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Master’s Thesis Research by Kulkarni Receives “Spotlight on Optics” Recognition

<p><strong>Dan Watson</strong><br /> <a href="http://dwatson@ece.gatech.edu">dwatson@ece.gatech.edu</a></p>

The recent research of Pranav Kulkarni, Yijin Bao, and Tom Gaylord has been selected by Optica Publishing Group (OPG; formerly Optical Society of America) for “Spotlight on Optics” recognition. Centered on the master’s thesis research of Kulkarni in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), the paper “Annular illumination in 2D quantitative phase imaging: a systematic evaluation” [1] has received special recognition in  OPG’s “Applied Optics” publication.

According to OPG, “only two papers are highlighted from [the publishing groups] respective journals each month from among the scores of fine articles published.” The notable paper discusses quantitative phase imaging (QPI), and its significant impact in biomedical research revealing heretofore invisible details of cellular composition and function. 

Early onset detection of numerous diseases including breast cancer and prostate cancer has resulted from the application of QPI. The important technology is having a significant impact in the study of cells in biomedical research, however, a systematic study of QPI resolution has been missing until Kulkarni’s research.

“Quantitative phase imaging (QPI) takes another step forward with this interesting study on the influence of annular illumination,” wrote professor David Paganin of Monash University (Australia) in his critical review of the paper. “Understood in its broadest sense, QPI has made important contributions to optics over many decades, for a variety of radiation and matter-wave fields. This family includes visible light, electrons, x-rays and neutrons.”

ECE Regents Professor Tom Gaylord was Kulkarni’s master’s advisor and Bao’s Ph.D. advisor.  Kulkarni is now at Intel and Bao has a postdoctoral position at Duke University.

[1]       P. P. Kulkarni, Y. Bao, and T. K. Gaylord, "Annular illumination in 2D quantitative phase imaging: a systematic evaluation," Appl. Opt., vol. 61, pp. 3409-3418, Apr. 20, 2022.

Last revised March 18, 2023