Dissertation Defense: Milad Alemohammad
Title: Applications of high-speed optical signal processing in high-dimensional data acquisition
Abstract: Thanks to large bandwidth, and the ability to capture large amount of information in parallel, optical technologies have transformed the way we capture, process, and communicate information. During this talk I will discuss how optical signal processing can be used in conjunction with novel data compression strategies in order to break the decades long bottleneck faced by electronic systems. I will particularly discuss utility of optical signal processing on big data applications ranging from high speed material characterization, to capturing neural signals over large volume at unprecedented depth and speed.
During the first half of this talk I will discuss how we are taking advantage of parallel image acquisition techniques in order to gain a deeper understanding of rapidly evolving combustion events over a broad spectral range. Despite the rich body of scientific research, the volatile nature of the combustion process has presented an obstacle to our understanding of the chemical kinetics involved in flame propagation and evolution. Many combustive reactions occur in the sub mili-second time scale and involve high velocity motion and interaction of fuel reagents. Hyperspectral imaging technologies are an attractive solution which combine high spatial resolution with fine spectral resolution. However, most conventional hyperspectral cameras rely on slow scanning mechanisms and therefore are ill-suited for capturing fast evolving events. The emergence of Compressive Sensing (CS) over the past decade, has opened the doors to acquiring high dimensional signals at high speed. In the first part of this talk I will discuss how novel optical techniques can be combined with CS algorithms to realize Mega Frame hyperspectral imaging platforms for material diagnostics.
The second portion of my talk will focus on high spatio-temporal neural recording applications. Multi-photon microscopy has been a major breakthrough in overcoming optical scattering when imaging individual neurons deep inside the brain of live animals. Despite the impressive image quality and robustness to scattering, point scanning multi-photon microscopes face a fundamental trade-off between the field of view (FOV) and imaging speed. Higher speed, volumetric multi-photon imaging and stimulation technologies have the potential to revolutionize monitoring of neural network activity in vivo. In this part I will discuss our efforts to develop a scalable, volumetric, two-photon neural recording technology that combines rapid, volumetric scanning of a wide illumination field with synchronized high-resolution dynamic spatial patterning within the illumination field. This approach will allow us to both rapidly address large volumes and also achieve high-resolution random access within the sub-regions of the scan. We will leverage the random access capabilities of this hardware to implement compressive and adaptive imaging strategies that maximize the image information acquired for a given time and laser energy.