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Speakers’ bios and abstracts below appear in order of their presentation according to the agenda.

Underneath student names is a link to a very short survey to review their presentation. We strongly encourage Industrial Affiliates members to complete these short surveys to give feedback to the students. Please also find under each person’s name a link to a printable pdf of each person’s profile.

Workshop Presenters
Five-Minute Rapid Fire Presenters
Lab Tours
Poster Presenters


Workshop Presenters

Amit Ashok,

Professor of Optical Sciences

Tuesday, February 20, 2023 | 9:37 a.m.

Title: “Seeing Beyond the Diffraction-limit



Meredith Kupinski,

Assistant Professor of Optical Sciences

Tuesday, February 20, 2023 | 9:58 a.m.

Title: “Towards a Polarization Imaging Pipeline for Computer Vision

Abstract: The fundamental capabilities of polarization imaging are studied by creating an analysis by synthesis pipeline of data capture, representation, and simulation.

Bio: Meredith Kupinski joined the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona (UA) in 2008 and is now an Assistant Professor working in the fields of statistical optics, imaging science, and probabilistic decision theory. She is the recipient of a Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Her research is inclusive of every aspect of the imaging chain, from the physics and statistics of the data acquisition to the analysis and display of the resulting image data. Dr. Kupinski has worked in many applications of scientific imaging, including: the detection and characterization of abnormalities in medical imaging, estimating parameters to model the Earth’s atmosphere in remote sensing, and defect detection or material classification in polarimetry. When the ability of an imaging system to perform these tasks is mathematically specified, the entire imaging chain can be subject to characterization and optimization with respect to task performance. At first inspection this optimization problem is extremely high-dimensional, the forward modeling can be daunting, and the inverse problem is ill-posed. Dr. Kupinski’s current and prior work has focused on formulating tractable task-performance optimizations to design imaging systems, perform post-processing detection/classification tasks, and maximize parameter estimation accuracy.

Micaehla May,

Ph.D. Student

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Wyant College of Optical Sciences
Advisor: Lars Furenlid

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 10:19 a.m.

Title: “Design and Characterization of Adaptive Multi-Pinhole Apertures for SPECT

Abstract: AdaptiSPECT-C is a whole brain imager designed to support drug discovery using Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT). The system is designed with 24, nearly identical modular cameras that contain multiple pinhole aperture assemblies. These aperture assemblies contain a stationary segment and a moving segment that allow the system to adapt during image acquisition. Each camera is capable of dividing imaging time between single and multiple pinholes as necessary during an acquisition period. The aperture assemblies may be adjusted to achieve different resolutions, sensitivities and degrees of multiplexing. This allows the system to optimize image acquisition at different points during uptake pharmacokinetic studies.

Bio: Micaehla is a fourth-year Ph.D. Optical Sciences student in the Image Science track. She received a bachelor’s degree in Optical Science and Engineering with a minor in Math from The University of Arizona. Her research focuses on adaptive collimator designs for brain dedicated Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) systems. Her talk discusses the design and testing of an adaptive SPECT imager. She is excited to share her work and contribute to future of medical imaging systems.

Quinn Jarecki,

Ph.D. Student

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Wyant College of Optical Sciences
Advisor: Meredith Kupinski

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 10:32 a.m.

Title: “Optimizing Near-Infrared Polariscopic Imaging for the Living Human Eye

Abstract: Hardware architectures and image interpretation can be simplified by partial polarimetry. Mueller matrix (MM) polarimetry allows the investigation of partial polarimeter designs for a given scientific task. In this work, we use MM measurements to solve for a fixed polarization illumination and analyzer state that maximize polariscopic image contrast of the human eye. The eye MM image acquisition takes place over 15 seconds which motivates the development of a partial polarimeter that has snapshot operation. For these MMs, there is a family of polariscopic pairs that maximize contrast. We demonstrate our optimization approach by performing both Mueller and polariscopic imaging of an in vivo human eye at 947 nm using a dual-rotating-retarder polarimeter. Polariscopic images are simulated from Mueller measurements of 19 other human subjects to test the robustness of this optimal solution.

