 2006 to 2012. There he further developed x-ray beamlines and a large scale protein crystallization system, led initiatives to start three national projects on structural proteomics. Fascinated by new research opportunities in integrative bioimaging at Stanford and the world’s first hard x-ray free electron laser (XFEL) at SLAC, Soichi returned to Stanford in 2013. Soichi’s research interests include structural biology of post-translational modification and vesicle transport, structural biology of polyubiquitin recognition, synchrotron radiation and XFEL instrumentation, protein crystallography and small angle X-ray scattering, integrative multi-scale bioimaging.

Gordon Wetzstein:
Gordon Wetzstein is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and, by courtesy, of Computer Science at Stanford University. He is the leader of the Stanford Computational Imaging Group, an interdisciplinary research group focused on advancing imaging, microscopy, and display systems. At the intersection of computer graphics, machine vision, optics, scientific computing, and perception, Prof. Wetzstein's research has a wide range of applications in next-generation consumer electronics, scientific imaging, human-computer interaction, remote sensing, and many other areas. Prior to joining Stanford in 2014, Prof. Wetzstein was a Research Scientist in the Camera Culture Group at the MIT Media Lab. He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia in 2011 and graduated with Honors from the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany before that. His doctoral dissertation focuses on computational light modulation for image acquisition and display and won the Alain Fournier Ph.D. Dissertation Annual Award. He organized the IEEE 2012 and 2013 International Workshops on Computational Cameras and Displays, founded as a forum for sharing computational display design instructions with the DIY community, and presented a number of courses on Computational Displays and Computational Photography at ACM SIGGRAPH. Gordon is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award, he won best paper awards at the International Conference on Computational Photography (ICCP) in 2011 and 2014 as well as a Laval Virtual Award in 2005.