The Optical Society Blog

Imaging and Applied Optics in Heidelberg?

By Sogol Borjian Borojeni | Posted: 25 May 2016

The Imaging and Applied Optics Congress is 25 - 28 July 2016 in Heidelberg, Germany. We hope you’ll join us there. Here are some Interesting Facts about this wonderful place: 

(1)The first evidence of human life in Europe was found in Heidelberg. A jaw-bone which is the earliest evidence found of human life in Europe, known today as the “Heidelberg Man”, was discovered in a gravel pit in Heidelberg in 1907.
(2)Heidelberg University is the oldest in Germany, founded in 1386.
(3)The first bicycle was invented by...

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Day 2: Precision Measurements in Air Quality & Turbulence Incubator

By George Nehmetallah | Posted: 20 May 2016

The OSA Incubator on Precision Measurements in Air Quality & Turbulence: From Space-based Observations to Networked, Ground-based Point Sensors successfully brought researchers from industry, military, and national labs working in different application areas but sharing the same goals which are to mitigate, quantify, model, and predict pollution. The researchers discussed the viable and future techniques on how to develop high precision, high sensitivity, low cost, and portable sensors to quantify pollution caused by deteriorating air quality whether from GHGs, wildfires, anthropogenic and natural aerosols, and the myriad particulate air pollutants which drastically have a negative effect on the human well-being and the quality of life. They also laid out some recommendations on next steps for this community. 

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An Ongoing Success - UMD OSA Student Chapter Hosts Annual Poster Competition

By UMD OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 20 May 2016

On April 8th, 2016 the University of Maryland hosted its sixth annual Poster Competition in Optics and Photonics. The event is sponsored by the UMD OSA Student Chapter, the National Capitol Section of OSA, IEEE-Baltimore, and IEEE-Washington/Northern Virginia. We were very excited to host Dr. John Gillaspy, program director from the National Science Foundation as our guest speaker. He gave a talk titled, From Farm to Foundation: A Personal Journey through Optical Research, which described his career in optics and journey to his position at NSF. The students found the talk so informative and interesting that it was requested the slides from the talk be distributed online. We invite students from UMD and surrounding universities, including John’s Hopkins and UMBC. Students present their research in all areas of optics and photonics. Some of this year’s poster topics include; “Solitons and Cnoidal Waves in Microresonators,” “Subterawatt Laser Plasma Acceleration of Electrons,” and “Real-Time Image Compression Based on All-Optical Haar Wavelet Transform.” Professionals from surrounding National Labs and local companies judge the competition, providing a great way for students to present their research to the local professional community. As this year is the 100th anniversary of OSA we wanted to make this year our best and most exciting competition to date. As always first place comes with a $300 cash prize and increased our 2nd and 3rd place prizes to $200 and $100, respectively. We had 17 submissions this year and the judges all said that it was very difficult to choose to the top posters as there were so many excellent presenters. Posters are judged on technical significance, quality of work, innovation/originality, poster design and composition, and oral presentation. This year’s winners are: 1st place, Fatholah Salehi (UMD); 2nd place, Nihal Jhajj (UMD); 3rd place, David Somers (UMD); and Honorable Mention, Brian Grubel (John’s Hopkins).

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A Forum to Celebrate and Exchange Ideas

By XIOPM OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 20 May 2016

The XIOPM Student Chapter of The Optical Society held an event on April 27-29 titled, “National Doctoral Academic Forum on Optics and Photonics,” to commemorate The Optical Society’s Centennial. To join the celebration, professors at University of Auckland, University of Science and Technology of China, National Tsing Hua University and students from around 30 universities and institutes were invited to participate in the National Doctoral Academic Forum on Optics and Photonics, as well as in other key activities, such as: lab tours, group photos, awards for best presentations, a Centennial celebration of OSA, and so on.

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A Mini-Congress in Partnership with Alfa Foundation

By UANL OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 20 May 2016

One of the OSA UANL Student Chapter main compromises and objectives is to develop and invite young minds into the science world. This time we took lead and looked forward to organize an Educational Congress for talented high school students. As the last event organized by the Officers Board 2015-2017 this was the main event of the season.

