Orestes Nicholas Stavroudis

In Memoriam: Orestes Nicholas Stavroudis, 1923-2014

January 18, 2014

Professor OrestOrestes N. Stavroudises N. Stavroudis, an OSA Fellow and professor emeritus at the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences, died on 18 January 2014 in Guanajuato, Mexico.  He was 90.

Stavroudis was born in New York, NY. He studied at Columbia University, where he obtained bachelor's (1948) and master's (1949) degrees in mathematics. He earned a Ph.D. in optics from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in 1959.

An expert in the mathematics of geometrical and physical optics, Stavroudis spent several years as a mathematician for the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) before joining the University of Arizona Optical Sciences Center in 1967 as one of its earliest professors. He advised eight M.S. and Ph.D. students during his tenure. 

His areas of interest in optics were related to the differential geometry of wavefronts, off axis telescopes, K-function and Maxwell equations, wildly off-axis telescopes, generalized ray tracing and modular optical design.

After retiring from the Optical Sciences Center in 1988, Stavroudis worked in senior science positions for Fairchild Industries' space division and the Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. From 1992-2011, he worked as a senior researcher at the Center for Research in Optics in León, Mexico, where he also supervised optics students and was active in publishing.

Among his many publications were several monographs and three books: The Optics of Rays, Wavefront and Caustics (Academic, 1972), Modular Optical Design (1982, Springer), and The Mathematics of Geometrical and Physical Optics: The K- Function and its Ramifications (Wiley-VCH, 2006).

Stavroudis was elected an OSA Fellow in 1976, and he served as Associate Editor for the Journal of the Optical Society of America.  He was also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the Mathematical Society of America and of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

To make a memorial donation to the OSA Foundation in honor of Orestes N. Stavroudis, please visit www.osa.org/donate.

OSA Awards Won