Bio: Quinn Jarecki is a 5th year Ph.D. candidate in the Polarization Lab graduating at the end of this semester. He earned his B.S. in Optical Science and Engineering and B.M. in French Horn Performance from the University of Arizona in 2019. His research interests include polarization imaging and polarized light scattering models.

Daniel Soh, 

Associate Professor of Optical Sciences

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 10:56 a.m.

Title: “Squeezed Light and Quantum Optical Machine Learning

Abstract: Squeezed light stands as a fundamental concept in quantum optics, exemplifying how light noise can beat the conventional noise threshold dictated by the uncertainty principle, specifically the shot noise. This phenomenon has played a pivotal role in the evolution of photonic quantum information processing within the realm of recent advancements in optical quantum computing. In my presentation, I will first elucidate the principle of squeezed light. Subsequently, I will explore its diverse applications, ranging from quantum-enhanced imaging to the integration into quantum machine learning systems.

Bio: Prof. Soh obtained two PhD degrees, the first in high power fiber lasers from the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton, UK, and the second in quantum dynamic systems from the Applied Physics Department at Stanford University. With a rich background in both industry and national laboratories, he brings a breadth of knowledge and expertise to the position. His prior experience includes serving as an R&D manager in a Silicon Valley startup and large corporations, and a fourteen-year tenure as a member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories, California. His areas of interest and specialization include quantum sensing and quantum networks, specifically those based on dynamic open quantum systems. He has thirteen granted US patents

Alaa Hamdoh,

Ph.D. Student

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Wyant College of Optical Sciences
Advisor: Stanley Pau

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 11:17 a.m.

Title: “Polarization Properties and Umov Effect of Human Hair

Abstract: This study delves into the polarization properties of various hair colors using several techniques, including polarization ray tracing, full Stokes, and Mueller matrix imaging. Our analysis involved studying hair in both indoor and outdoor settings under varying lighting conditions. Our results demonstrate a strong correlation between hair color and the degree of linear polarization. Specifically, light-colored hair, such as white and blond, exhibits high albedo and low DoLP. In contrast, dark hair, like black and brown hair, has low albedo and high DoLP. Our research also revealed that a single hair strand displays high diattenuation near specular reflections but high depolarization in areas with diffuse reflections. Additionally, we investigated the wavelength dependency of the polarization properties by comparing the Mueller matrix under illumination at 450nm and 589nm. Our investigation demonstrates the impact of hair shade and color on polarization properties and the Umov effect.

Bio: Alaa Hamdoh is in her third year of a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona under the guidance of Professor Stanley Pau. Her research explores her fascination with the phenomena of the polarization of light in nature. Her journey into engineering began with a master’s degree from Tokai University in Japan, where she dove deep into the world of Electrical and Electronics Engineering. This background laid the foundation for her current graduate studies focused on optics and photonics.

Aileen Zhai,

Ph.D. Student

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Wyant College of Optical Sciences
Advisor: Matt Eichenfield

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 11:30 a.m.

Title: “MEMS-Enabled Control of Artificial Atoms in Diamond Microcavities

Abstract: We design and simulate the performance of a diamond microdisk resonator hosting group-IV defects heterogeneously integrated with MEMS-enabled piezo-optomechanical silicon nitride photonics. This architecture allows control over all the degrees of freedom of both the vacancy center and emitted photons. We use multiphysics finite element method (FEM) simulations to calculate the degree of control for all degrees of freedom.

Bio: Aileen is a second-year PhD student in Matt Eichenfield’s group working on integration of defect centers in diamond with photonic integrated circuits as scalable qubits for quantum networking and quantum computing applications.

Rongguang Liang,

Professor of Optical Sciences

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 1:30 p.m.

