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Maxwell's Equations for Machine Vision and Machine Learning



3:30pm - 4:30pm EST

Zaleski Auditorium (MacLean ESC, Rm. B001)

Optional Zoom link
Meeting ID: 990 7706 0938
Passcode: 475193

A materials science and engineering / electrical engineering joint seminar:

Maxwell's equations, which describe the flow of electromagnetic wave, were discovered 150 years ago. Today, they are used everywhere in our information age: WiFi antennas, smart phone cameras, as well as internet backbone. As we embrace the age of machine intelligence, Maxwell’s equations could find new life in smart things. We will show a few examples of how Maxwell’s equations could empower future machines.

First, we discuss how Maxwell's equations is used to accelerate machine learning to allow light to perform artificial intelligence computing inside a nanostructured material with unprecedented speed and energy efficiency. In the second part, we discuss a new class of imaging sensors that are functionalized to perceive scenes more intelligently. They exploit the unique effects of Maxwell's equations at the nanoscale to measure high-resolution phase front and spectra. Such information is traditionally measured by tabletop setups. Miniaturizing such capability onto a chip allows future machines to make mission-critical decision in many industrial and bio-medical applications. Lastly, we show a fun experiment that combines electromagnetics and reinforcement learning to realize Magneto's superpower as shown in the X-men movies.

About the Speaker(s)

Zongfu Yu
Professor of ECE, U Wisconsin - Madison

Zongfu Yu

Zongfu Yu is a Jack St. Clair Kilby Associate Professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In the field of optics, he has authored and co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed papers with a total citation over 20,000 and an h-index of 63. He is named as a Global Highly Cited Researcher in the past five years. Outside his research in optics, Zongfu has a passion in computing and sustainability. He co-founded Flexcompute, Inc. that aims to transform the engineering computing using new computing chips and AI. He also co-founded Sunny Water, Inc. to develop sustainable water resources that generate positive climate impacts. He is a Fellow of OSA (the Optical Society), a recipient of DARPA Young Faculty Award, and NSF CAREER Award. He received his PhD in applied physics and MS in management science and engineering, both from Stanford University, and a BS degree in physics from the University of Science and Technology of China.


For more information, contact Jifeng Liu at