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The Curvelet transform is a higher dimensional generalization of the Wavelet transform designed to represent images at different scales and different angles.  Curvelets enjoy two unique mathematical properties, namely:

• Curved singularities can be well approximated with very few coefficients and in a non-adaptive manner - hence the name "curvelets."  

• Curvelets remain coherent waveforms under the action of the wave equation in a smooth medium.  

More information can be found in the papers below.  By releasing the CurveLab toolbox, we hope to encourage the dissemination of curvelets to image processing, inverse problems and scientific computing.

The team: Emmanuel Candes, Laurent Demanet, David Donoho, Lexing Ying.


CurveLab is a toolbox implementing the Fast Discrete Curvelet Transform, both in Matlab and C++.  The latest version is 2.1.2

The paper Fast Discrete Curvelet Transforms explains the curvelet transforms in detail.  Parts of this research were supported by the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Non-commercial research use for Academics:

If you intend to use the software solely for non-commercial research purposes and if you belong to a not-for-profit organization, you are welcome to download the source code.  If you work for a not-for-profit organization, please register to sign a license agreement and obtain a download password.  For installation guidelines, please read the user's guide.

Download (for Academics only)

If you are thinking of contacting us: please do not email the webmaster, or the authors, to ask for download instructions, installation guidelines, or the toolbox itself: everything is provided above. It is impossible for us to help debug user code not included in Curvelab. We do not provide tutoring for class projects. Very rarely the servers have glitches: in that case, please be patient and try again later. It is not our intention to prevent anyone from downloading the toolbox based on the country of origin. Thank you.

All other uses, including commercial use:

For any other use of the software including commercial use, or if you work for a for-profit organization, you will need a commercial license.  In this case, please and you will be contacted by the Caltech Office of Technology Transfer (  The commercial license includes a free trial period.

Last modified 24 August 2007 - Maintained by Laurent Demanet - -