Lighting Research Center

Advancing the effective use of light for society and the environment

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Mark Rea, Ph.D.
Professor of Cognitive Science

Mark S. Rea, Ph.D., is Professor of Architecture and Cognitive Sciences at the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He served as LRC Director from 1988 to 2017. Dr. Rea is well known for his research in circadian photobiology, mesopic vision, psychological responses to light, lighting engineering, and visual performance. He is the author of more than 250 scientific and technical articles related to vision, lighting engineering, and human factors and was the editor-in-chief of the 8th and 9th editions of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) Lighting Handbook. He has been elected Fellow of the Society of Light and Lighting (UK) and Fellow of the IES. In addition, he is recipient of the IES Medal. Rea has also been honored with the William H. Wiley Distinguished Faculty Award for those who have won the respect of the faculty at Rensselaer through excellence in teaching, productive research, and interest in the totality of the educational process. Dedicated to the notion that our society undervalues light because we do not properly measure its benefits, his recent book Value Metrics for Better Lighting brings together a wide range of research to illustrate how the effective use of light can benefit society and the environment.

M.S., biophysics, Ohio State University; Ph.D., biophysics, Ohio State University.

Research interests:
Visual and circadian systems, lighting engineering, human factors.

Professional memberships:
Optical Society of America, Society for Light and Lighting (UK), Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage.

Elected Fellow, Society of Light and Lighting (UK); Elected Fellow, Illuminating Engineering Society of North America; William H. Wiley Distinguished Faculty Award, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; IESNA Medal.

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