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Professor Gordon Love

Head of Department of Computer Science

B.Sc. Ph.D. F.Inst.P. C. Phys. MBCS

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Head of Department of Computer Science in the Department of Computer ScienceMCS 1018+44 (0) 191 33 41721
Professor in the Department of Physicsocw030+44 (0) 191 33 43696
Member of the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation  
Member of the Centre for Vision and Visual Cognition  
Fellow of Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing +44 (0) 191 33 43696


I am the Head of the Department of Computer Science. These are very exciting times for Computer Science at Durham as it has tripled in size over the last 5 years whilst I have been the Head. Furthermore the department has a new home in the process of being built.

Before the transition to Computer Science - I worked in Physics and Astronomy - and the photo below shows one of my other homes - The Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics illuminated at its Opening.


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Recent Roles & Responsibilities
Career Summary

Durham University

  •  Professor 2011 - Present
  •  Reader 2005 - 2011
  •  Senior Lecturer 2004 - 2005
  •  Lecturer 1997 - 2004

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, & USAF Phillips Laboratory, USA

  • Optical Physicist 1995 - 1997

Raman Research Institute, Bangalore, India:

  •  Royal Society Visiting Fellow 1992 – 1993
Visiting Positions
  •  Epiphany Term 2002: Visiting Position at the Cavendish Astrophysics Group, Cambridge.
  •  Epiphany Term 2007: Visiting Position at UC Berkeley, School of Optometry.
  •  Epiphany Term 2012: Visiting Position at the Medical University of Innsbruck,, Austria



Research Interests

My research involves optics and the physics of light. Much of my work has involved adaptive optics which is a technology used in astronomy to improve the performance of large ground telescopes. The technology, like my research, has diversified and is now used in the biosciences, vision science, and computer graphics.

More generally, I am an applied physicist but I work with colleagues in vision science, computer science, and psychology on problems related to 3D displays, the optics of the eye, and computer graphics.

In Computer Science I work in the VIViD Research Group and In Physics I work in  the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation.

Selected External Appointments
  • External Examiner, University of York, Dept. of Physics, 2016-2020 
  • Council Member, Institute of Physics, 2010-2014
  • Conference Chair, Photon14, Imperial College, London, Sept. 2014 
  • Member, STFC IPS (Innovations Partnership Scheme) Panel, 2010-2013
  • External Examiner for Imperial College’s MSc in Optics and Photonics, 2007-2010
  • Chair of the Institute of Physics’ Optical Group, 2007-2010 (previously Treasurer and ordinary member).
  • Member of the Royal Society’s International Fellowship Panel, 2007–2010
  • Member the STFC/Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowships Panel, 2009-2012
  • Board Member of the European Optical Society, 2006-2010
  • Member of the Institute of Physics’ Group Coordination Committee, 2008-2014
  • Steering Committee & Research Board Member of the Faraday Partnership in Smart Optics, 2001– 2005

I have taught a whole range of courses involving optics, astronomy, electronics, image processing and classical mechanics. I have also taught several external courses (including many years contributing to the SIRA Course on Optical Engineering and Imperial College's Short Course on Adaptive Optics).

I have been an external PhD. examiner at Cambridge (x3), Edith Cowan (Australia), Glasgow (x2), Heriot Watt (x2), Imperial (x4), Kent, Nottingham, Oxford (x2), Sheffield, St. Andrews, TU Delft (NL), TU Denmark, UC Dublin, UCL. 

My competed PhD. students (as primary supervisor) are

This is the "Durham Radio Telescope" on the roof of physics built up by a series of 4th year students working with me.

  • I was originally an undergraduate at Van Mildert College
  • I was a College Tutor at St. Cuthbert's Society from 1993 - 1995
  • I was a College Mentor at Hatfield College from 2008 - 2013
  • I am a visiting fellow at St. Chad's College in 2016/17
Widening the Appeal of Computer Science

As the Head of Computer Science, I have been very lucky to work with some fantastic colleagues to help promote gender-diversity in Computer Science. With the help of colleages at DARO and our generous alumni community we have set up the Anne-Marie Imafidon Women in Tech Scholarship Programme, and with the support of AtomBank and Stemettes we have played a small part in hopefully inspiring the next generation of Tech Leaders. The photo below shows (left to right) Sue Black, Gordon Love, one of our first Scholars - Lucy Woods, Alumnus Neil Hunt - former CPO of Netflix, Anne Marie ImafidonLauren Bradshaw and Andy Harston. In Oct 2019 we were extremely please to receive a $3.5M philanthropic donation from Neil to start the Hunt Programme to make a step-change in helping more women and also students from disadvanatged backgrounds to come to Durham to study computer science, and to create a programme to create more links with industry for our students. You can also read a related blog I helped create for the Department of DCMS. Finally - take a listen to "100 Moments that Rocked Computer Science" - a podcast created by Sue Black that I co-presented. Fantastic that this got into the UK top 10 itunes technology charts.