Title: “Illuminating the Future of Optical Fabrication: Innovations and Challenges in Additive Manufacturing in Glass Optics

Abstract: In this presentation, I will highlight the recent progress our laboratory has made in advancing the frontiers of fabricating glass optics. The talk will begin with an overview of the evolution of 3D printing technologies within the field of optics. We will then delve into the unique properties and advantages of our newly developed materials and printing processes. These innovations demonstrate how we are overcoming traditional limitations and opening new avenues in optical manufacturing. The presentation will feature practical applications of these advancements, focusing on their transformative impact on devices such as microscopes, endoscopes, and hyperspectral imaging systems.

Bio: Dr. Rongguang Liang holds the position of Professor at the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences at The University of Arizona, where he also earned his PhD in 2001. Before his academic career began in 2011, Dr. Liang amassed significant experience in the industry, serving as a Senior Principal Research Scientist at Carestream Health Inc and as a Principal Research Scientist at Eastman Kodak Co. His industrial research primarily revolved around the development of optical technologies for digital consumer and medical imaging applications. Dr. Liang’s present research endeavors are focused on pioneering in the fields of advanced imaging technologies and freeform optics, including their design, fabrication, and testing processes. In recognition of his contributions to the field, Dr. Liang has been honored as a Fellow of both SPIE and OPTICA.

Andrea Nelson,

Ph.D. Student

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Wyant College of Optical Sciences
Advisor: Felipe Guzman

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 1:51 p.m.

Title: “Novel Optomechanical Accelerometers for Low Frequency Inertial Sensing

Abstract: We present novel low frequency optomechanical inertial sensors comprised of monolithic fused silica resonators that are integrated with compact quasi-monolithic heterodyne laser interferometers. These devices are designed to be compact, portable, and highly sensitive accelerometers, with applications from gravimetry and seismometry to inertial sensing, navigation, and beyond. The resonator has a demonstrated mechanical quality factor on the order of 4.77 x 10^5 with an mQ-product near 1200 kg. The quasi-monolithic heterodyne interferometer suppresses common-mode optical path-length noise. The integrated system has demonstrated interferometric displacement sensitivities below the picometer range at 1 Hz. Geophysical effects such as the microseism can be observed between 100 mHz and 1 Hz, and the sensor is limited by signal above 1 mHz corresponding to acceleration signals on the order of 10^-7 m s^-2/√Hz at 1 Hz and 10^-6 m s^-2/√Hz at 1 mHz. These accelerometer units are being expanded upon to create triaxial sensing systems and, eventually, to incorporate full six degree-of-freedom sensing capabilities as well.

Bio: Andrea is a fifth year Ph.D. student at the Wyant College of Optical Sciences. She works on optomechanical sensor design, fabrication, and testing in the Laboratory of Space Systems and Optomechanics (LASSO) under Dr. Felipe.

Alex Lu,

Ph.D. Student

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Wyant College of Optical Sciences
Advisor: Hong Hua

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 2:04 p.m.

Title: “Design and Characterization of a Varifocal Camera System with an Extended Depth of Field and Focal Range

Abstract: We present the design and characterization of a compact and affordable varifocal camera system. With its entrance pupil located in front as the first element for easy access, the camera system offers a working F/# as low as 2, and is capable of focusing across a wide depth range from optical infinity to as close as 4 diopters through an electrically tunable lens, and maintains nearly constant angular magnification through the focus range by placing the focusing element at proximity to the entrance pupil. These unique features can find a myriad of applications such as image-based head-mounted display calibration and extended depth of field (EDOF) imaging.

Bio: I am a second year PhD student at 3DVIS lab.


Rolf Binder,

Professor of Optical Sciences

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 2:17 p.m.

