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Veit Elser


Phase retrieval algorithms, image reconstruction, optimization, protein folding


We develop algorithms for reconstructing particles from noisy diffraction patterns. Currently our efforts are directed at data taken with x-ray free electron lasers, such as the Linac Coherent Light Source. We also work closely with the group of Sol Gruner on image reconstruction in the limit of ultra low photon flux. Over the years we have noticed that our algorithms perform very well on some NP-hard problems; these applications have become a second line of research.

Awards and Honors

  • Simons Fellow in Theoretical Physics, 2015
  • Erskine Fellow, 2010
  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, 1994-1995
  • Guggenheim Fellow, 1994-1995
  • David and Lucille Packard Fellow, 1989-1994
  • Presidential Young Investigator, 1989-1994
  • Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, 1989-1992
  • William L. McMillan Prize, 1988

Educational Background

  • Professor, Physics, Cornell University, 2001-present
  • Visiting professor, Universität Tübingen, 1994-1995
  • Associate Professor, Physics, Cornell University, 1993-2001
  • Assistant Professor, Physics, Cornell University, 1988-1993
  • Member, Technical Staff, AT&T Bell Laboratories, 1986-1988
  • Postdoctoral Member of Technical Staff, AT&T Bell Laboratories, 1984-1986
  • Ph.D. in Physics, University of California, Berkeley, 1984
  • B.S., California Institute of Technology, 1979