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A Lecture Series Filled with Opportunity

By QUT OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 20 May 2016

The graduate students in the school of Optometry and Vision Science at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have an immense passion in exploring the application of optics in their research activities. With this passion, The Optical Society (OSA) QUT Student Chapter was established in the year 2012. This year QUT OSA Student Chapter organized their first ever OSA lecture series to mark the Centennial year of OSA. This event was a joint collaboration between QUT OSA student chapter and QUT school of Optometry and Vision Science. The objective of the event was to educate and spread the awareness of a wide field of application of optics and light based technologies in science, engineering and other health research. In addition to that, we also wanted to highlight the achievements of our team and the challenges faced by the chapter. These were made clear to the audience in the Chapter President’s welcome speech. 

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Precision Measurements in Air Quality & Turbulence Incubator: Day 1

By George Nehmetallah | Posted: 20 May 2016

Yesterday, kicked off the start of the OSA Incubator on Precision Measurements in Air Quality & Turbulence: From Space-based Observations to Networked, Ground-based Point Sensors, hosted by the Environmental Sensing Technical Group: Adam J. Fleisher, National Institute of Standards & Technology, United States; Partha Banerjee, University of Dayton, United States; and Jorge E. Pezoa, Universidad de Concepción, Chile. The goal of this meeting is to share information among the different researchers that have common interests, to foster future collaboration, to identify areas in need of further research, improve and miniaturize novel sensor technologies, and to develop strategies to incorporate computer models in monitoring, predicting, and measuring pollution and its effect on population. Another goal for this meeting is to bring together researchers from the defense, industry, national labs, and academia, to share their knowledge and their technologies and how to move towards future directions for developing robust simulation tools, low cost and portable pollution sensors.

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OSA Incubator Takes on Precision Measurements in Air Quality

By ​Partha P. Banerjee | Posted: 18 May 2016

According to the United Nations Environment Program, more than 1 billion people are exposed to outdoor air pollution annually. Urban air pollution is linked to up to 1 million premature deaths and 1 million pre-native deaths each year. Urban air pollution is estimated to cost approximately 2% of GDP in developed countries and 5% in developing countries. By organizing this Incubator on Precision Measurements in Air Quality & Turbulence, the leadership of the Environmental Sensing Technical Group hope to open the door to innovative and aggressive monitoring of air quality and predictions, leading to worldwide improvement of the quality of life.


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Starting a New Tradition

By Purdue University OSA Student Chapter | Posted: 13 May 2016

Our chapter organized the 1st annual conference on Micro & Nano-scale Science for Addressing Grand Challenges: Advancing Technology with Light at Purdue University. The conference featured talks by graduate students and postdocs working in the broad field of nanotechnology. The talks covered several topics including: quantum photonics, thermal science, life science, sustainable energy and advanced laser-based nanomanufacturing. Over 80 students and researchers registered to attend the conference. The speakers discussed their contributions to the field and what grand challenges are still being based in that research field. 

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An Ambassador to Inspire Us All

By Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO) Student Chapter | Posted: 13 May 2016

On April 1st it was raining… it was raining a lot! But nothing stops an OSA Ambassadors. From Argonne National Laboratory (US), Dr. Chad Husko came in Barcelona early in the morning to visit the Institute of Photonic Science (ICFO) in Castelldefels. It was a long day for the OSA Student Chapter at ICFO, named ICONS since Dr. Anne l'Hullier (from Lund University) was giving a plenary talk about her research and ICONS was organizing a round table with her about her scientific experience. We were able to arrange everything and Chad was able to visit some labs during the day thanks to Dr. Niek Van Hulst (Molecular Nanophotonics), Dr. Darrick Chang (Theoretical Quantum-Nano Photonics Group) and Dr. Jens Biegert (Attoscience and Ultrafast Photonics Group and OSA Advisor at ICFO). All visits were enriching for everybody and (we hope) Chad had the opportunity to see how new ICFO is and the potential that our Centre has to develop and host lots of different social and skill-improving activities.

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