Title: “Excitons and Surface Waves in Two-dimensional-semiconductor Heterostructures

Abstract: Monolayer transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) have become a major research area, in part because some of them can be used as two-dimensional semiconductors. In this talk, we show linear and nonlinear optical effects in plasmonic TMD heterostructures (TMD monolayers on metal surfaces). In the first example, we will discuss the dispersions relation and ultrafast (sub-picosecond) optical nonlinearities of exciton surface-plasmon polaritons (E-SPPs). The second example will be interferometric measurements of E-SPP slow-light behavior induced by a continuous-wave pump beam, with the E-SPP group velocity slowed down approximately 1/1300 relative to the speed of light in vacuum.

Bio: Dr. Rolf Binder is a professor at the University of Arizona, with joint appointments in the Wyant College of Optical Sciences and the Department of Physics. He studied physics at the universities of Dortmund and Stuttgart, Germany. He received his PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) in theoretical physics from the University of Dortmund in 1988 and joined the University of Arizona in 1989. Using a variety of theoretical formalisms, including non-equilibrium Green’s functions, his research focuses mainly on the anRalysis and application of optical properties of solids. Examples of research projects include exciton physics in GaAs-based systems and transition-metal dichalcogenide monolayer, and many-particle effects in polaritonic quantum fluids. Dr. Binder has about 150 peer-reviewed journal publications, and approximately 300 conference proceedings, presentations, book chapters etc.. He is regularly involved in conference organization, such as FOPS, NOEKS, and UDM/UBP.

John McCauley,

Ph.D. Student

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Wyant College of Optical Sciences
Advisor: Jason Jones

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 2:38 p.m.

Title: “Ultraviolet Dual-Comb Spectroscopy

Abstract: Our recent work has extended the broad bandwidth, high resolution technique of dual-comb spectroscopy (DCS) into a new spectral frontier: the ultraviolet. In one experiment, ultraviolet DCS characterizes the density, temperature, and degree of ionization in transient laser-produced plasma events. This talk explores these results as well as prospective applications in mining, observational astronomy, and semiconductor etching.

Bio: John McCauley is a third-year Ph.D. student at the Wyant College of Optical Sciences conducting experimental research in Dr. R. Jason Jones’s group.

Mitul Dey Chowdhury,

Ph.D. Student

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Wyant College of Optical Sciences
Advisor: Dalziel Wilson

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 2:51 p.m.

Title: “Cryogenic Membrane-based Optomechanical Accelerometry

Abstract: Optomechanical accelerometers promise quantum-limited readout, high detection bandwidth, self-calibration, and radiation-pressure stabilization. Nanomechanical membranes are a simple, scalable platform that enables these benefits. Our devices are suitable for cryogenic operation, allowing deployment as probes for fundamental weak forces—an application demanding extreme sensitivity. To this end, we directly measure vibrations in a closed-cycle cryostat, and stabilize the sensor against these vibrations through radiation-pressure feedback and vibration isolation strategies.

Bio: I am a PhD student in the Quantum Optomechanics group led by Dr. Dal Wilson. My research project focuses on optomechanical inertial sensors, and their functionalization as probes for ultralight dark matter. My undergraduate degree is in Physics from Cornell University.



Five-Minute Rapid Fire Presenters

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 from 3:40 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. 

Natzem Lima, PhD Student

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 3:40 p.m.
Title:Finding Cancer with Multimedia Imaging
Advisor: Travis Sawyer

Abstract: Optical imaging biomarkers allow us to probe biochemical and structural properties of tissue in a continous and label free manner. Our multi-modal imaging approach consists of autofluorescence imaging, hyperspectral imaging, polarimetry, and more recently polarized optical coherence tomography. We present the most relevant features from each imaging modality for classification and discuss translatability to endoscopic instrumentation.

Bio: Natzem Lima is a. 5th yeah PhD candidate working in Dr. Travis Sawyer’s group, Biomedical Optics and Optical Measurements Lab.

Emil Rajan Varghese, MS Student

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 3:46 p.m.
Title:Cover Glass Engineering for Improved Throughput of Visible Spatial Light Modulator for Infrared Applications
Advisor: Yuzuru Takashima

Abstract: Mismatch of wavelength to anti-reflective coating prevents reflective MEMS spatial light modulators from being applied for other wavelength. Characterization of VIS AR coated cover glass at 1064 nm shows removing single side of AR coating is effective upon angle of incidence of XX degrees with p-polarization.

