Hong Hua

Professor of Optical Sciences
Hong Hua Headshot

Meinel 741
Wyant College of Optical Sciences
The University of Arizona
1630 E. University Blvd.
P.O. Box 210094
Tucson, AZ 85721-0094

Additional Affiliations

  • Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering


  • Professor: The University of Arizona, Wyant College of Optical Sciences, 2015-present
  • Associate Professor: The University of Arizona, Wyant College of Optical Sciences, 2009-2015
  • Assistant Professor: The University of Arizona, Optical Sciences Center/College of Optical Sciences, 2004-2009
  • Assistant Professor: University of Hawaii, Mānoa; Department of Information and Computer Sciences; 2003
  • Beckman Research Fellow: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology; 1999-2002
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate: University of Central Florida, CREOL: The College of Optics and Photonics, 1999

Professional Affiliations and Activities (Last 5 Years)

  • Chair-Elect and Chair of the Information Acquisition, Processing, and Display Division (IAPD) on the Board of Meetings, OPTICA (2024-)
  • General Chair, Optica Topical Meeting: 3D Image Acquisition and Display: Technology, Perception and Applications, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Technical Conference Chair, 2024 SPIE AR|VR|MR Symposium, 2023-
  • Member, IEEE VGTC VR Academy Selection Committee, 2024-
  • Guest Editor, Optics Express special issue on 3D imaging and display, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Guest Editor, Special issue on Integrated Optoelectronics for VR/AR/MR for IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, 2023-2024
  • OPTICA Fellow Members Committee (two-year term),2021,2022
  • Panelist, IEEE Virtual Reality 2019, Japan
  • Associate Editor, Science Advances, 07/2018-01/2021

Awards and Honors

  • Inducted as a member of the IEEE VGTC VR Academy, 2023
  • Inaugural Women of Impact (2022), University of Arizona
  • Finalist for the Innovator of the Year (Academia Category), Governor’s Celebration of Innovation (2020, 2021, 2022)
  • Finalist for the Tucson Women of Influence 2020 in the category of Technology Champion sponsored by Tucson Local Media, 2020
  • Designated as Fellow of National Academy of Inventors (NAI), 2019
  • Plenary Speaker, Electronic Imaging by Society for Imaging Science and Technology, January 2019
  • Designated as OSA Fellow, 2019
  • Fumio Okano Best Paper Prize at the 2017 SPIE Conference on “Three-Dimensional Imaging, Visualization, and Display” for the paper “Optical methods for enabling focus cues in head-mounted displays for virtual and augmented reality,” awarded in April 2018
  • Distinguished Student Paper Award (Co-authored with student) at the 2017 SID International Symposium (Display Week) for the paper “An integral-imaging-based head-mounted light-field display using a tunable lens and aperture array,” 2017
  • Intel Faculty Research Award, 2016-2019
  • Google Faculty Research Award, 2016
  • Best Paper Award, SPIE Defense Security and Sensing, 2015
  • Fumio Okano Best Paper Prize, SPIE Conference on Three-dimensional imaging, visualization, and display, 2014
  • Designated as SPIE Fellow, 2013
  • Designated as Optical Society of America (OSA) Senior Member, 2012
  • Xu Teli Visiting Chair Professor (Honorary) at the Beijing Institute of Technology, 2012
  • Honored as UA Researchers @ Leading Edge on Innovation Day at UA, 2010
  • Distinguished Student Paper Award (Co-authored with student) at the 2011 SID International Symposium (Display Week) for the paper “A depth-fused multi-focal-plane display prototype enabling focus cues in stereoscopic displays,” 2011
  • Best Student Paper Award (co-authored with students) at the 7th IEEE and ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR’08) for the paper “An optical see-through head-mounted display with addressable focal planes”, 2008
  • Recipient of National Science Foundation (NSF)  CAREER Award, 2007
  • Best Paper Award (Honorable Mention), IEEE Virtual Reality 2003
  • Excellent Ph.D. Dissertation, Beijing Institute of Technology, 1999
  • First Prize of Excellent Scientific Papers, Beijing Institute of Technology, 1998
  • Excellent B.S.E. Thesis, Beijing Institute of Technology, 1994

Specific Research Interests

  • Advanced near-eye display technologies such as light field displays, volumetric displays, multi-focal plane displays, foveated displays, eye-tracked displays, mutual occlusion displays, holographic displays
  • Optical technologies for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) systems
  • Visual perception through advanced displays
  • Display metrology and calibration
  • Human-computer interaction via VR and AR displays
  • Endoscopy and microscopy for minimally invasive surgery
  • Freeform optics and applications in display and imaging systems
  • Optical imaging and display technology
  • Lens design and optical engineering

Research Summary

The 3-D Visualization and Imaging Systems laboratory specializes in a wide variety of optical technologies enabling advanced 3-D displays, 3-D visualization systems and collaborative immersive virtual and augmented environments, and novel imaging systems for medicine and surveillance applications. The 3DVIS lab also pursues research projects to gain better understanding of human visual perception and visual artifacts via 3-D displays, and to investigate design principles for effective human-computer interface in augmented environments. Examples of systems and technologies we have been researching include, but are not limited to, head-worn displays (aka head-mounted displays or HMD), multifocal plane fixed-viewpoint volumetric displays, eye movement tracking, eyetracked head-worn displays, head-mounted projection displays, autostereoscopic displays, large-scale heterogeneous display environments for collaboration (SCAPE and Hybrid-SCAPE), multitouch interface and gesture-based interface, endoscopy, microscopy, and panoramic video systems. 

The 3DVIS lab provides students training in a full range of multidisciplinary skills, from creation of novel system concepts and advanced optical system designs (such as freeform optical surfaces, diffractive optical element, aspherics) to system instrumentation, calibration and testing, and programming, as well as user-in-the-loop subjective and objective assessment techniques. The lab has published more than 100 scientific articles (with three paper awards at top scientific conferences) and filed more than 10 patent applications. Graduate students have won many awards and scholarships for their work in the lab.


  • Ph.D., Beijing Institute of Technology (China), 1999
  • B.S.E., Beijing Institute of Technology (China), 1994