Light shines on Rochester SPIE conference

March 1, 2001
Optics, photonics, and imaging professionals will gather in Rochester, NY, when the city hosts the first OPTO-Northeast and Imaging 2001 Conference April 10 and 11 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
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Optics, photonics, and imaging professionals will gather in Rochester, NY, when the city hosts the first OPTO-Northeast and Imaging 2001 Conference April 10 and 11 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. The region is the location of more than 60 companies involved in high-tech, light-driven technologies, including Xerox, Eastman Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, and Corning.

Known as the "World's Image Center," Rochester is rich in the history of these particular industries, and a hotbed of development in related business initiatives and education. "The Rochester-Corning-Ithaca triangle is a booming economic zone of high-tech collaboration, viewed globally as the 'Silicon Valley' of micro-optics systems technology," said David R. Smith, R&D organizational director at Eastman Kodak.

The OPTO-Northeast and Imaging 2001 Conference is designed to promote photonics, optics, and imaging at high-tech companies in the Rochester region (see Fig. 1). The conference is co-sponsored by the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE; Bellingham, WA) and the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC).

The surge of Rochester-area high technology companies is sustained by a wealth of local educational programs in related disciplines. The three major colleges in the area, University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and Monroe Community College (MCC), each provide a nationally acclaimed educational program in their respective fields: optics and photonics at the University of Rochester, imaging science at RIT, and optics and photonics technician training at MCC (see Fig. 2).

While the strength of local links to higher education is apparent, growing companies still lack well-trained technicians, engineers, and scientists. "Education in Optics and Imaging Sciences" is one of several sessions scheduled for the OPTO-Northeast and Imaging 2001. Dennis G. Hall, associate provost at Vanderbilt University and former director of the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, will give a keynote presentation on the history of optics in post-secondary education. Other conference topics will include "Optical Sciences," "Imaging Sciences," "Biomedical Optics and Imaging," "Optoelectronics and Photonic Devices," and "Business in Optics."

The conference is expected to draw between 600 and 800 attendees from the northeast region of the USA and the eastern part of Canada. "Today, high-technology industries have a greater need for innovation, education and collaboration than ever before," said Chris Cotton, president of ASE Optics (Honeoye, NY) and conference co chair. "It is our hope that this conference will foster the growing photonics, optics and imaging science industries in the region."

For more information on the OPTO-Northeast and Imaging 2001 Conference, visit, or contact Bonnie Peterson at (360) 676-3290.


Chris Cotton, president of ASE Optics and conference co-chair, contributed to this story.

About the Author

Valerie Coffey-Rosich | Contributing Editor

Valerie Coffey-Rosich is a freelance science and technology writer and editor and a contributing editor for Laser Focus World; she previously served as an Associate Technical Editor (2000-2003) and a Senior Technical Editor (2007-2008) for Laser Focus World.

Valerie holds a BS in physics from the University of Nevada, Reno, and an MA in astronomy from Boston University. She specializes in editing and writing about optics, photonics, astronomy, and physics in academic, reference, and business-to-business publications. In addition to Laser Focus World, her work has appeared online and in print for clients such as the American Institute of Physics, American Heritage Dictionary, BioPhotonics, Encyclopedia Britannica, EuroPhotonics, the Optical Society of America, Photonics Focus, Photonics Spectra, Sky & Telescope, and many others. She is based in Palm Springs, California. 

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