Oct. 20, 2010 - MIT Media Labs

Three Talks at the Media Lab

This meeting will be held at MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA.
The program includes the following speakers.

Molecular Reagents for Precision Optical Control of Neural Computation

We have a very detailed but static picture of the brain - from the anatomy of regions to that of cell types down to subcellular localization of individual proteins. This static picture describe the brain’s potential. What the brain does (process information, drive behavior) however, is conferred, not by the static anatomy of a blueprint, but by the activity of chemically and electrically excitable cells and their dynamic interactions. Fundamentally, this is the essence of neurobiology. It defines our human existence: sensation, learning, memory and coordinated motion.
Optogenetics combines optical and genetic tools to create technologies that allow us to control the dynamic behavior of specific neural circuit elements, to understand their causal contribution to normal and pathological neural computations. We invent reagents that allow for activation and silencing of neural circuits with light, and noninvasive devices using novel physical principles to control neural activity. These reagents and devices empower new therapeutic strategies for neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Daniel Schmidt

Daniel Schmidt is a postdoctoral associate in the Synthetic Neurobiology research group at the MIT Media Lab. His research aims to develop novel optogenetic reagents for precision control of excitable cells in the brain. Daniel recently received his Ph.D. in biophysics from Rockefeller University as a David Baltimore Fellow, where he discovered the origin of cationic gating charges in ion channel voltage sensors. Before, he received a Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds Predoctorol Fellowship in 2006.

Camera Culture

The camera culture group at the Media Lab works on creating tools to better capture and share visual information. This presentation will give an overview of some of our recent projects.
NETRA (Vitor F. Pamplona, Ankit Mohan and Manuel M. Oliveira): NETRA is a simple low cost tool for eye examination. Using a cellphone screen and an inexpensive addon NETRA allows users to determine their prescription in a simple process. This technique is interesting for third world countries where doctors are not easily available, as well as in treating conditions where daily eye exams can provide helpful information.
Bokodes (Ankit Mohan, Grace Woo, Shinsaku Hiura, and Quinn Smithwick): While barcodes encode information in space, in bokodes information is encoded in angle. Therefore bokodes use only a small area but can contain a large amount of information. bokodes are easily visible with a regular camera, but look like a plain LED to the human eye.
Shield Fields (Douglas Lanman, Amit Agrawal, and Gabriel Taubin): Using an array of illumination sources and a pinhole mask, we can capture a three dimensional image of an object with a regular camera in a single shot.
Bidi Screen (Matthew Hirsch, Douglas Lanman, and Henry Holtzman): The BiDi Screen is an example of a new type of I/O device that possesses the ability to both capture images and display them. This thin, bidirectional screen extends the latest trend in LCD devices, which has seen the incorporation of photo-diodes into every display pixel. Using a novel optical masking technique developed at the Media Lab, the BiDi Screen can capture lightfield-like quantities, unlocking a wide array of applications from 3-D gesture interaction with CE devices, to seamless video communication.    http://www.bidiscreen.com

Andreas Velten and Ramesh Raskar

Ramesh Raskar joined the Media Lab from Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories in 2008 as head of the Lab’s Camera Culture research group. His research interests span the fields of computational photography, inverse problems in imaging and human-computer interaction. In 2004, Raskar received the TR100 Award from Technology Review, which recognizes top young innovators under the age of 35, and in 2003, the Global Indus Technovator Award, instituted at MIT to recognize the top 20 Indian technology innovators worldwide. In 2009, he was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship. He holds 40 US patents and has received four Mitsubishi Electric Invention Awards. He is currently co-authoring a book on Computational Photography.

Andreas Velten is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Camera Culture group. He obtained his PhD in Physics from the group of Jean-Claude Diels at the University of New Mexico and joined the Media Lab in February 2010. His research focuses on the creation, application and measurement of short laser pulses and on imaging applications of lasers. He has published several peer reviewed papers and his PhD Dissertation titled "Optical Parametric Oscillators for Intracavity Phase Interferometry" has recently come out as a Book.

