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Maiman Student Paper Competition

Maiman Student Paper Competition header image

This competition was established in 2008 in memory of Theodore Maiman and in acknowledgement of his amazing invention, the first working laser, and his other outstanding contributions to optics and photonics.



The program recognizes student innovation, research excellence and presentation skills in the areas of laser technology and electro-optics, and is endowed by HRL Laboratories, LLC, IEEE Photonics Society and APS Division of Laser Science. Finalists will present their papers to a panel of judges virtually the week before the conference.The top prize recipient receives US$3,000, two honorable mention recipients each recognized. The results will be announced during the Plenary Session.


How to Apply:


Application Dates:

The submitting author must opt-in to the competition during the regular paper submission process and follow all of the instructions provided on the submission site.
Paper Submission Deadline: 02 December 2021

Applicants Must:

  • Be an undergraduate or graduate student of an educational institution of collegiate grade who is devoting more than half-time to studies within the institution at the time the paper was written.
  • Submit a paper that is accepted during the regular “call for papers” process for CLEO (Note: Post-deadline Papers are not part of this competition).
  • Present the paper orally during the conference.


Selection Committee

The winner is selected by the CLEO conference chairs.

2021 Recipient

2021 Maiman Student Paper Competition Winner Nicholas Nardelli

Nicholas Nardelli, National Institute of Standards and Technology & University of Colorado Boulder

Nardelli was recognized for his presentation "Differential Spectroscopy of Atomic Clocks for Improved Measurement Instability."


Past Recipients

  • Jaco Fuchs, ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2020)
  • Simon Duval, Universite Laval, Canada (2019)
  • Dominik Peller, University of Regensburg, Germany (2018)
  • Jingyuan Linda Zhang, Stanford University, USA (2017)
  • Mengjie Yu, Cornell University, USA (2016)
  • Shuo Sun, University of Maryland, US (2015)
  • Fabian Langer, University of Regensburg, Germany (2014)
  • Gary Shambat, Stanford University, US (2013)
  • Jeffrey Driscoll, Columbia University, US (2012)
  • Hugo Benichi, University of Tokyo, Japan (2011)
  • Brendan Reagan, Colorado State University, US (2010)
  • Georg Anetsberger, Max-Planck-Institut fur Quantenoptik, Germany (2009)

View Past Winners