Synopsys, Inc., a specialist in providing software, IP and services used in chips and electronic systems, announced that four students, Xinda Hu of the University of Arizona and Anthony Vella, Aaron Bauer and Nicolas Brown, all of the University of Rochester, are the winners of the 2014 Robert S. Hilbert Memorial Optical Design Competition. The competition was established in 2000 by Optical Research Associates (ORA), now Synopsys’ Optical Solutions Group, and was named in honour of ORA’s former president and chief executive officer, Robert S. Hilbert. The annual competition is open to students in North America working toward a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD degree who utilise Synopsys’ Code V or LightTools software to perform optical design and engineering research. The awards are granted to students who have submitted papers that demonstrate optical design excellence.
Xinda Hu of the University of Arizona was recognised for his work using Code V and LightTools as documented in his paper titled “Design of an Optical See-Through Multi-Focal-Plane Head-Mounted Display Using Freeform Optics.” Hu incorporated a freeform prism eyepiece and matching compensator in a 3D see-through head-mounted display to optimise depth perception and performance across a wide field of view.
Anthony Vella of the University of Rochester was recognised for his work using Code V to design a zoom lens for high-dynamic range (HDR) photography. Vella’s paper, entitled “Retrofocus 2.5x Zoom Lens for Single-Shot, Single-Lens HDR Photography and Video,” describes a camera that records the same image at different exposures on three sensors simultaneously. This makes it possible to directly record HDR video images with a high level of detail in both bright and dark areas of a scene, without requiring post-processing software to create a composite image.
Aaron Bauer of the University of Rochester was recognised for his project using Code V titled “Visual Space Assessment of Two All-Reflective, Freeform Optical See-Through Head-Worn Displays.” Bauer’s head-worn display (HWD) designs in Code V incorporate freeform optical surfaces to facilitate smaller system sizes and minimise optical aberrations. This allows the HWDs to be lightweight and compact, and to provide high-quality imaging performance.
Nicolas Brown of the University of Rochester was recognised for his project using Code V entitled “Pushing the Envelope of Mobile Phone Imaging with Curved Sensors.” Brown’s design explores the use of novel curved sensors in a cell phone camera to dramatically improve the system’s imaging performance in low-light conditions, while at the same time meeting stringent packaging constraints.