Esther Hoffman Beller Medal

Esther Hoffman Beller Medal

The Esther Hoffman Beller Medal is presented for outstanding contributions to optical science and engineering education. Consideration is given to outstanding teaching and/or original work in optics education that enhances the understanding of optics. The scope of the award is international. Candidates at every career stage should be considered. This award was endowed by a bequest from the estate of Esther Hoffman Beller, presented to OSA in 1992. The award was established in 1993.

View the current Esther Hoffman Beller Medal Selection Committee.


2017 - C. Martijn de Sterke [Citation]

for far-reaching contributions to optics and photonics education in Australia and the world through exceptional dedication to classroom teaching, outstanding PhD student advising and a sustained commitment to outreach activities.

2016 - Bishnu P. Pal [Citation]

For over thirty-five years of guided wave photonics education, including the development of graduate and continuing education teaching programs and laboratories in optoelectronics and optical communications at IIT-Delhi, inspiring a generation of leading academic and industrial scientists.

2015 - Govind P. Agrawal [Citation]

For inspiring and educating a generation of scientists and engineers involved with fiber-optic communications and other photonics technologies through his seminal textbooks and high-impact scientific articles.

2014 - Shin-Tson Wu [Citation]

For his broad and significant impact to academia and industry in photonics education through mentoring, textbooks, publications, seminars, and on-site training courses

2013 - Vasudevan Lakshminarayanan [Citation]

For your outstanding contributions to optics education in international and interdisciplinary settings

2012 - Judy Donnelly [Citation]

For outstanding dedication to engaging middle, high school and college students in optical science and engineering education

2011 - Stephen M. Pompea [Citation]

For sustained optics outreach activities to schools and colleges, authorship of hands-on optics curriculum books, and for leadership to realize and distribute Galileoscopes, a low-cost telescope kit for kids

2010 - Eustace L. Dereniak [Citation]

For his contributions to optical sciences and engineering education, noting particularly his books on geometrical optics, infrared detectors and infrared systems, his classroom teaching and his mentoring of optics students

2009 - Anthony E. Siegman [Citation]

For outstanding contributions to optical science and engineering education with your books, especially "Lasers", and for mentoring numerous students who have become luminaries in their careers

2008 - Eric Mazur [Citation]

For developing and globally disseminating the innovative teaching methodology now known as “Peer Instruction”, which promotes deeper understanding of the fundamentals of science

2007 - M. J. Soileau [Citation]

For distinguished and long-standing service to the optics education and research community—and specifically for establishing CREOL (the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers) as a major optics center

2006 - Sang Soo Lee [Citation]

For laying the foundation for optical science and engineering in Korea through forty-plus years of teaching and research

2005 - Thomas K Gaylord [Citation]

For innovative teaching which has brought the latest research results alive for students for thirty years and for his significant contributions to establishing Georgia Tech’s Optics and Photonics programs

2004 - Janice A. Hudgings [Citation]

For innovative teaching methods and involving undergraduate physics and engineering students in original, state-of-the-art, publishable research in optics and solid state physics

2003 - Ajoy K. Ghatak [Citation]

For outstanding contributions to optics education and for leadership of a major fiber optics and optoelectronics research and training program in a developing nation

2002 - Emil Wolf [Citation]

For numerous outstanding contributions as an educator, but especially for the influence of his books, which have been educating optical scientists and engineers for more than forty years

2001 - Douglas S. Goodman [Citation]

For his passion and delight for learning and education, which spawn tutorial talks and lively demonstrations at all technical levels. These feats inspire others to both increase and share their knowledge of optics

2000 - Henry Stark [Citation]

For the educational value of his books and for his successful drive to enrich the classical engineering curriculum with optics and photonics

1999 - Bahaa E.A. Saleh [Citation]

For outstanding contribution to optical science and engineering education through innovative curricular development, imaginative teaching, textbook writing, editorial activities, and administrative leadership

1998 - Amnon Yariv [Citation]

For educating a significant number of current leaders in optics/optoelectronics, and for authoring seminal textbooks, thus enabling early and now-ubiquitous adoption of optics into undergraduate and graduate curricula

1997 - Hugh Angus Macleod [Citation]

For his outstanding record of contributions to the education of the optics community about the properties, design, manufacture, and measurement of thin film optical coatings and filters. By emphasis on logical understanding and reasoning, and through the use of new methods in computer aided design, he has brought clarity and understanding of the field to a generation of researchers and engineers

1996 - Donald C. O'Shea [Citation]

For his contributions to optics education, including key leadership and ideas for the development of the OSA Optics Discovery Kit, the cornerstone for OSA education activities at the K-12 level

1995 - Joseph W. Goodman [Citation]

For leadership and noteworthy contributions to optics education, including outstanding teaching, superbly written textbooks on Fourier and statistical optics, and a large number of doctoral students, many of whom have themselves made significant contributions as educators

1993 - Robert G. Greenler [Citation]

For extraordinary leadership in advancing the public appreciation and understanding of science and the scientific method through his lectures and demonstrations of optics to diverse audiences, his writings, and his advocacy for science and education