IPRPI & RPI Logos Inverse Problems Center

Joyce McLaughlin

David Isaacson

Antionette Maniatty

Assad Oberai

Steven Roecker

Birsen Yazici

Mourad Zeghal

Research Scientists


Center Participants

Margaret Cheney
Adjunct Professor of Mathematical Sciences
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Yates Chair and Professor of Mathematics
Colorado State Univeristy



Ph.D., Mathematics, Indiana University, 1982
B.A., Mathematics and Physics, Oberlin College, 1976

Career Highlights:

Cheney held positions at Stanford University and Duke University before moving to RPI in 1988. She has held visiting appointments at NYU's Courant Institute (1987-1988), at the Institue for Mathematics and Its Applications (1994-1995, 1997, and 2005), the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (2001 and 2010), the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (2002), the UCLA Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (2003), and the Air Force Research Laboratory (2007-2008).

Cheney has received several awards, including the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 1986, a National Science Foundation Faculty Award for Women in Science and Engineering in 1990, the Lise Meitner Visiting Professorship at Lund Institute of Technology in 2000, and a National Research Council fellowship in 2007. She has served on the SIAM Board of Trustees, and currently serves on the editorial boards of three journals. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and a Fellow of SIAM.

Research Areas:
Most of her work has been on the inverse problems that arise in quantum mechanics, acoustics, and electromagnetic theory; since 2001, she has been working on radar imaging.

Selected Publications:


Fang, Y., Cheney, M. and Roecker, S. "Imaging from sparse measurements", Geophysical Journal International, Vol. 180 No. 3, pp. 1289 - 1302, Published Online: 22 Jan 2010. 

Varslot, T., Morales, H. and Cheney, M. "Synthetic-aperture imaging through a dispersive medium", Inverse Problems Vol. 26 (2010) 025008.

Varslot, T., Yazici, B., Yarman, E., Cheney, M., Scharf L. "Time-reversal Waveform Preconditioning for Clutter Rejection" Applications and Methods of Waveform Diversity, SciTech Publishing, Inc., 2010, pp. 330-334.


Cheney, M. and Borden, B. “Fundamentals of Radar Imaging”, SIAM, Philadelphia, 2009 and <H3> Synthetic Aperture Radar </H3> "Problems in synthetic-aperture radar imaging", Inverse Problems 25 (2009) 123005. 

Yarman, E., Varslot, T., Yazici, B., Cheney, M. “Image Formation and Waveform Design for Distributed Apertures in Multipath via Gram-Schmidt Orthogonalization" to appear in Applications and Methods of Waveform Diversity, SciTech Publishing, Inc., 2009.


C.E. Yarman, B. Yazici, and M. Cheney, "Bistatic synthetic-aperture radar imaging with arbitrary trajectories", IEEE Transactions in Image Processing, Vol 17(1), pp. 84-93, (2008).

Cheney, M. and B. Borden,"Imaging moving targets from scattered waves" Inverse Problems, Vol. 24, (April 2008).


T. Varslot, C.E. Yarman, M. Cheney and B. Yazici, "A variational formulation to waveform design for synthetic aperture imaging", Inverse Problems and Imaging, Vol 1(3), pp. 577-592, (2007).


C.J. Nolan, M. Cheney, T. Dowling, and G. Gaburro, "Enhanced angular resolution from multiply scattered waves", Inverse Problems 22, pp. 1817-1834 (2006).

B. Yazici, M. Cheney, and C.E. Yarman, "Synthetic-aperture inversion in the presence of noise and clutter", Inverse Problems 22, pp. 1705-1729 (2006).


M. Cheney and B. Borden, "Microlocal analysis of GTD-based SAR models", Algorithms for synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery XII, ed. E.G. Zelnio and F.D. Garber, SPIE Proceedings series vol. 5808 (SPIE, Bellingham, WA), pp. 15-23 (2005).

B. Borden and M. Cheney, "Synthetic-aperture imaging from high-Doppler-resolution measurements", Inverse Problems 21, pp. 1-11 (2005).


M. Cheney and R.J. Bonneau, "Imaging that exploits multipath scattering from point scatterers", Inverse Problems 20, pp. 1691-1711 (2004).

M. Cheney, "Synthetic-aperture assessment of a dispersive surface", International Journal of Imaging Systems and Technology 14, pp. 28-34 (2004).

M. Cheney and C.J. Nolan, "Synthetic-aperture Imaging through a Dispersive surface", Inverse Problems 20, pp. 507-532 (2004).


M. Cheney and B. Borden, " Microlocal analysis of GTD-based SAR models", in Algorithms for Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery XII, ed. E.G. Zelnio and F. D. Garber, SPIE Proceedings series vol. 5808 (SPIE, Bellingham, WA) (2003).

F. Natterer, M. Cheney, and B. Borden, "Resolution for Radar and X-Ray Tomography", Inverse Problems 19, (6) pp. S55-S64 (2003).

M. Cheney and B. Borden, "Microlocal Structure of Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar Data", Inverse Problems 19, (1) pp. 173-194 (2003).

C.J. Nolan and M. Cheney, "Synthetic Aperture Inversion for Arbitrary Flight Paths and Non-Flat Topography", Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Transactions on Image Processing 12, pp.1035-1043 (Sept. 2003).


C.J. Nolan and M. Cheney, "Synthetic Aperture Inversion", Inverse Problems 18 (1), pp. 221-236 (2002).


M. Cheney, "The Linear Sampling Method and the MUSIC Algorithm", Inverse Problems 17, (4) pp. 591-595 (2001).

M. Cheney, D. Isaacson, and M. Lassas, "Optimal Acoustic Measurements", SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics 61, (5) pp. 1628-1647 (2001).

M. Cheney, “A Mathematical Tutorial on Synthetic Aperture Radar", SIAM Review 43, (2) pp. 301-312 (2001).

M. Cheney and G. Kristensson, "Optimal Electromagnetic Measurements", Technical Report LUTEDX/(TEAT-7091) Lund Institute of Technology, Department of Electroscience, Electromagnetic Theory, Sweden, pp. 1-24 (2001).


M. Cheney and N. Bleistein, "An Asymptotic Wave Interpretation of Sonar Images", in Analytical and Computational Methods in Scattering and Applied Mathematics, F. Santosa and I. Stakgold, eds., Chapman & Hall/CRC Research Notes in Mathematics 417, (2000).


M. Cheney, D. Isaacson, and J.C. Newell, "Electrical Impedance Tomography", SIAM Review 41, (1) pp. 85-101, (1999).

Contact Information:
Margaret Cheney
Yates Chair and Professor of Mathematics

The Department of Mathematics
Colorado State Univeristy
101 Weber Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1874
(970) 491-6478



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