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  • Zhang Appointed Director of URochester’s Institute of Optics
Aug 2011
ROCHESTER, N.Y., Aug. 23, 2011 — Xi-Cheng Zhang has been named director of the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics effective Jan. 1, 2012, pending approval of the board of trustees.

Zhang succeeds Wayne Knox, who stepped down after 10 years to become associate dean of education and new initiatives at the university's Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Zhang is currently director of the Center for Terahertz Research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he also serves as acting head of the department of physics, applied physics and astronomy. Researchers at the center work in the terahertz portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to create new imaging and sensing technologies that are used in areas such as biomedical imaging and microelectronics.

Zhang has received some 30 honors and awards during his career, most recently the William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award from the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Photonics Society in recognition of his innovative work in the field of lasers and electro-optics.

Before joining RPI in 1991, Zhang was a guest scientist at MIT, a research physicist at the Amoco Research Center and a research scientist at Columbia University. He has also held professorships at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and at eight different universities and institutes in China.

Zhang has been awarded 26 US patents. He has authored or co-authored 19 books and has written more than 350 scientific papers. He earned both his PhD and master's degrees in physics at Brown University. His undergraduate degree, also in physics, was from Peking University in Beijing.

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1. The branch of physics that deals with the use of electrical energy to create or manipulate light waves, generally by changing the refractive index of a light-propagating material; 2. Collectively, the devices used to affect the intersection of electrical energy and light. Compare with optoelectronics.
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