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Light the Future Events

26 June 2018: Light the Future with Jason Eichenholz

Jason EichenholzJason Eichenholz
Luminar Technologies
Co-Founder and CTO 

OSA Imaging Congress 
Tuesday, 26 June 2018, 8:00 - 9:00 

The Role of Optics and Photonics in the Vehicles of Tomorrow 

In this presentation, OSA Fellow Jason Eichenholz will take a high level look at the future of optics and photonics technologies in autonomous vehicles. Optics are a crucial component in an industry headed for extreme disruption over the next few decades and will play a critical role in shaping the future of navigation, passenger experience and the ultimate safety of the autonomous trip. Eichenholz will discuss the key components of all-things-optic, including LiDAR, laser headlights, passenger monitoring and interior lighting and displays, the role each plays inside a future automobile and its impact on the transportation industry. 

9 April 2018: Light the Future with Nergis Mavalvala

Nergis MavalvalaNergis Mavalvala 
LIGO Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

OSA Winter Leadership Meeting 
Monday, 9 February 2018, 17:30 - 18:15 
Washington, DC, USA 

Launching a new era of gravitational wave astrophysics

Nergis Mavalvala, Marble Professor of Astrophysics at MIT and a 2010 recipient of a MacArthur "genius" award, is a physicist whose research focuses on the detection of gravitational waves. She is a longstanding member of the scientific team that announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory. Mavalvala has also conducted pioneering experiments on generation and application of squeezed states of light, and on laser cooling and trapping of macroscopic objects to enable observation of quantum phenomena in human-scale systems. Mavalvala received a B.A. from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. from MIT. She was a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist at the California Institute of Technology before joining the Physics faculty at MIT in 2002.

8 February 2017: Light the Future with Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, DC, USA, hosted the first Light the Future speaker series of the year.  Isaacson is also the author of many best-selling books including, “The Innovators," “Steve Jobs,” and “Einstein: His Life and Universe."

The theme of his talk was "The Collaboration and Teamwork of Today’s Great Innovators."  

5 December 2016: Light the Future with Prof. Sir David Payne

As part of OSA's 100th anniversary celebration, the Light The Future speaker series has featured distinguished scientists, engineers and Nobel Laureates.  On 5 December 2016, during Photonics India, Prof. Sir David Payne, University of Southampton, Highfield and OSA Fellow, gave a public presentation. He highlighted the enabling technologies and noted that the Optical Fiber Internet is perhaps the greatest gift photonics gave to mankind. Sir David also talked about bridging the digital divide by providing accessible, affordable global communications.  

3 November 2016: Light the Future with Steven Chu

Steven Chu, Nobel Laureate, former U.S Secretary of Energy and OSA Fellow,  gave a public presentation at ACP on Thursday, 3 November 2016 as part of OSA's Light The Future speaker series.  Dr. Chu gave an exhilarating talk about energy, biomedicine and optics and photonics research that will have a profound effect on the global economy and our everyday lives. 

20 October 2016: Light the Future with Michio Kaku

Michio Kaku, futurist and theoretical physicist, City College of New York, gave a public presentation at FiO on Thursday, 20 October 2016. Sir Peter L. Knight, emeritus professor, Imperial College, London, OSA 2004 President and OSA Fellow served as the Master of Ceremonies for this program.  This program also featured a special Ignite the Future segment where predictions of what’s next in optics were given by Nobel Prize winners, including Nicolaas Bloembergen, Robert F. Curl, Roy J. Glauber,  John L. Hall, W.E. Moerner, William D. Phillips and David J. Wineland.  

"Optics of the Future: Exploring the Universe and the Brain"
This talk explores the physics behind exciting new fields, such as detecting gravity waves from black holes, detecting twins of the earth in space, energizing laser-powered star ships, and unraveling the Big Bang. It will also explore inner space, e.g. the use of optogenetics to map the neural pathways of the human brain in the Connectome Project, one of the great science projects of the future.

24 August 2016: Light the Future with Susana Marcos

Susana Marcos, Professor of Research, Instituto de Óptica, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and OSA Fellow, gave a public presentation at LAOP, Wednesday, 24 August 2016.

"An Eye into the Future"
The eye is a fascinating optical system, yet its performance gets compromised with age and disease. Myopia affects 25% of the population (90% in some Asian countries) and its prevalece is raising. Presbyopia, the age-related loss of the crystalline lens to accommodate near and far, affects 100% of the population over 45 years of age. Light-based technologies and optics allow us for a better diagnosis and treatment of the eye. Future optical technologies hold promise for restoring sight and will be key in improving eye care for all.

9 February 2016: Light the Future with Ira Flatow at OSA's Centennial Kickoff Celebration

Ira Flatow, broadcast journalist and host of Science Friday, kicked off the speaker series with a motivating talk titled "Science is the New Sexy." The talk highlighted the importance of science to the general public especially in pop culture, using examples from the “Simpsons” (Elon Musk was a character) and the hit TV comedy, The Big Bang Theory.  His talk reinforced our theme for Leadership which was the importance of communicating science to the general public.