Dr Ayush Bhandari receives IEEE 2020 Best PhD Dissertation Award


Ayush  Bhandari

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Signal Processing Society has announced the winners of this year’s prestigious awards.

The Signal Processing Society’s Best Dissertation Award is a recognition of the impact of PhD research on the scientific discipline and practice in the field of Signal Processing, as well as the quality, rigour and novelty of the work.

Read Dr Ayush Bhandari’s dissertation: Sampling Time-Resolved Phenomena (MIT 2018)
“My doctoral work harnesses a collaboration between cost-effective hardware and mathematical algorithms, so that popularly held limits in digital sensing and imaging can be broken. My ultimate research goal is to catalyse superhuman vision, inference and perception.” Dr Ayush Bhandari

Ayush Bhandari joined us as a member of academic staff in 2018, directly after receiving his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is developing next generation digital sensing and imaging technologies that go beyond conventional barriers, with applications in scientific, medical and bio-imaging, digital communications and remote sensing. 

Impact and vision 

His dissertation features applications including low-cost bio imaging, computational cameras that operate at speed of light, reflection-free imaging and Unlimited Sensing —a digital sensing method for high-dynamic-range data acquisition. The research has led to inter-disciplinary publications in the areas of optics, computer vision, signal processing and harmonic analysis. His co-inventions have resulted in over 10 US Patents and his work on the emerging field of computational imaging is being shaped into an upcoming, MIT Press based, co-authored textbook. 

Ayush's thesis advisor at MIT was Professor Ramesh Raskar, pioneer of femto-photography — an ultra-fast imaging system. Summarising the work, Professor Raskar said: “Ayush Bhandari beautifully merged the theoretical and practical aspects of imaging and inverse problems. His research in Time-resolved Imaging and Unlimited Sensing are likely to become fundamental building blocks of new forms of computational sensing and imaging.” 

Early recognition 

At an early career stage, Ayush’s fundamental and applied contributions have already been recognised in the scientific community.  

In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship (£1.2M research funding) and the August-Wilhelm Scheer Professorship at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Earlier in 2020, he received the Best Paper Award for conceptualising one-bit 3D cameras at the IEEE International Conference on Computational Photography. 

Laurent Daudet Professor of Physics, Paris Diderot University and CTO LightOn.io, said: “What strikes me as most outstanding in Bhandari’s work is its breadth, with significant contributions all the way from deep mathematical problems to real-life engineering applications.”

Ayush’s collaborator and thesis committee member Felix Krahmer, Professor of Mathematics at the Technical University of Münich describes Ayush as "one of the few researchers worldwide, and the only one that I know at his career stage, who offers a unified view at the imaging pipeline. He has made significant advances at all stages from enhancing circuit design as part of the hardware implementation all the way to developing novel mathematical techniques to achieve accurate and efficient recovery." 

"It's a great honour to receive this award. My doctoral research was purely driven by curiosity at the intersection of my hobbies, namely, photography and designing mathematical algorithms. I am fortunate to have been advised by Ramesh Raskar and my thesis committee members, Laurent Demanet, Laurent Daudet, and Felix Krahmer. These inspiring individuals and my collaborators have instilled in me the courage to think originally and most importantly, beyond the realm of scientific silos. Original ideas, like expeditions, come with their own risks. In that sense, this recognition is an encouraging signpost for my scientific explorations with which I hope to contribute to the field and the society.” —Dr Ayush Bhandari

We send our congratulations to Ayush for this achievement. The award will be formally recognised at the IEEE SPS’s next flagship event, the 2021 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP) in Toronto, Canada. 


Jane Horrell

Jane Horrell
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6263
Email: j.horrell@imperial.ac.uk

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