Michael Halle

Instructor of Radiology
Harvard Medical School

Director of Technology Development
Director of Visualization
Surgical Planning Lab
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Current work  

I am working in the areas of medical and scientific visualization, three-dimensional display, image capture, computer graphics, software and systems architecture, networked systems, and semantic data exchange.


I attended MIT for my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Engineering (6-3) from 1984 until 1988.

I began work as an undergraduate researcher at the MIT Media Lab in 1985.

In 1987, I started research work in the Spatial Imaging Group at the Media Lab under the direction of pioneering holographer Dr. Stephen A. Benton.

My work at Spatial Imaging continued through my Master's and Doctoral Degrees. During that time, I developed image processing and computer graphic algorithms for some of the world's most advanced holographic displays. I graduated with my PhD in 1997. Since 1997, I have co-lectured the MIT laboratory course Holographic Imaging for both undergraduate and graduate students.

In 1988, I began collaboration with the Surgical Planning Lab at Brigham and Women's Hospital developing three-dimensional displays for quantifying disease and guiding surgery. I began full-time work at the SPL in 1995 as a research fellow specializing the computer graphics and visualization.

Today, as Instructor of Radiology at the SPL, I develop information and network technologies as well as provide technical direction, graphics design, and public relations assistance in the lab.

My personal interests include 3D, photography, graphic design, bicycling and bicyclist advocacy, teaching, and public service.

Contact information  

mailing address:

Michael Halle
Surgical Planning Lab
Department of Radiology
Brigham and Women's Hospital
75 Francis St.
Boston, MA 02115

Brigham and Women's phone:

Brigham and Women's FAX:

email address:

Select publications

LightKit: A lighting system for effective visualization
Michael Halle, Jeanette C. Meng; Proceedings of IEEE Visualization 2003; pp. 363-370. (preprint PDF)

LightKit is a computer graphics lighting technique for visualization that makes effective lighting easier and, perhaps more importantly, makes bad or distracting lighting harder.

Multiple viewpoint rendering
Michael Halle; Proceedings of the 25th annual conference on Computer graphics and interactive techniques, p.243-254, July 1998. (preprint PDF)

Multiple viewpoint rendering is an computer graphics algorithm that can greatly accelerate the generation of perspective views for autostereoscopic displays and light field rendering.

Autostereoscopic displays and computer graphics
Michael Halle; Computer Graphics, ACM SIGGRAPH, 31(2), May 1997, pp 58-62. (preprint PDF)

This paper provides a good and approachable overview of different autostereoscopic 3D display technologies.

Fast computer graphics rendering for full parallax spatial displays
Michael Halle and Adam Kropp; Proceedings of the IS&T/SPIE's Symposium on Electronic Imaging, S.A. Benton, ed., Practical Holography XI, February 1997. (preprint PDF)

A significant group of 3D displays requires rendering the scene from camera positions that might lay within objects, which causes havoc with perspective projection. This paper presents an algorithm ("double frustum camera") for view generation that gets around this problem, permitting hardware accelerated image generation.

Holographic stereograms as discrete imaging systems
Michael Halle; in: S.A. Benton, ed., SPIE Proc. Vol. #2176: Practical Holography VIII, (SPIE, Bellingham, WA, 1994) pp. 73-84. (preprint PDF)

This paper describes fundamental resolution constraints for holographic stereograms and, by direct extension, other 3D displays such as parallax barriers and lenticular sheet displays. These fundamental resolution limits also apply to light field rendering. This paper and my master's thesis from which it is derived provided important background material for Levoy and Hanrahan's seminal Light Field Rendering SIGGRAPH '96 paper.

The Ultragram: a generalized holographic stereogram
M.W. Halle, S.A. Benton, M.A. Klug, and J. S. Underkoffler; in: S.A. Benton, ed., SPIE Vol. 1461, Practical Holography V (Feb. 1991) pp. 142-155. (preprint PDF)

An Ultragram is a holographic stereogram that uses computer image predistortion as part of the image recreation process, often replacing expensive or even physically impossible glass lenses. Understanding the relationship between computer graphics and optics in synthetic holography permitted the Spatial Imaging Group at MIT to create completely new types of holograms. This paper describes the original Ultragram work.

Other publications

Volumetric Display of Soft Tissue via Holography
J.H. Kulick, S.A. Benton, M. Halle, M. Klug; in SPIE Proc. Vol. #914, Medical Imaging II (February 1988), paper 914-161.

3D Morphometric and Morphologic Information Derived From Clinical Brain MR Images
Ron Kikinis, Ference A. Jolesz, Guido Gerig, Tamas Sando, Harvey E. Kline, William E. Lorensen, Michael Halle, and Stephen A. Benton, (NATO Advanced Workshop in Travemuende, June 1990) in Hoehne, K.H., Fuchs, H., Pizer, S.M., 3D Imaging in Medicine, NATO ASI Series F: Computer and Systems Sciences, Vol 60 (Springer, 1990) 60:441-454.

Full Color Ultragrams
M.A. Klug, M.W. Halle, P.M. Hubel; in S.A. Benton, ed., SPIE Proc. Vol. #1667: Practical Holography VI, (SPIE, Bellingham, WA, 1992) pp. 110-119.

A compact prototype one-step Ultragram printer
M.A. Klug, M.A. Halle, M. Lucente, and W.J. Plesniak; in: S.A. Benton, ed., SPIE Proc. Vol. #1914: Practical Holography VII, (SPIE, Bellingham, WA, Feb. 1993), pp. 15-24.