Stephen Benton

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Stephen Benton


In Memory: (December 1, 1941 - November 9, 2003)

Allen Professor of Media Arts and Sciences Director, Center for Advanced Visual Studies Group: Spatial Imaging Benton at MIT]


Stephen Benton was best known as the inventor of the white-light "rainbow" hologram, most often seen on credit cards and magazine covers. He was also known for the work he and his group did to create the world's first real-time interactive holographic video system. He was a prolific author and held multiple patents in optical physics, photography, and holography. Benton headed the Lab's Spatial Imaging research group. While an MIT undergraduate, Benton worked with Harold "Doc" Edgerton in the famous "Strobe Lab," and received his BS degree in electrical engineering in 1963. He continued his studies at Harvard University, receiving a PhD in applied physics in 1968, and remained at Harvard until 1973 as its first assistant professor of applied optics. He was associated with laboratories of the late Edwin Land at Polaroid Corporation since his undergraduate days, and returned there to establish an imaging physics laboratory, where he did much of the early work on white-light viewable holograms, and explored other applications of lasers to photography.

Curriculum Vita 1999

E. Rudge ('48) and Nancy Allen Professor of Media Arts & Sciences Head, Spatial Imaging Group, Media Laboratory Director, Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) Graduate Officer, Program in Media Arts & Sciences Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1999 Vice President, Society for Imaging Science & Technology

1996 Director, Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS)

1990 - 1993 Board of Governors, Int'l Soc. Optical Eng'g (SPIE)

1987 - 1994 Founding Head, MIT Program in Media Arts & Sciences

1987 - 1992 Board of Trustees, Museum of Holography, New York

1984 Founding Faculty, Media Laboratory, MIT

1982 Founder, Spatial Imaging Group, MIT

1980 - 1984 Chairman, US National Committee for the International Commission for Optics

1980 - 1983 Visiting Scientist, MIT Laser Research Center

1979 - 1984 Visiting Committee, International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House

1978 - 1981 Board of Directors, Optical Society of America

1976 - 1977 President, Optical Society of America, New England Section

1973 - 1982 Senior Scientist, Polaroid Corporation

1968 - 1973 Assistant Professor of Applied Optics, Harvard University


Articles: 46 Patents: 14


Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, MIT, 1963 Master of Science in Engineering, Harvard University, 1964 Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Physics, Harvard University, 1968


Optical Society of America (Fellow, former Director) Society for Imaging Science & Technology (IS&T/SPSE) (Fellow, Vice President) Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers The International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) (Fellow, former Director) Society for Information Display (SID) Holographic Display Engineers & Artists Club (HODIC, Japan)