Associate Professor & Co-Director VIP (Vision Image Processing) Lab

Contact InformationJohn Zelek

Phone: 519-888-4567 x32567
Location: EC4 2017


Biography Summary

Professor Zelek is an Associate Professor and co-director of the VIP (Vision Image Processing) lab. He is formerly the Associate Graduate Chair of Systems Design Engineering, serving from 2013 to 2017.

Professor Zelek’s current main research interests include autonomous robotic mapping and localization, 3D scene understanding, man made infrastructure assessment (e.g., roads, buildings, bridges), eye (fundus, OCT) image understanding for disease, learning 3D models from single-views, athletic sport tracking & biomechanical understanding of play & ability from video feeds, to name a few. Some of these projects make use of AI & deep learning techniques.

Prof. Zelek’s interests in the past have included assistive devices, social engineering, haptics, robot navigation to name a few.

Professor Zelek has been the co-founder of two startup companies: Tactile Sight and Sweep3D. Tactile Sight commercialized a haptic navigation device for people who are cognitively (e.g., dementia) or perceptually (e.g., blind) disabled. Sweep3D commercialized technology that produces 3D models by sweeping a camera around objects or spaces for various applications including clothes fitting, orthotics as well as well as exploring real estate premises remotely. Professor Zelek also sits on the advisory boards for Intelligent Health Solutions Inc. and EyeCheck.

Research Interests

  • Robotics
  • Computer Vision
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • SLAM
  • Anomaly Detection
  • Infrastructure Monitoring
  • Manufacturing Machine Health
  • Sports Analytics
  • Reinforcement Learning


  • 1996, Doctorate, PhD, McGill University
  • 1989, Master's, MASc, University of Ottawa
  • 1985, Bachelor's, BASc, University of Waterloo


  • SYDE 301 - Seminar
    • Taught in 2015, 2016
  • SYDE 361 - Systems Design Methods 1: Needs Analysis and Prototyping
    • Taught in 2015, 2016
  • SYDE 770 - Selected Topics in Communication and Information Systems
    • Taught in 2016, 2017, 2018
  • SYDE 673 - Video Processing and Analysis
    • Taught in 2016, 2017
  • BME 252 - Linear Signals and Systems
    • Taught in 2017
  • SYDE 201 - Seminar
    • Taught in 2018, 2019
  • SYDE 252 - Linear Systems and Signals
    • Taught in 2015, 2018
  • SYDE 283 - Physics 3 (Electricity, Magnetism and Optics)
    • Taught in 2018, 2019
  • SYDE 671 - Advanced Image Processing
    • Taught in 2019
* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Georges Younes, Daniel Asmar, Elie Shammas, John Zelek, Keyframe-based monocular SLAM: design, survey, and future directions, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 98, 2017, 67 - 88
  • Francis Li*, Hicham Sekkati*, Jason Deglint*, Christian Scharfenberger*, Mark Lamm*, David Clausi, John Zelek, Alexander Wong, Simultaneous Projector-Camera Self-Calibration for 3D Reconstruction and Projection Mapping., IEEE Transactions on Computational Imaging, 3(1), 2017, 74 - 83
  • Nolan Lunscher*, Georges Younes*, David Abou Chacra*, Henry Leopold*, Jeremy Pinto*, John Zelek, IR Shape From Shading Enhanced RGBD for 3D Scanning, Journal of Computational Vision and Imaging Systems, 2(1)
  • Charbel Azzi*, John Zelek, Daniel Asmar, Adel Fakih, Image-Based Localization Using Context, Journal of Computational Vision and Imaging Systems, 2(1)
  • Chacra, David Abou and Zelek, John, Using Superpixels for Road Segmentation in Street View Images, Vision Letters, 1(1), 2015
  • Jeya, Vithu Logan and Zelek, John, Diagnosing Cardiac Deformations using 3d Optical Flow, Vision Letters, 1(1), 2015
  • Azzi, Charbel and Zelek, John and Asmar, Daniel and Fakih, Adel, Image-Based Localization Using Context, Vision Letters, 1(1), 2015
  • Li, Francis and Wong, Alexander and Zelek, John, Illumination-Guided Stereo Correspondence, Vision Letters, 1(1), 2015
  • Vasudevan Lakshiminarayanan, John Zelek, Annette McBride, Smartphone science, in eye care and medicin, Optics and Photonics News, 129, 1 - 14
  • Das, Arun and Diu, Michael and Mathew, Neil and Scharfenberger, Christian and Servos, James and Wong, Andy and Zelek, John S and Clausi, David A and Waslander, Steven L, Mapping, planning, and sample detection strategies for autonomous exploration, Journal of Field Robotics, 31(1), 2014, 75 - 106