Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Looking forward..

Hey everyone..!

I'm back home again! Last week at COSI was such good fun! Next I look forward to Frontiers in Optics in October. This year FiO is in the Bay area. It's usually a big enough meeting that plenty of people travel to make it. So it's nice to have it in sunny California!

Although a large part of conferences involves checking out the latest and best in optics, much of it involves meeting new people and building strong professional relationships. Networking lunches, dinners and receptions are ideal for these. Most meetings also host exhibitions and poster sessions that let you connect with people who may have interests in your field.

In the past couple of years there have also been plenty of activities that are specifically targeted toward students and the somewhat younger crowd in optics. My favorite at FiO had been a couple of years ago in Rochester, they had Jorge Cham of PhD comics talk about procrastination! :) Some time back there was also the most awesome laser tag event and some cool eday demos. Young optics professionals from all over had come together to showcase all the cool and innovative stuff you can do with optics. Check out Nicole Moore's demo of a pinhole camera.

Ref: OSA E-day 2008,

This year's conference has quite a few fun events. I was just having a look at the Young Professionals and Student Activities link. The Entrepreneurs International Network (EIN) Workshop and VIP Industry Leaders Networking Event certainly look very useful! There's a Minorities and Women in OSA Tea that I'll attend.

Also, check out this Student Chapter Competition. It's going to be a contest - Mission Optical, where Student Chapters from all over the world will do optics demos for youth optics education using only ordinary household items.. under 25$.

I was thinking about the household items bit and you know, there actually are plenty of household items that can be used in optics experiments! A TV screen makes for an amazingly bright object with built-in illumination, plastic spoons show excellent stress birefringence, water and glass are always the good old reliable light-benders, jello can be cut out to be shaped like lenses, and as Nicole pointed out, even a Folger's coffee can is reusable as a lensless, pinhole camera! 

Promises to be highly imaginative, right? I'll be sure to check it out! Hope they take videos at this event.. or maybe I will!  


  1. This pinhole camera is wonderfull, i think. It is very interesting to see how it is possible to realize optics apparatus with only some rudimentary objects as coffee cups !

  2. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it is amazing how innovative people can be using simple objects for optics demos!