Ken Hanson

Kenneth M. Hanson -- Biographical Sketch

Kenneth Hanson received a Bach. Eng. Phys. from Cornell University in 1963 and MS and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University in 1967 and 1970, respectively. While at Harvard, he was member of a team of researchers who carried out experiments at the 6-GeV Cambridge Electron Accelerator. The team used coincidence techniques to investigate electron scattering from hydrogen and deuterium, and electroproduction of nucleon resonances. Hanson returned to Cornell's Laboratory of Nuclear Studies in 1970 to participate in a series of experiments investigating high-energy electron and photon interactions, in which field he published 31 papers.

In 1975 Hanson joined the staff at the Los Alamos National Laboratory to pursue the usefulness of medium-energy protons for performing medical computed tomography (CT) scans. That effort yielded proton CT scans of human specimans, some of which were presented by Allan Cormack in his Nobel lecture in 1979. From 1980 to 2001, Hanson investigated basic problems in image analysis, often with the goal of interpreting dynamic radiographs. Areas of research included tomographic reconstruction from limited data, evaluation of reconstruction methods based on visual task performance, estimation of model parameters from images, and Bayesian methods of reconstruction and modeling. He has published over 100 articles on imaging science.

He has most recently developed methods for inversion of the diffusion equation for optical tomography based on IR photons, methods for estimating uncertainties in complex Bayesian models, for example, using Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques to sample the posterior. He investigated approaches to assess the uncertainties in simulation codes for the verification and validation of simulations, and has published over 10 papers relevant to that field.

In 2001 Hanson joined the Methods of Advanced Science Simulation group, CCS-2, to collaborate with simulation scientists on the challenging issue of quantification of uncertainties in simulation codes, among other topics. He organized the LANL workshop on Quantification of Uncertainties in Physics Simulations, held in September 2002. He coordinated the Uncertainty Quantification Working Group from 2000 to 2004.

In 1986/1987 Hanson spent a year working at CGR, the French medical imaging firm (later to become part of General Electric Medical Imaging Systems). He collaborated with French scientists to develop a revolutionary x-ray scanner with the goal to image blood vessels and bone. In 1999 Hanson was invited to spend six weeks at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching, Germany. There he worked with scientists on an innovative technique for estimating the background in measured spectra, which was subsequently published in Physical Review E.

Hanson has written publications in collaboration with researchers from other institutions, as well, including the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, the National Institutes of Health, the University of California at San Francisco, Columbia University, and the University of Arizona.

Hanson retired from LANL on July 1, 2004, but continued to work part time at the Lab until 2008. Since January 2005, he has worked as a Laboratory Associate with the Nuclear Physics group (T-16) in the Theoretical Division with the goal of assessing the uncertainties in compiled neutron cross-sections. Among the challenging problems are inconsistent data sets and treatment of systematic uncertainties. Between 2008 and 2010 he was a Guest Scientist at LANL. He continues to work as a technical consultant, and teaches a mini-course in scientific and technical writing.

Since 2011, Ken has consulted with a geophysics group (EES-17) at LANL on an exciting project aimed at improved ultrasound breast imaging. The goal is to apply advanced geophysics reconstruction techniques to improve 3D ultrasound scans. At the University of New Mexico, scores of patients have been scanned with the first US system, which consisted of two opposing linear arrays of transducers.

Dr. Hanson is a Fellow of the SPIE. He chaired the SPIE Image Processing Conference, which is part of the SPIE Medical Imaging Symposium, from 1996 - 2001 (cochaired in 1996 and 2001). He was cochair of the Medical Imaging Symposium from 2002 to 2004. In 1995 he developed, with Rick Hermann of SPIE, the present format for the Proceedings of the SPIE in the form of a LaTeX style file and an MS Word template. Hanson recently received a Recognition of Outstanding Achievement Award from SPIE for "his exceptional contributions to the Medical Imaging community and the Medical Imaging Symposium for more than ten years."

Hanson has helped organize several other meetings, including the Workshop on Maximum Entropy and Bayesian Methods, held in August 1995 in Santa Fe, and the Fourth International Conference on Sensitivity Analysis of Model Output, held in Santa Fe in March of 2004.

Dr. Hanson is a member of the following professional societies: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Senior Member, American Physical Society (APS), and the Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). He has been a member of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis (ISBA), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has served as a reviewer for numerous journals.

After retiring in 2004, Ken had more time to spend on his lifelong hobby, photography. He bought a digital SLR to record his wife’s and his first trip to Alaska in 2007. Since then, his hobby has evolved into a deep passion for wildlife and nature photography. Wildlife photography is especially challenging because a good photograph requires both adept camera technique and good luck, which makes it very gratifying to capture a striking picture. His favorite subjects have included birds, insects and flowers from around Los Alamos, whales, bald eagles and glaciers in Alaska, grizzly bears in British Columbia, water birds in Florida, and iguanas and frigatebirds in the Galapagos.

In addition to learning about the aesthetic aspects of photography, Ken has become an expert in the techical aspects of photographic imaging, including the mysterious domain of color management.

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Last modified  5 Febrary 2016