Emmett N. Leith Medal

Emmett N. Leith Medal

The Emmett N. Leith Medal, established in 2006, honors Emmett N. Leith, a world-renowned scientist in holography and optical information processing. Leith was a pioneer of coherent optics in radar systems and is credited with developing modern holography in the early 1960s. This award recognizes seminal contributions to the field of optical information processing. In assessing the significance of the contribution, consideration is given to all aspects including theoretical and conceptual breakthroughs as well as practical applications. Optical information processing is broadly conceived to include sensing and analog signal processing as well as computing (classical and quantum) and optical storage.

This award is endowed through the OSA Foundation by contributions from General Dynamics, the University of Michigan College of Engineering, Physical Optics Corporation and individual contributors, including Alexander Sawchuk, Joseph Goodman, James R. Fienup, G. Michael Morris, Tom Cathey and James Wyant. Please consider making a donation to support this special honor. Your gift will be matched by OSA with a contribution to the OSAF General Fund.

View the current Emmett N. Leith Medal Selection Committee.


2018 - Asher Albert Friesem [Citation]

For pioneering, seminal and wide ranging contributions to coherent optics, particularly the developments of new techniques and procedures in holographic applications and optical information processing.

2017 - Jumpei Tsujiuchi [Citation]

For early pioneering work in optical information processing, holography and optical metrology, including the first demonstration of coherent optical processing for image restoration.

2016 - Francis T. S. Yu [Citation]

For his life-long important contributions to holography, white-light holography, partially coherent signal processing, optical correlators, and information optics.

2015 - Yeshaiahu Fainman [Citation]

For extension of Fourier optics methods to the femtosecond and nanometer regimes

2014 - Adam Kozma [Citation]

For seminal contributions to optical information processing of radar data and holographic memories

2013 - James R. Fienup [Citation]

For the integration of optics and digital systems as demonstrated in pioneering contributions to phase retrieval, image restoration, wavefront sensing and computational imaging

2012 - Demetri Psaltis [Citation]

For seminal contributions to holographic storage and optical information processing

2011 - Jean-Pierre Huignard [Citation]

For seminal contributions to the field of spatial light modulators and analog optical signal processing

2010 - Juris Upatnieks [Citation]

For his pioneering and seminal contributions to the development of practical holography and its applications, including the co-invention (with Emmett Leith) of the off-axis hologram, the development of compact optical correlators and the introduction of edge-illuminated holograms

2009 - Joseph W. Goodman [Citation]

For pioneering research and education in optical information processing, holography and statistical optics, particularly for work on the statistical properties of speckle and optical interconnections

2008 - Adolf W. Lohmann [Citation]

For seminal contributions to the fields of optical information processing and holography

Asher Albert Friesem, 2018 Recipient