Ge Wang: The SPIE Aden & Marjorie Meinel Technology Achievement Award

The SPIE Aden and Marjorie Meinel Technology Achievement Award recognizes outstanding technical accomplishment in optics, electro-optics, photonic engineering, or imaging
11 January 2022
Ge Wang, right, and student Matthew Getzin discuss an experiment
Ge Wang, right, and student Matthew Getzin discuss an experiment with a physical phantom using an industrial CT emulator donated to their lab by GE Global Research Center.

Ge Wang is the Clark and Crossan Endowed Chair Professor and Director of the Biomedical Imaging Center at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. At the AI-based X-ray Imaging System (AXIS) lab, Wang and his team focus on innovation and translation of x-ray computed tomography, optical molecular tomography, multi-scale and multi-modality imaging, and AI/machine learning for image reconstruction and analysis. Committed to biomedical imaging since his graduate-student days, Wang developed the first mathematical analysis and algorithm for spiral cone-beam computed tomography (CT) in 1991. Over the past decade, his team has been working on machine learning-based imaging methods, publishing the first dictionary learning — a precursor of deep learning — algorithm for low-dose CT reconstruction in 2012 in collaboration with Xian Jiaotong University, Wake Forest University, and General Electric. Since 2016, they have been focusing on deep learning based tomographic imaging: "Right after I attended the AAAS Symposia ‘Technology of Artificial Intelligence' in 2016," Wang told SPIE last year, "I was deeply inspired by the presentations on AlphaGo and natural language processing (NLP) in that AAAS Symposia, and I wrote the first perspective on deep tomographic imaging."

The SPIE Fellow has also been an SPIE Community Champion as well as holding numerous roles as an SPIE conference chair, author, presenter, and conference program committee member for the Computational Imaging and Developments in X-Ray Tomography conferences. In 2019, he was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors for his contributions to spiral cone-beam CT. Last August, Wang was a plenary speaker at SPIE Optics + Photonics, where he discussed x-ray imaging and challenges in the "Wild West of AI."

"Ge's ability to identify key technologies early and take a lead in the field is evidenced by numerous invitations to be a guest editor for IEEE's Transactions on Medical Imaging (T-MI) and other journals," notes University of Otago's Professor and Head of Department of Radiology Anthony Butler. "More specifically, he served as the leading editor for T-MI on cone-beam CT, molecular imaging, compressed sensing, spectral CT, and machine learning for image reconstruction. This is a remarkably broad field of expertise that very few scientists ever achieve. In addition, it is often said that one way to judge the quality of a scientist is to look with whom they collaborate. In this regard, Ge's collaborators are of the highest caliber, including CT leaders from GE, IBM, Stanford, Harvard, and Yale. Finally, the personal attributes that excite me about Ge are his rare talent to make breakthroughs as well as his ability to quickly identify important technologies and grasp the future development. These innate abilities have led him to have an impressive track record, have already had major impacts in his field, and have garnered him widespread peer esteem."

Meet the other 2022 SPIE Society Award winners.

Read more about Ge Wang and the SPIE Aden & Marjorie Meinel Technology Achievement Award.

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