Faculty Directory
Oliver S. Cossairt

Associate Professor of Computer Science

Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering


2233 Tech Drive
Mudd Room 3511
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-491-0895Email Oliver Cossairt


Oliver Cossairt Homepage

Computational Photography Lab


Computer Science

Electrical and Computer Engineering


Master of Science in Robotics Program

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Ph.D. Computer Science, Columbia University, New York City, NY

M.S. Media Arts and Sciences, M.I.T., Cambridge, MA

B.S. Physics, Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA

Research Interests

My research is in the emerging field of computational imaging, which combines expertise in optics, image processing, computer vision, and computer graphics. I design, model and build systems that combine sensors, displays, and novel optical elements. These cameras have applications in medical, astronomical, and scientific imaging. I am building a new breed of cameras with increased functionality and performance. I believe that my research will impact the way cameras are built in coming decades, from low-end consumer cameras to high-end scientific instruments.

I am fascinated with the idea that cameras can be very finely tuned towards specific purposes, and that doing so can be an excellent way to capture specific visual information. We can place the camera at the center of a larger visual processing system whose purpose is to analyze and interpret visual information. As such, the camera cannot be designed without keeping the entire system in mind.

I am particularly interested in developing imaging and display systems that combine a creative use of optical devices and sensor technology to enable new functionality in cameras and displays. My research is focused in the following areas: 

  • Computational Imaging for leveraging novel optical designs and image processing together to enable new capabilities in conventional cameras, such as extended depth-of-field, digital refocusing, super-resolution, and measuring high dimensional appearance.
  • Computer Vision for measuring depth or spectral characteristics that inform a higher-level understanding about a scene, such as geometry or material properties.
  • Computational Displays for displaying images with an unprecedented sense of realism by allowing viewers to observe the appearance of objects in a natural and intuitive manner.

