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A Superposition State

2020 OSA Ambassador, Claire McLellan, shares her experiences mentoring students duing the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights her work in engineering quantum sensors in this Discover OSA blog article. 

Added:28 Aug 2020


Scientist to scientist: Make time to try The OSAF Innovation School

The Innovation School powered by the OSA Foundation introduces intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial scientists to the nuances of business. I attended their first virtual school 12 - 17 July 2020, which included the same successful elements as their in-person schools and occurred as The Optical Society (OSA) transitioned many meetings and events to virtual programs.

Added:06 Aug 2020


Traveling the World from my Kitchen Chair: Experiences from a 2020 OSA Ambassador

I applied to become an OSA Ambassador and was granted that honor in 2020. I was immediately drawn to the OSA ambassador program as it provided me the opportunity to meet and motivate students and young professionals around the world by joining and leading them through technical discussions, professional development webinars, identifying opportunities for increased diversity and inclusion...

Added:23 Jul 2020


All-virtual CLEO: is this part of the ‘new normal’?

The all-virtual 2020 Conference on Lasers and Electro-optic (CLEO) 18-22 May succeeded on many levels, erasing my doubts that such a meeting could take place via videoconferencing. The current global pandemic certainly presents major challenges to the way we live and work, but the impressively quick restructuring of CLEO 2020 from an event in San Jose, CA, U.S.A. to an all-virtual online meet...

Added:08 Jun 2020


Getting involved with OSA

I have been a member of OSA since 2010, when I joined the University of Southampton student chapter council. As a council member, I had the opportunity to organise events to bring the local optics student community together as well as to speak to grade school students about the joy of optics as part of our outreach activities. Taking a leadership role and engaging with the community served to...

Added:31 Mar 2020


Becoming an OSA council student representative

Nearly 10 years ago, I was offered the opportunity to represent all OSA student members and help shape the future of new OSA member programs. This dramatically changed my life and career perspective as I was directly influencing and endorsing new initiatives.

Added:08 Nov 2019


Exploring Industry – doing basic optical research with big business.

How an ultrafast optics physicist forged healthy partnerships with industry while racing on the tenure-track.

Added:29 Aug 2019


Effective Presentations

For anyone at any career stage who wants to improve their presentation skills, some tips and suggestions for crafting an effective presentation. Presentations are not just great opportunities to explain your results to a broader community, but also moments for you to get in touch again with the big picture of your scientific work

Added:07 Jun 2019


Girls (also) wanna have fun in the lab! Nobel Laureate Donna Strickland dixit.

The United Nations (UN) #February11 commemorates the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, in an effort to attract girls and women to STEM areas. Yes, girls are curious about science, the same way boys do too. Yet why are there fewer women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)? Why are the numbers not changing as fast as we would like?

Added:12 Feb 2019


Advice from an Industry Professional: OSA Ambassador Interview Series

​​Jelena Pesic, 2018 OSA Ambassador, conducts interviews with researchers in the field of industry. She asks a wide-range of questions regarding their inital interest in science, why they chose optics, to why industry is important. The fourth interview is with Annachiara Pagano, member of the technical staff/Senior Technology Expert at TIM in Italy.

Added:12 Nov 2018


A Global, Diverse and Inclusive OSA: Challenges and Opportunities

As a researcher I travel quite often. This year in particular, was my first year as an OSA Ambassador and I had the opportunity to travel much more than usual, to places where I had never been before.  This role as OSA Ambassador has allowed me to expand my network dramatically and gave me the incredible opportunity to connect with a great number of colleagues, mostly students, around the...

Added:26 Oct 2018


What More Can I do to Prepare for a Career in Industry

Committing to major career decisions can be tough in any stage of life, but especially for students. What field of optics do I want to study? Am I more interested in theory or experiments? What school should I attend? Which lab should I join? Should I switch labs? Should I pursue more education or a post-doc? Do I want to work in academia or industry?

Added:31 Jul 2018


Stretch Assignments: Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone

The reason many of us became scientists and engineers is because we enjoy solving hard problems.  Whether it is experimental design, hardware implementation or data analysis, we relish heading home at the end of the day (or night!) feeling like we thought a lot and made progress toward our goals.  As early career professionals, tackling difficult problems at the edge or just outside...

