Minqi Wang

PhD Student
Visual Attention and Optics


I was born in China and grew up there. Then moved to the Bay Area.


I got a BS in Animal Sciences and a BS in Psychology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where I worked in both fields as undergraduate research assistant.


The interdisciplinary focus at VS provides a holistic understanding of what kind of questions we can ask about vision and allow me to appreciate the work in one field being shared and finding value in another.


People have always been trying to see the world better: the telescope, the microscope, night vision, or just a regular pair of glasses, you name it. But gathering optical information from the outside world is just part of the story for vision. I want to look at how the brain plays a part in vision (e.g. the role of attention and why your eyes have captured the scene but your brain is missing out on what’s out there). Eventually, I hope my research can be applied to develop new technologies and practices (since the brain is so adaptable) that can enhance how we can see the world better.


To have a team of researchers and bring more knowledge to the scientific community and general public. Ideally, I want my research to be applied and reach a wide range of people.


I like to plant and grow things. Originally, I was really inspired to have a cherry blossom tree, and I didn’t really want to just buy one directly. So I started with seeds from cherries and cuttings from ornamental cherry tree. Since then, I would save seeds from fruit trees and others, and try to germinate them (avocado, persimmon, pear, apple, orange, stone fruits, nuts……). Other things I like to do when not working include: traveling (or just planning a trip), horse riding, reading, drawing and writing about my favorite characters from fiction, and watching my cat sleep in funny positions.


Lab Rotations
350 Minor Hall