P. Scott Carney

 P. Scott Carney
P. Scott Carney
Adjunct Professor

For More Information


  • Ph.D. Physics University of Rochester June 1999


P.Scott Carney is a theorist with research interests in inverse problems, imaging, coherence theory and other branches of optical physics. He is application-focused and works closely with a number of great experimenters. Prof. Carney is widely respected for having written the seminal papers in the field of near-field inverse scattering. He has brought the tools of inverse scattering to bear on optical coherence tomography with resulting innovations that have been spun-out into a successful medical imaging start-up. His current interests include problems in inverse-scattering, classification,and spectroscopy.

Prof Carney holds a BS in Engineering Physics from UIUC (1994), and a PhD in Physics from the University of Rochester (1999, advisor: Emil Wolf). He was a post-doctoral associate at Washington University from 1999 to 2001 when he joined the faculty of UIUC ECE.

Teaching Statement

I teach three graduate-level optics course, ECE 569, "Inverse Problems in Optics," ECE 570, "Nonlinear Optics," and ECE 598PSC, "Advanced Coherence Theory," on a rotation. At the undergraduate level I teach ECE 445, Senior Design. These courses have in common an absence of exams and an emphasis on individual achievement through a term project. I also occasionally teach ECE 340, Solid State Devices, a course outside my core expertise but that I find beautiful.

Research Statement

My research is primarily in theoretical optics. I consider myself a generalist, but am lately focused on problems in computed imaging, spectroscopy, and coherence theory.

Research Interests

  • Optical physics including imaging, near-field microscopy, classical and quantum coherence theory, beam propagation, fundamental issues of energy conservation, and mathematical methods in inverse scattering and the propagation of light.

Research Areas

  • Biomedical imaging
  • Coherent optics/imaging
  • Computed imaging systems
  • Electromagnetic theory
  • Electromagnetics and Optics
  • Lasers and optical physics
  • Microcavity lasers and nanophotonics
  • Microelectronics and Photonics
  • Modeling and simulation of laser systems
  • Quantum nanostructures for electronics and photonics
  • Radar scattering
  • Radio and optical wave propagation
  • Semiconductor lasers and photonic devices
  • Ultrafast laser spectroscopy

Professional Societies

  • American Physical Society
  • Optical Society of America


  • Fellow of the Optical Society of America (2015)
  • Fulbright Scholar (The Netherlands) 2008-2009.
  • Honorary Member, HKN, Spring 2006
  • NSF CAREER Award 2003

Teaching Honors

  • William L. Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence 2012
  • Incomplete list of teachers ranked excellent by their students, Fall 2004 (ECE 569), Spring 2005 (ECE 445), Spring 2006 (ECE 445) , Spring 2007 (ECE 598PSC), Fall 2007 (ECE 445 and ECE 569), Fall 2009 (ECE 445), Spring 2010 (ECE 445), Spring 2011 (ECE 445), Spring 2012 (ECE 445), Spring 2013 (ECE 445), Spring 2014 (ECE 445)
  • Accenture Outstanding Advisor Award 2003-04 and 2007-2008

Research Honors

  • Society for Applied Spectroscopy William F. Meggers Award 2014
  • Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies Innovation Award 2012
  • Honorary Member, HKN, Spring 2006
  • A.O. Beckman Research Award (awarded by the Research Board)