Added:23 Jun 2018


Advice from an Industry Professional: OSA Ambassador Interview Series

​Jelena Pesic, 2018 OSA Ambassador, conducts interviews with researchers in the field of industry. She asks a wide-range of questions regarding their inital interest in science, why they chose optics, to why industry is important. The third interview is with Sébastien Bigo, leader of the IP and Optical Networking Research Group at Nokia Bell Labs in France. 

Added:13 Jun 2018


Advice from an Industry Professional: OSA Ambassador Interview Series

​Jelena Pesic, 2018 OSA Ambassador, conducts interviews with researchers in the field of industry. She asks a wide-range of questions regarding their inital interest in science, why they chose optics, to why industry is important. The third interview is with Sébastien Bigo who is leading the IP & Optical Networking Research Group in NOKIA Bell Labs in France. 

Added:01 Jun 2018


Sharing My True Excitement for the Inaugural International Day of Light

The International Day of Light (IDL) is a global initiative that provides an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of light and the role it plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy. IDL is a worldwide event to help achieve the goals of United Nations Educational, Scientific and...

Added:31 May 2018


An Insightful Experience at OSA Leadership

​Dr. Ivan P. Kaminow was a pioneer in the area of telecommunications and was passionate about mentoring early career professionals and the OSA Ivan P. Kaminow Early Career Professional Prize has been constituted in his memory. I remember waking up in the first week of January and seeing the email from OSA that announced the award, a truly fantastic start to the year for me! It is an incredible...

Added:02 May 2018


Advice from an Industry Professional: OSA Ambassador Interview Series

​Jelena Pesic, 2018 OSA Ambassador, conducts interviews with researchers in the field of industry. She asks a wide-range of questions regarding their inital interest in science, why they chose optics, to why industry is important. The second interview is with Matthias Gunkel, Senior Network Architect with Deutsche Telekom in Germany.

Added:30 Apr 2018


Advice from an Industry Professional: OSA Ambassador Interview Series

Jelena Pesic, 2018 OSA Ambassador, conducts interviews with researchers in the field of industry. She asks a wide-range of questions regarding their inital interest in science, why they chose optics, to why industry is important. The first interview is with Andrew Lord (visiting professor at Essex University), Head of Optical Research in BT in the United Kingdom.  

Added:20 Apr 2018


Driving Diversity, Closing the Gap: Celebrating International Day for Women and Girls in Science

The fourth industrial revolution dawns upon us and with that evokes a quintessential question, how do we, as women and girls in science, seek opportunities and be influential during this shift of science, technology and innovation? We are currently in an era where science and physical systems are fusing to develop emerging technology that is based on artificial intelligence, robotics, Internet...

Added:11 Feb 2018


The Art of Optics Outreach

Science outreach is fun, not only for the participants, but also for the educators as well. Science draws out our curiosity and we all have natural curiosity. When you design and conduct an outreach event, you have to think carefully about how to turn science, optics for example, into something interesting and understandable for others; making it a good test of how well you know a topic. At an...

Added:30 May 2017


Finding My Home at OSA

The idea of writing this post came from an informal conversation with OSA President, Eric Mazur, during Winter Leadership Meeting this past January. This is about how my good friend Dr. Alvaro Casas Bedoya and I were able to turnaround a difficult situation and finish our physics degrees, using the advantages of OSA’s student membership. 

Added:18 May 2017


My First Trip as an OSA Ambassador

I arrived in Beijing on 20 April after a 23 hour long trip. While I was tired from the travel, I met with Aixin Zhang, PhD student at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Physics (IOP) and President of the OSA Student Chapter who took me to IOP. I was welcomed by Professor Ling-An Wu, Chapter Advisor, and was impressed by the huge building and hospitality of all the professors and...

Added:08 May 2017


An OSA Ambassador’s Journey: How I became an OSA Ambassador

My OSA journey started 10 years ago in 2007, when I first learned about The Optical Society. It was at a workshop when someone made an “About OSA” presentation for students at my University. While I cannot remember who the speaker was, I remember very clearly my feeling: It was like a breath of fresh air. The talk was about the numerous opportunities for students and student...

