McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
2145 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-3109
Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (1975)
M.S. Electrical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (1972)
B.S. Electrical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (1971)
Since 1972, Prof. Taflove has developed fundamental theoretical approaches, algorithms, and applications of finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) computational solutions of the fundamental Maxwell's equations of classical electrodynamics. He coined the descriptors "finite difference time domain" and "FDTD" in a 1980 IEEE paper, and in 1990 was the first person to be named an IEEE Fellow in the FDTD technical area. In 2002, he was named by the Institute of Scientific Information to its original listing of the most-cited researchers worldwide. According to Google Scholar, to date his publications have received more than 21,800 citations, and the exact phrase "finite difference time domain" has appeared in over 50,000 articles. The total citations of the three editions of his FDTD book, Computational Electrodynamics: The Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method, rank 7th on the all-time list of the most-cited books in physics, and among the top 10 in engineering. In May 2010, Nature Milestones: Photons recognized Prof. Taflove as one of the two principal pioneers of numerical methods for solving Maxwell's equations.
Currently, continuing a collaboration that began in 2003, Prof. Taflove is working with Prof. Vadim Backman of Northwestern's Biomedical Engineering Department. Their research is aimed at the minimally invasive detection of early-stage cancers of the colon, pancreas, and lung. The techniques being pursued are based upon spectral and/or angular analysis of light that is backscattered from histologically normal tissue located away from a neoplastic lesion in what has been termed the field effect. This may lead to a new paradigm in cancer screening where, for example, lung cancer could be reliably detected by analyzing a few cells brushed from the interior surface of a person's cheek. On May 5, 2008, a large collaboration headed by Prof. Backman (with Prof. Taflove as a co-investigator) was awarded a five-year, $7.5-million grant from the National Cancer Institute to pursue this novel biophotonics technology to develop a noninvasive test for population-wide colon cancer screening.
A. Taflove, A. Oskooi, and S. G. Johnson, editors, Advances in FDTD Computational Electrodynamics: Photonics and Nanotechnology. Norwood, MA: Artech House, 2013.
A. Taflove and S. C. Hagness, Computational Electrodynamics: The Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method, 3rd edition. Norwood, MA: Artech House, 2005.
S. H. Tseng, A. Taflove, D. Maitland, and V. Backman, “Pseudospectral time domain simulations of multiple light scattering in three-dimensional macroscopic random media,” Radio Science, vol. 41, RS4009, doi:10.1029/ 2005RS003408, July 2006.
J. H. Greene and A. Taflove, “General vector auxiliary differential equation finite-difference time-domain method for nonlinear optics,” Optics Express, vol. 14, pp. 8305-8310, Sept. 1, 2006.
J. J. Simpson and A. Taflove, “A review of progress in FDTD Maxwell’s equations modeling of impulsive sub-ionospheric propagation below 300 kHz,” IEEE Trans. Antennas and Propagation, vol. 55, pp. 1582-1590, June 2007.
H. Subramanian, P. Pradhan, Y. Liu, I. R. Capoglu, X. Li, J. D. Rogers, A. Heifetz, D. Kunte, H. K. Roy, A. Taflove, and V. Backman, “Optical methodology for detecting histologically unapparent nanoscale consequences of genetic alterations in biological cells,” Proc. National Academy of Sciences USA, vol. 105, no. 51, pp. 20124-20129, Dec. 23, 2008.
A. Heifetz, S.-C. Kong, A. V. Sahakian, A. Taflove, and V. Backman, “Photonic nanojets,” J. Computational & Theoretical Nanoscience, vol. 6, pp. 1979-1992, Sept. 2009.
S. Yang, A. Taflove, and V. Backman, “Experimental confirmation at visible light wavelengths of the backscattering enhancement phenomenon of the photonic nanojet,” Optics Express, vol. 19, pp. 7084-7093, April 11, 2011.
S. D. Strasser, G. Shekhawat, J. D. Rogers, V. P. Dravid, A. Taflove, and V. Backman, "Near-field penetrating optical microscopy: A live cell nanoscale refractive index measurement technique for quantification of internal macromolecular density," Optics Letters , vol. 37, pp. 506-508, Feb. 15, 2012.