Moving Holographic TV from the Lab to Your Living Room

Holographic television -- the ultimate 3-D display technology -- has been researched for more than 20 years, but remains largely a lab curiosity. What needs to be done in order to turn it into affordable, widespread consumer electronics? In this talk I'll examine what the Media Lab and others are doing to make that happen, and will connect this with the current push for stereoscopic 3-D cinema and television.

V. Michael Bove, Jr

V. Michael Bove, Jr. holds an S.B.E.E., an S.M. in Visual Studies, and a Ph.D. in Media Technology, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is currently head of the Object-Based Media Group at the Media Laboratory, co-directs the Center for Future Storytelling, and directs the consumer electronics program CELab. He is the author or co-author of over 60 journal or conference papers on digital television systems, video processing hardware/software design, multimedia, scene modeling, visual display technologies, and optics. He holds patents on inventions relating to video recording, hardcopy, interactive television, and medical imaging, and has been a member of several professional and government committees. He is co-author with the late Stephen A. Benton of the book Holographic Imaging (Wiley, 2008). He is on the Board of Editors of the Journal of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, and associate editor of Optical Engineering. He served as general chair of the 2006 IEEE Consumer Communications and Networking Conference (CCNC'06), and is a member of Board of Governors of the National Academy of Media Arts and Sciences. Bove is a fellow of the SPIE and of the Institute for Innovation, Creativity, and Capital. He was a founder of and technical advisor to WatchPoint Media, Inc. (now a part of Tandberg Television) and is technical advisor to One Laptop Per Child (creators of the XO laptop for children in developing countries).


DINNER reservations are required by 6 PM, October 17, 2010, the Sunday of the meeting. MEETING ONLY reservations are required by noon, October 19, 2010, the Tuesday of the meeting.

Please make reservations online. Reservations may also be left on the answering machine at 617.584.0266. We no longer have an email address for reservations due to SPAM. When making reservation requests, please provide the following information:

  • DINNER AND MEETING or meeting only
  • Name(s) and membership status
  • Daytime phone number where you can be reached (in case of change or cancellation)


Silverman Skyline (6th Floor)
MIT Media Laboratory
MIT Building E14 [map]
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139


Visitors to MIT can park after 5:00 pm for free in several MIT parking lots, as well as on local streets.  The Media Lab is located at 20 Ames St, Cambridge (MIT Building E15).  The best parking lots for this location are the Hayward St. lot (just off Main St. in Kendall Square between Amherst and Main Sts.) or the Tang Center lot on Amherst St (near Wadsworth St and MIT Sloan School).  The Media Lab is reached by walking west on Amherst and then turning right on Ames.  Memorial Drive also has plenty of on-street spaces which open up after work hours.  There are also parking garages for pay in Kendall Square.  Further details on parking can be found at MIT Parking .

Networking—5:30 PM, Dinner—6:30, Meeting—7:20 PM.


Dinner will include --- and coffee, tea, or milk.

Vegetarian option available on request

Dinner Prices:

  Register on/before
DINNER Reservation Date
Late Reservation or
at the door
NES/OSA Members and their guests $25.00 each $30.00
Students $15.00 $15.00
Non-members $30.00 (See NOTE Below) $35.00





NOTE: The NES/OSA has not changed dinner prices in several years but has been facing higher costs. We will maintain the current dinner prices for those reserving dinner on the requested date but still try to accommodate late reservations.

General Information on NES/OSA Meetings

Cancellations and No-shows:

If the meeting must be canceled for any reason, we will try to call you at the phone number you leave with your reservation. Official notice of cancellation will be on our answering machine.

We have to pay for the dinners reserved as of the Tuesday before the meeting, so no-shows eat into our cash reserve. If you will not be able to attend, please let us know as early as possible. Otherwise, no-shows will be billed.

Membership Rates:

Regular members $15.00
Student members free




NOTE: The extra $5.00 of the non-member dinner fee can be used toward membership dues if the nonmember joins and pays dues for the current year at the meeting.