The Institute of Optics


James R. Fienup

Robert E. Hopkins Professor of Optics
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor in the Center for Visual Science
Senior Scientist at LLE

PhD, Stanford University

410 Wilmot Building
(585) 275-8009


Short Biography

James R. Fienup received an AB in physics and mathematics from Holy Cross College (Worcester, MA), and MS and PhD (1975) degrees in applied physics from Stanford University, where he was a National Science Foundation graduate fellow. He performed research for 27 years at the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan and Veridian Systems, where he was a senior scientist. He joined the faculty at the University of Rochester in 2002 as the Robert E. Hopkins Professor of Optics. Professor Fienup is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and of the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), and is a senior member of IEEE. He was awarded the Rudolf Kingslake Medal and Prize for 1979 by the SPIE, the International Prize in Optics for 1983 by the International Commission for Optics, and the Emmett N. Leith Medal by the Optical Society of America for 2013. He was a distinguished visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2009. He was editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Optical Society of America A, 1997-2003. He previously served as division editor of Applied Optics - Information Processing, and associate editor of Optics Letters.

Research Interests

Image Reconstruction; Wave Front Sensing

Research Overview

Professor Fienup’s research interests center around imaging science. His work includes unconventional imaging, phase retrieval, wavefront sensing, and image reconstruction and restoration. These techniques are applied to passive and active optical imaging systems, synthetic-aperture radar, and biomedical imaging modalities. His past work has also included diffractive optics and image quality assessment. He has over 220 publications and 5 patents.