Alexander A Sawchuk

Profile picture

Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering


  • Doctoral Degree, Electrical Engineering, Stanford University
  • Master's Degree, Electrical Engineering, Stanford University
  • Bachelor's Degree, Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, 1972, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.

Alexander A. Sawchuk was born in Washington, DC. He received the S.B. degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He has been with the University of Southern California since 1971, where he is currently the Leonard M. Silverman Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering. From 2005-2012 he was the Chair of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering-Systems. He has served in the past as Director of the Signal and Image Processing Institute for more than ten years, and as Deputy Director of the Integrated Media Systems Center.

His research interests include the use of optoelectronic devices and systems for high information capacity parallel optical computing, interconnection and network applications. He also works in the areas of image processing, immersive media technology, and in stereo and panoramic video and displays. He is the holder of a U.S. Patent and is the author or co-author of more than 160 technical publications and 100 talks in these fields, including several books and book chapters. He teaches courses in these and related fields and has supervised the Ph.D. research of more than 30 students.

He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE). He recently received the OSA Distinguished Service Award and USC Mellon Academic Mentoring Support Program Certificate of Recognition. He has also received the Halliburton Award for Exceptional Service, the Lockheed Senior Research Award, and the Outstanding Teaching Award from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

He has served in many professional positions for scientific and technical communities. For the United States Advisory Committee for the International Commission for Optics (USAC-ICO), he has been a Member, Delegate, and Chair. He was a Member of the Subcommittee for the International Commission for Optics (SCOM-ICO) of the U.S. Liaison Committee of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics for a five year period. He is currently a Vice-President of the International Commission for Optics (ICO) representing OSA.

He is currently a Member of the Board of Directors of OSA, and the OSA Foundation. In the past he has served as Chair of the Society Objectives and Policy Committee, Chair of the Technical Council, and Member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. He was General Chair of Topical Meetings on Optical Computing, was Associate Editor for Optics Letters, and was Editor of the Information Processing Division of Applied Optics. He has been a member of the IEEE LEOS Electronic Services Committee and was Area Editor for Optical Computing of the Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing, He has served often on technical program committees for the OSA Annual Meeting, Topical Meetings on Optical Computing, Machine Vision, and Smart Pixels, and for many SPIE and IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (LEOS) meetings.

He has served as consultant or advisor to a number of technical companies, including the Aerospace Corporation, Hughes, TRW, Litton, Phaethon Communications and EdgeWave Corporation. He is a founder of Optivision, Inc. (now Amnis Systems) and its spin-off company ONI Systems (now merged into Ciena Corp.).

Research Summary

Optical computing, interconnections, and networks, digital image processing, multimedia systems, data storage systems.


    • EEB 404B
    • Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Center
    • 3740 McClintock Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089
    • USC Mail Code: 2564

    Contact Information
    • (213) 740-4622


    Return to Faculty Directory