Added:04 Apr 2017


Boston University Celebrates International Women's Day

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the success women have achieved by empowering each other and have an opportunity to advocate for gender parity. Especially for women in Optics and STEM fields where women are unfortunately still underrepresented, this marks a special occasion to come together and express support, encouragement and inspiration to each other. On Wednesday, March 8,...

Added:29 Mar 2017


Traveling Lecturer: Late Night Conversations turn to Collaboration

A few month ago I was in Rochester, NY for FiO2016. The meeting agenda was so busy, like always it is. Although tired, the day always ended with a group of us chatting in the hotel lobby about optics, science and life. As if all of us wanted to draw as much as possible on the opportunity of being there. A few months later, I received an invitation to visit the Lund OSA Chapter in Sweden. I had...

Added:27 Feb 2017


Lab Visits - An Investment That Is Worth It

Dear OSA members,   This is the fourth in a series of blog posts I’m writing throughout 2016 in my role as OSA Ambassador. You can find earlier posts on visits to Barcelona and Quebec, and OSA FiberTech in Sydney.   In this post I will discuss a recent trip Down Under to visit our colleagues at the University of Queensland and Griffith University in Brisbane. This follows on...

Added:02 Nov 2016


Coming Back to the Down Under

​Hey there! This is the third in a series of blog posts I’m writing throughout 2016 in my role as OSA Ambassador. You can find earlier posts on visits to Barcelona and Quebec.   In this post I will discuss a recent trip Down Under to attend the OSA Photonics and Fiber Technology conference in Sydney. I worked at the University of Sydney for four years...

Added:26 Oct 2016


Going Back to the Basics

The IIT Delhi OSA Student Chapter hosted OSA Ambassador Dr. Arti Agrawal from City University, London as a Traveling Lecturer. The talk was on Finite Element Method for Photonics and Optics. She covered some of the key principles of numerical methods (for photonics) and shown some examples of different classes of methods. She explained the basics of FEM and steps involved in the method, with...

Added:06 Sep 2016


Working In Optics

The career event “Working in Optics in Berlin” took place on 15 June at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and was funded by the OSA Ambassador Program. It was organized by Aline Dinkelaker, OSA Ambassador, and the student chapter BerlinOptik. More than 80 participants registered to attend the event, with participants from each of the three universities in Berlin as well as from...

Added:25 Jul 2016


Life after ICFO: A PhD is Not Enough

On June 2nd 2016, the ICONS student chapter hosted Prof.Giovanni Volpe (Assistant Professor, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey) a former ICFOnian as a part of OSA´s Ambassador and Traveling Lecturer Programs. The visit of Professor Volpe was beneficial in multiple ways. Being a former ICFOnian, Professor Volpe was able to gives us first-hand experience about life after a PhD in photonics...

Added:05 Jul 2016


Traveling Around India

I had the opportunity to travel to India as a travelling lecturer in April. In visiting 3 cities and several chapters (holding joint events) I had some amazing experiences. 

Added:05 Jul 2016


Going Back Where It All Began

On June 2-3 2016, I have visited the OSA Student Chapter at ICFO - the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain. I was hosted by the Vice-President of the Student, Kavitha Kalavoor, and I had the opportunity to meet several of the other Officers of the Student Chapter.

Added:05 Jul 2016


Light Beyond the Lab: Putting Your Research Skills to Work

This is the second in a series of blog posts I’m writing throughout 2016 in my role as OSA Ambassador. In case you missed my last post, you can find it here.   In this blog post I will discuss a recent trip across the border to Canada to attend the IONS-Quebec conference and to visit INRS-Montreal.   I’ll also give you a glimpse into some...

Added:29 Jun 2016


Putting Your PhD to Work

The OSA Ambassador program I’m excited to volunteer in the inaugural year of the OSA Ambassador program. Our goal is to further the professional development skills of our student and Young Professional members.‘Putting your PhD to work’ To this end, I am focusing on the topic of ‘Putting your PhD to work.’   In brief, the skills learned during an optics...

Added:21 Jun 2016