OSA members share about their work, sources of inspiration, tales from recent events, the value of OSA membership, and more.



Donna Strickland

I enjoyed all four years as an OSA officer, travelling the globe and meeting with the OSA students and the officers of our fellow societies.  I remember my lead into the presidential year was hosting the student party at the 2012 FiO, where I finally was persuaded to get up to sing Karaoke along with friends and ended up falling and spilling my drink all over me.  I think it helped set the tone for all my interactions with the students.  I always wanted to be approachable... Continue Reading

Karl Stetson: Organizing a Topical Meeting

By the late 1970s, the OSA topical meetings had become quite well established, and I and a number of colleagues considered that it would be interesting to organize one devoted to holographic interferometry and speckle metrology.  I approached the OSA in 1979, and received a positive reaction with the suggestion of the Sea Crest Hotel in North Falmouth, Cape Cod, MA, as a possible venue.  I had experienced meetings where there was no place where the attendees could get together... Continue Reading

Joseph Nilsen

 I remember attending the CLEO meeting in Baltimore in May of 1985 and hearing the talks on optical data storage. In particular I still have notes from the talk given by an employee of Sharp Corporation that described how digital audiodisk (DAD) technology was reaching the mass markets and had created a large commercial demand for semiconductor lasers for the first time. This was talk WD3 entitled “Laser diodes for audiodisk players” by T. Inoguchi and colleagues. I think... Continue Reading

Dana Bukowska


My path to a career in optics has been an adventure. Although I have only worked in the field for seven years, I have learned a lot in that time and come to love this branch of physics. It happened probably because I have been fortunate to work in an exciting, important, and timely field of research: advanced spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD OCT) for applications in ophthalmology. I have been privileged to contribute to the... Continue Reading

Walter Makous

My first meeting of the OSA

In 1962, the Optical Society of America invited 20 leading investigators of the visual system to its annual meeting in Washington, D. C., to report on advances made during the preceding 10 years in their respective fields.  As an impecunious graduate student working under Lorrin Riggs at Brown University at the time, I scraped together the money to take Amtrak from Providence to Washington and stayed in a barracks-like room at the YMCA for a few... Continue Reading

Yoshihiro Uozu

I am one of main members of photonics polymer study in Japan. My main research field is plastic optical materials such as plastic optical fibers, plastic rod-lenses and plastic optical films.

We developed the mass production process of the plastic rod-lenses (graded-index lenses) about 25 years ago for the first time in the world. A rod-lens is a cylindrical lens, which has a graded index distribution in the radial direction. Since sinusoidal light path is formed along the... Continue Reading