Animal Eyes

I have a long standing collaboration with Martin Bank's Group at Berkeley, working on 3D displays, acccommodation, and some interesting work on animal eyes describing why different animals have different shaped pupils. See National Geographic, The Conversation, New York Times, The Guardian and others. This paper has an altmetrics score of 2,060 (Oct 2021) making it the 4th ranked paper of all time by Durham University.

(Image Jim Champion (sheep); R'lyeh (wolf); Michele Lamberti (fox); William Warby (cuttlefish)CC BY-SA)
Stereoscopic MonoVision

The following image of a statue and sundial is an example of some of my recent work on stereoscopic vision - showing how the eye synthesises differentially blurred images to produce a sharp whole. The image is a standard-cross-fused stereo image (view the left image with your right eye and vice versa in order to see a 3D image). You will see that as well as the camera position changing slightly between the two shots (which gives the 3D effect) the camera focus has been changed so that in the left hand image the statue is sharp and the gnomon is blurred, and vice versa. If you are able to cross fuse you will see an image where both appear to be sharp. (See link below to higher resolution image which might be easier to view).

Original Paper 

Higher Resolution Image  

Liquid Crystal Optics

Much of my early work revolved around using liquid crystal devices in non-display applications including switchable lenses and adaptive optics. My best known paper in this field was an Editor's Pick in 50 Years of Applied Optics.

Research interests

  • Vision Science
  • 3D Displays
  • Computer Graphics
  • Adaptive Optics
  • Liquid Crystal Technology
  • Image Processing
  • Optics

Research groups

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Centre for Advanced Instrumentation
  • Durham Centre for Bioimaging Technology
  • Experimental structure and dynamics of biological soft matter
  • Innovative Computing

Awarded Grants

  • 2018: Listening to Rivers: Using Sound to Measure Water Velocity(£15780.00 from )
  • 2017: How the eye focuses: basic mechanisms and opportunities for advanced displays(£76860.00 from National Science Foundation)
  • 2015: Telescopic Windows: low vision scope to cloaks(£418041.28 from Epsrc)
  • 2014: Industrial CASE Award: Developing novel non-invasive tools for the diagnosis of menopausal atrophy and at the Point of Care(£22883.00 from Procter & Gamble)
  • 2014: Scientific Properties of Complex Knots(£337854.00 from Leverhulme Trust)
  • 2013: A programme of astronomical instrumentation and high energy astrophysics at Durham 2013-2015(£961829.80 from STFC)
  • 2012: Comfortable stereoscopic displays: A pre-commercial prototype(£19983.00 from Epsrc)
  • 2011: Beating hearts at high resolution: adaptive high resoluton selective plane illumination microscopy(£506509.98 from Epsrc)
  • 2011: KTA fellow: Quantitive analysis of inflammatory cells within the eye's anterior chamber(£22707.36 from Epsrc)
  • 2011: Optical Control of Emulsion Drops for Nanofluids and Microfabrication(£114817.84 from Epsrc)
  • 2009: CASE Holographic Optical Testing for ELT's(£12930.00 from STFC)
  • 2008: Improvements in 3D visualization for vision resear(£36771.86 from National Institutes of Health)
  • 2008: POAE(£93476.68 from Cosine Research BV)
  • 2008: SMART BIO-IMAGING(£105231.00 from STFC)
  • 2008: The Durham Sky Bowl(£9295.34 from Jacobs Engineering)
  • 2007: LOW COST & HIGH SPEED CONTROL SYSTEMS(£88121.45 from Pparc)
  • 2006: ALFONSO(£41316.44 from DTI)
  • 2006: ELT DESIGN STUDY: WP9400 EXTENSION(£35850.68 from ESO - European Org. for Astronomical Research)
  • 2005: PROGRAMMABLE REFERENCES(£11848.75 from Pparc)
  • 2004: AN ADAPTABLE IMAGING CAMERA: PART B(£86620.63 from Pparc)
  • 2004: OPTICON - ADVANCED ADAPTIVE OPTICS(£209040.00 from European Commission)
  • 2004: SPANAS:SYSTEMS FOR PHOTONIC ADJUSTMENT(£368612.00 from Epsrc)
  • 2003: ALFONSO(£125324.00 from DTI)
  • 2003: AN ADAPTABLE IMAGING CAMERA(£87338.75 from Pparc)
  • 2002: IMPROVEMENTS IN 3D VISUALISATION(£170390.00 from National Institutes of Health)
  • 2002: MODAL LIQUID CRYSTAL LENSES(£148175.94 from Pparc)
  • 2001: POLATISATION INTENSITIVE LIQUID(£1724.00 from Intelligent Pixels, Inc.)
  • 2000: ADAPTIVE OPTICS FOR PRECISION LASER POINTING(£20000.00 from Matra BAe Dynamics (UK) Ltd)
  • 1999: ADAPTIVE LIQUID CRYSTAL LENSES(£25625.00 from Physical Optics Corporation)
  • 1999: CRYSTAL OPTICAL PHASE MODULATORS(£104386.00 from Pparc)

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Visualisation / 3D displays:
  • Advanced Instrumentation:
  • Vision / eye movement:

Supervision students