Bio: I am a Masters Student working with Spatial and Phase Light Modulators for use in Lidar and Display applications in Dr. Takashima’s Advanced Lidar and Display Lab.

Stefan Forschner, MS Student

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 3:52 p.m.
Title:Synthetic Wavelength Imaging through Multi-mode Fibers
Advisor: Florian Willomitzer

Abstract: This talk introduces a novel method which utilizes synthetic wavelength imaging to reduce scattering artifacts and measure phase fronts emerging from multi-mode fibers. These fibers exhibit single mode behaviors at synthetic wavelengths, enabling the possibility to acquire unspeckled wavefronts and range information.

Bio: Stefan Forschner discovered his passion for optics in community college, where he obtained certificates in Laser Technology and Opto-Electronics through hands-on coursework. This led him to work several roles in the optics industry while obtaining his undergraduate degree in Physics. He is now involved in computational 3D imaging research at Wyant College of Optical Sciences where he is pursuing his master’s degree.

Jiwon Choi, PhD Student

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 3:58 p.m.
Title:Accurate Eye-Tracking from Deflectometric Information using Deep Learning
Advisor: Florian Willomitzer

Abstract: We introduce an accurate eye-tracking method that exploits deflectometric information and uses deep learning to reconstruct the gaze direction. We demonstrate real world experiments with evaluated gaze errors below 1°.

Bio: Jiwon Choi is a second-year PhD student in Optical Sciences at The University of Arizona, under the supervision of Dr. Florian Willomitzer in the Computational 3D Imaging and Measurement Lab (3DIM). Prior to joining the PhD program, she received her M.S. degree in Computer Science from Northwestern University. Her main research areas of interest are in imaging science, including but not limited to computational photography, and artificial intelligence (AI) / machine learning (ML).

Shaam Nobel, PhD Student

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 4:04 p.m.
Title:Optical Refrigeration using Thulium Doped Fluoride Glass
Advisor: Xiushan Zhu

Abstract: Most current cooling methods rely on moving fluid to dissipate heat from the cooled system, which always causes noise due to the mechanical vibrations. This can be a problem for low noise detectors and measurement systems. Optical refrigeration using light to dissipate heat from systems in the form of anti-stokes fluorescence is a very promising cooling method for systems requiring very low noise backgrounds. Compared to ytterbium doped materials that have been widely studied for optical refrigeration, thulium doped materials have a much smaller energy transition and thus are able to provide a better cooling efficiency. In this talk, I will present the simulation and experimental results of optical refrigeration with thulium doped indium fluoride glass.

Bio: Shaam is a 5th year physics PhD student in Professor Xiushan Zhu’s lab focusing on optical refrigeration. As an undergraduate at Northwestern he previously worked on atom interferometry with Professor Kovachy. When he is not working, he likes to spend time outside climbing and canyoneering.

Charles Condos, PhD Student

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 4:10 p.m.
Title:Ultralow Loss Torsion Micropendula for Chip-Scale Gravimetry
Advisor: Dalziel Wilson



Jacob Barker, PhD Student

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 | 4:16 p.m.
Title:Ultrafast Parametric Laser Source in LWIR for Strong-Field Research
Advisor: Pavel Polynkin

Abstract: Ultrashort-pulse lasers (USPLs) enable a wide range of applications in remote sensing, laser wakefield accelerations and directed energy. The underlying physical effects for many of those applications scale favorably with the laser wavelength and can benefit from using optical sources long-wave infrared (LWIR) spectral range. Yet to-date, most of the investigations in strong-field laser-matter interactions utilized high-energy USPLs operating in the relatively narrow wavelength range in the near-infrared. Developments of new nonlinear optical materials and optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA) technology enable efficient conversion of widely available near-infrared laser sources to longer wavelengths favored by applications. Recent updates on construction of our LWIR system will be presented.