Selected Publications

    • X. Huang, E. Uffelman, O. Cossairt, M. Walton and A. K. Katsaggelos, "Computational Imaging for Cultural Heritage: Recent developments in spectral imaging, 3-D surface measurement, image relighting, and X-ray mapping," in IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 130-138, Sept. 2016.
    • J. Holloway, M.S. Asif, M.K. Sharma, N. Matsuda, R. Horstmeyer, O. Cossairt, and A. Veeraraghavan, “Toward Long Distance, Sub-diffraction Imaging Using Coherent Camera Arrays,” IEEE Transactions on Computational Imaging, 2016.
    • K. He, M. Kumar, O. Cossairt, “High Dynamic Range Coherent Imaging Using Compressed Sensing,” Optics Express, November 2015.
    • R. Koller, L. Schmid, N. Matsuda, T. Niederberger, L. Spinoulas, O. Cossairt, G. Schuster, and A. K. Katsaggelos, "High Spatio-Temporal Resolution Video with Compressed Sensing," Optics Express 23, 15992-16007 (2015). 
    • M. Ganio, J. Salvant, J. Williams, L. Lee, O. Cossairt, & M. Walton, “Investigating the use of Egyptian blue in Roman Egyptian portraits and panels from Tebtunis, Egypt.” Applied Physics A, 1-9, 2015.
    • Kaushik Mitra, Ashok Veeraraghavan, and Oliver Cossairt, “Performance Analysis of Computational Imaging Systems and its Practical Implications”, IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (PAMI), May 2013.
    • Oliver Cossairt, Mohit Gupta, and Shree K. Nayar, “When Does Computational Imaging Improve Performance?”, IEEE transactions on Image Processing (TIP), May 2012.
    • Oliver Cossairt, Daniel Miau, and Shree K. Nayar, “A Scaling Law for Computational Imaging”, Journal of the Optical Sciences of America (JOSA), Sep 2011.
    • Oliver Cossairt, Changyin Zhou, and Shree K. Nayar, “Diffusion Coded Photography for Extended Depth of Field”, ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proc. of SIGGRAPH), Aug 2010.
    • Oliver Cossairt, Shree K. Nayar, Ravi Ramamoorthi, “Light Field Transfer: Global Illumination between Real and Synthetic Objects”, ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proc. of SIGGRAPH), Aug 2008.
    • Oliver Cossairt, Joshua Napoli, Rick Dorval, Sam Hill, and Gregg Favalora, “Spatial Occlusion-capable Multiview Volumetric Three-Dimensional Display”, Applied Optics, Mar 2008.
    • C.K. Yeh, N. Matsuda, X. Huang, F. Li, M. Walton and O. Cossairt, "A Streamlined Photometric Stereo Framework for Cultural Heritage," ECCV Workshop on Computer Vision for Art Analysis, October 2016.
    • O. Cossairt, K. He, R. Shang, N. Matsuda, M.Sharma, X. Huang, A. Katsaggelos, L. Spinoulas and S. Yoo, “Compressive Reconstruction for 3D Incoherent Holographic Microscopy,”, IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP), invited, 2016.
    • Q. Dai, E. Pouyet, O. Cossairt, M. Walton, A. Katsaggelos, “X-Ray Fluorescence Image Super-Resolution Using Dictionary Learning,” IEEE Image and Video and Multimedia Signal Processing Workshop (IVMSP), invited, 2016.
    • N. Rohani, J. Salvant, S. Bahaadini, O. Cossairt, M. Walton, J. William, A. Katsaggelos, “Automatic Pigment Identification on Roman Egyptian Paintings using Sparse Modeling of Hyperspectral Images,” European Signal Processing Conference (EUSIPCO), 2016.
    • Nathan Matsuda, Oliver Cossairt, and Mohit Gupta, “MC3D: Motion Contrast 3D Scanning,” IEEE International Conference on Computational Photography (ICCP), April 2015.
    • L. Spinoulas, O. Cossairt and A. K. Katsaggelos, "Sampling Optimization for On-Chip Compressive Video," IEEE Conference on Image Processing (ICIP), invited, 2015.
    • L. Spinoulas, K. He, O. Cossairt and A. K. Katsaggelos, "Video Compressive Sensing With On-Chip Programmable Subsampling," Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Workshops (CCD), pp. 49-57, 2015.
    • O. Cossairt, X. Huang, N. Matsuda, J. Tumblin, A. Katsaggelos, D. Kronkite, G. Bearman, H. Stratis, M. Broadway, M. Walton, “Surface Shape Studies of the Art of Paul Gauguin”, Digital Heritage Granada Conference 2015.
    • X. Huang, M. Walton, G. Bearman and O. Cossairt, "Near Light Correction for Image Relighting and 3D Shape Recovery," Digital Heritage Granada Conference 2015.
    • X. Huang, O. Cossairt, “Dictionary Learning based Color Demosaicing for Plenoptic Cameras,” IEEE International Workshop on Computational Cameras and Displays (CCD), Jun 2014.
    • Honorable Mention: O. Cossairt, N. Matsuda, M. Gupta, "Digital Refocusing with Incoherent Holography", International Conference on Computational Photography (ICCP), May 2014.
    • K. Mitra, O. Cossairt, A. Veeraraghavan, "Can we beat Hadamard? Data-driven design and Analysis of Computational Imaging," International Conference on Computational Photography (ICCP), May 2014.
    • Daniel Miau, Oliver Cossairt and Shree K. Nayar, “Focal Sweep Videography with Deformable Lenses”, IEEE International Conference on Computational Photography (ICCP), April 2013.
    • Oliver Cossairt, Daniel Miau, and Shree K. Nayar, “Gigapixel Computational Imaging”, IEEE International Conference on Computational Photography (ICCP), Mar 2011.
    • Changyin Zhou, Oliver Cossairt, and Shree K. Nayar, “Depth from Diffusion”, IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), Jun 2010.