SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION: Outstanding university students recognized at Frontiers in Optics 2010

Dec. 10, 2010
Outstanding students and young professional members of the optics community were recognized by The Optical Society (OSA) and the OSA Foundation (OSAF) at the 2010 Frontiers in Optics (FiO)/OSA Annual Meeting, held October 24-28, 2010, in Rochester, NY.

GRACE KLONOSKI

Outstanding students and young professional members of the optics community were recognized by The Optical Society (OSA) and the OSA Foundation (OSAF) at the 2010 Frontiers in Optics (FiO)/OSA Annual Meeting, held October 24-28, 2010, in Rochester, NY. The honorees were selected for outstanding research papers, presentation skills, and achievements in Student Chapter leadership.

Winners were announced for three OSAF programs: the Emil Wolf Outstanding Student Paper Competition, recognizing the research excellence of students presenting their work at FiO; the Jean Bennett Memorial Student Travel Grant, providing a merit-based grant to one student attending the conference; and the Harvey M. Pollicove Memorial Scholarship, presented to a student pursuing a degree in the field of precision optics manufacturing.

“It is exciting to see the level of creativity and the high quality of research from these students,” said OSAF Chair Michael Morris. “Recognizing the outstanding efforts of student researchers serves as an opportunity to highlight examples of innovation and academic excellence to the wider optics community on both a local and international scale. The OSA Foundation congratulates all the winners on their achievements.”

Emil Wolf Outstanding Student Paper Competition

Established in 2008, the Emil Wolf Outstanding Student Paper Competition recognizes the innovation and excellence of student research presented at FiO. Winners receive a complimentary one-year OSA student membership, an award stipend of $300, and an award certificate. Created in honor of Professor Emil Wolf’s many contributions to science and The Optical Society, the competition is sponsored by the Elsevier publication Optics Communications, with additional support provided by Physical Optics Corporation, the University of Rochester Physics Department, the Institute of Optics, and individual contributors.

Six winners were selected from among 20 finalists:

  • Gregorius Berkhout, Leiden University and Cosine Science & Computing BV, Netherlands; Paper: Sorting Optical Angular Momentum States Based on a Geometric Transformation
  • Ori Katz, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel; Paper: Compressive Fourier Transform Spectroscopy
  • Gilad Lerman, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; Paper: Radial Polarization Interferometer
  • Thomas Matthews, Duke University, USA; Paper: Nonlinear High-Resolution Imaging of Eumelanin and Pheomelanin Distributions in Normal Skin Tissue and Melanoma
  • Hayden McGuinness, University of Oregon, USA; Paper: Frequency Translation of Single-Photon States by Four-Wave Mixing in a Photonic Crystal Fiber
  • Richard Smith, University of Rochester, USA; Paper: Direct Measurement of Bend-Induced Mode Deformation Using a Helical-core Fiber.

Jean Bennett Memorial Student Travel Grant

Tongcang Li of the University of Texas at Austin, USA, was named the first winner of the Jean Bennett Memorial Student Travel Grant for his research paper entitled “Optical Trapping and Cooling of Glass Microspheres.” The grant provides $1,000 to cover travel expenses to FiO. This new award program was established in memory of Jean M. Bennett, a highly decorated research physicist renowned for her contributions to the studies of optical surfaces and who served as OSA’s first female president. It is made possible through the support of Nanoptek Corporation, the Pennsylvania State University Department of Physics, James Wyant, and additional individual contributors.

Harvey M. Pollicove Memorial Scholarship

The Harvey M. Pollicove Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Mark Ramme of the College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL) and Townes Laser Institute at the University of Central Florida. The scholarship was established in 2008 through contributions from Harvey Pollicove’s friends and colleagues to recognize his work in the field of precision optics manufacturing. It is awarded to a student pursuing a degree in the field of precision optics manufacturing and rotates each year among a group of universities: the University of Rochester, the University of Arizona, Tucson; the University of Central Florida, Orlando; and Monroe Community College, Rochester.

OSA’s worldwide network of Student Chapters participated in a variety of events and competitions at FiO. “Student Chapters are one of the fastest-growing segments of the OSA member community,” explains April Zack, Senior Manager, Chapters and Education Initiatives. “In 2010, the number of OSA Chapters increased 13%, from 178 to 207. Our Student Chapter members are talented, enthusiastic, and hard-working. It’s very difficult to select the ‘best of the best’ in these competitions.”

OSA Excellence Awards

OSA Excellence Awards were given to two Student Chapters and one Local Section. Each year, outstanding Chapters and Sections are selected for their extraordinary efforts in areas such as youth education outreach, technical programming, or professional development. The prize is $1,000 USD. The 2010 Excellence Award winners were:

Student Chapter Competition

The 2010 OSA Student Chapter Competition focused on youth education, with the added twist of incorporating food or other food elements into the entries. The annual program is sponsored by the Newport Corporation.

First prize went to the University of California-Irvine Chapter for the entry “Filling Heads with ‘Fruity’ Light!” Students could turn the knobs on the exhibit to make a table tennis ball’s color change to match the desired fruit colors. The runners-up were Université Laval, Canada, with their entry “Photonics Games” and the University of Arizona with their entry “Jell-O Optics.”

For more information on the Emil Wolf Student Paper Competition, the Jean Bennett memorial student Travel Grant, or the H.M. Pollicove Memorial Scholarship, including guidelines for entry, please contact [email protected]. For more information about Student Chapter awards and activities, please contact [email protected].

The OSA Foundation, created in 2002, is dedicated to supporting programs that advance youth science education, provide optics education and resources to underserved populations, and provide career and professional development resources. Contributions to the Foundation, a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, are deductible as provided by law. All donors receive special recognition and acknowledgements, unless they request to be anonymous. Donations to the OSA Foundation are matched dollar-for-dollar by the Optical Society. For more information, please contact the OSA development staff via telephone: (202) 416-1421 or e-mail: [email protected].

Grace Klonoski is the Senior Director, Foundation, Membership & Education Services for the Optical Society of America, 2010 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20036; e-mail: [email protected]; www.osa-foundation.org.

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