Bio: Jacob Barker is a 5th year graduate student. He works in the ultra-intense laser lab at the University of Arizona. When he is not playing with lasers, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter.




Lab Tours

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 from 4:16 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 

Please note, Even-Numbered Rooms are located in the East Wing & Odd-Numbered Rooms are located in the West Wing.

The first floor can only be accessed through the central elevator and stairs (rooms 160D & 229).

The Barton Lab Tour, “Tissue Optics Lab” is Located in the Bioscience Research Lab, BIO5, Rm 160D–a Student will meet tour attendees in the 3rd Floor Lobby at 4:20 p.m. to walk attendees over.

Optical Engineering


Polarization Sensitive OCT

Bioscience Research Lab, BSRL082/323
Please meet a student guide in the 3rd Floor Lobby at 4:20pm to talk over

Natzem Lima


Infrared Systems Group Camera/Drone Demo

Meinel 467

Lindsey Wiley and Patrick Leslie


Takashima Advanced LiDAR and Display Lab

Meinel 665

Gregory Nero


Polarization Imaging

Meinel 767/765

Jeremy Parkinson and Quinn Jarecki


Polarization in Remote Sensing

Meinel 765

Jaclyn John and Clarissa DeLeon

Image Science


Array Cameras

Meinel 106G

Ni Chen


3D Fluorescence Imaging

Meinel 616

Leilei Peng

Optical Physics


UV Dual-Comb Lab

Meinel 578

John McCauley and Dylan Tooley


Optical Regrigeration

Meinel 227

Shaam Nobel


Quantum Optomechanics Lab

Meinel 676

Dalziel Wilson



Quantum NanophoXonics

Meinel 555

Aileen Zhai and Dallin Falsted


Quantum NanophoXonics

Meinel 563

Alex Wendt


CQN testbed node in Meinel

Meinel 518

Miles Ackerman


Photonic Integrated Circuit Testing

Meinel 207

Kyung-Jo Kim



Poster Presenters

Monday, February 20, 2024 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Optical Engineering

Title: Techniques for Measuring Comparable Lab and Field MTFs

Presenter: Jordan Rubis

Advisor: Ronald Driggers

Title: Design, Fabrication, and Testing of a Grayscale Computer-Generated Hologram

Presenter: YiYun Wu 

Advisor: Tom Milster

Title: Stress figuring on ultrafast laser on fused silica

Presenter: Francisco Calixtro  

Title: Physical Damping of Micromirror movement for Infrared and CW lidar and display applications

Presenter: Emil Rajan Varghese

Advisor: Yuzuru Takashima

Title:  MWIR vs LWIR Scene Contrast under Various Conditions

Presenter:  Shane Jordan

Advisor: Ronald Driggers

Title: Performance Comparison of Continuous Wave, Laser Range Gate, Continuous Wave Time-of-Flight, and Laser Range Gate with Range Resolve Active Imaging Systems

Presenter:  Joshua Teague

Advisor: Ronald Driggers

Title: Image-plane speckle contrast and Fλ/d in active imaging systems

Presenter: Joshua Follansbee

Advisor: Ronald Driggers 

Title: The Effects of Focal Plane Parameters on eSWIR Imaging System Performance

Presenter: Angus Hendrick

Advisor: Ronald Driggers

Image Science

Title: Synthetic Wave Imaging through Fiber

Presenter: Stefan Forschner

Advisor: Florian Willomitzer

Title: Integration of Motion Blur into the TTP Metric for Pilotage Performance

Presenter:  Jonathon Wade

Advisor: Ronald Driggers

Optical Physics

Title: Optical Refrigeration using Thulium Doped Fluoride Glass

Presenter: Shaam Nobel

Advisor: Xiushan Zhu


Title: Transverse Displacement Sensing with Optimal Structured Illumination

Presenter: Wenhua He

Advisor: Saikat Guha