Photo of Patrick Gill

Patrick Gill

Title: Senior Research Scientist
Research Areas: Computational Sensing and Imaging

My very first invention didn’t work. I was four years old and I invented something that would let us go faster than the speed of light. Ever since then I have been thinking of new ways that we could do things. I still apply that curiosity to my work at Rambus today. I’m very proud of our research efforts and inventions in imaging.

If we think of a camera as a sensor that allows us to create a picture of a distant object, then the device must record how much light comes from different angles. So far, nearly all cameras use optics to map light. But with computational imaging, there’s no need for a lens; the optics merely have to distill enough information about the scene for a computer to interpret and create the image.

I think this technology will become part of the fabric of our digital lifestyle, being interconnected. Our sensors can be added to almost anything that has a little bit of power and a little bit of data processing, which will be almost everything in the near future, to give them a tiny bit of vision so they can capture what’s going on.

My fascination for computational imaging stems from my background as a neuroscientist. I wanted to be able to build a better tool to capture a scene the same way as the brain does. Computational imaging is a fascinating technology that ultimately will change the way (and range) of what a camera can be and do. Together with my fellow inventors, we’re immersed in research that will bring significant improvements in imaging and sensing across various fields, such as medicine, defense, consumer products and industrial inspection.


  • PhD in Biophysics from the University of California at Berkeley. Research: Sensory Neuroscience
  • Bachelor of Science in Physics with a minor in Math at University of Toronto


Research Papers

  • P. R. Gill, C. Lee, D.-G. Lee, A. Wang, and A. Molnar, “A microscale camera using direct fourier-domain scene capture,” Optics Letters, vol. 36, no. 15, pp. 2949–2951, Aug. 2011
  • P. R. Gill, A. Wang, and A. Molnar, “The in-crowd algorithm for fast basis pursuit denoising,” IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, vol. 59, no. 10, pp. 4595–4605, Oct. 2011
  • P. Gill, S. Woolley, T. Fremouw, and F. Theunissen, “What’s that sound? Auditory area CLM encodes stimulus surprise, not intensity or intensity changes,” Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 99, no. 6, pp. 2809–2820, 2008


Recent Speaking Engagements

  • “Scaling properties of well-tiled PFCAs.” Invited talk, Computational Optical Sensing and Imaging, Monterey CA, USA, June 2012
  • “Learning to Cope with Incomplete Sensory Data by Studying Neurons: The Brain as a Compressive Sensor.” Mathematical biology seminar, University of Victoria, Victoria BC, Canada, March 2012
  • “Planar Fourier Capture Arrays: Tiny Optical Sensors Built Entirely in Unmodified CMOS.” Keynote talk, 9th International Conference on Position Sensitive Detectors, University of Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth, Wales, September 2011
  • “Digital Camera with Spiral Odd-Symmetry Phase Grating Supports Full-Resolution Computational Refocusing.” Conference presentation, OSA Sensors, Rio Grande Puerto Rico, 2013
  • “Lensless Ultra-Miniature Imagers Using Odd-Symmetry Spiral Phase Gratings.” Conference presentation, OSA Computational Sensing and Imaging, Washington D.C., June 2013