SAN JOSE, Jan. 30 -- LASE 2003 hosted a plenary session featuring Nobel Prize-winning physicist Nicolaas Bloembergen (Harvard Univ.) at Photonics West 2003 Wednesday. Bloembergen spoke on the development of femtosecond laser pulses, specifically on how science and technology are able to create synergy to achieve research goals. "Transition from repetitive to cumulative thermal processing in femtosecond laser induced machining of embedded waveguides [4978-43]," presented by Rafael Gattass (Howard Univ.), was judged to be the premier poster presented during the Tuesday night Poster Reception. Gattass was awarded a $1,000 grant for his work. The award was sponsored by Clark MRX, Coherent, IMRA, Spectra-Physics and Positive Light. The OPTO 2003 symposium hosted an awards ceremony and plenary presentations session Tuesday morning. Manijeh Raghezi of Northwestern University spoke on quantum sensing using artificial atoms. Shawn-Yu Lin of Sandia National Labs spoke about metallic photonic crystal-based light emitters. Naser Partovi (Enterprise Partners) gave a market update on telecom optical components. The Best Paper 2002 Award was presented during the session, and the paper "Ion-exchanged glass DFB Lasers for DWDM," by Sylvain Blaize, Lionel Bastard, Guy Vitrant, Jean-Emmanuel Broquin (all at IMEP-ENSERG [France]), and Cedric Cassagnetes (Teem-Photonics [France]) was deemed the premier paper from last year's meeting. The Women in Optics Working Group also held court on Tuesday. Kristen Kulinowski, the 2002 OSA/SPIE Congressional Fellow, spoke on the role of technologists in grovernment decision making, and Manijeh Razhegi (Northwestern Univ.) discussed the invention of Al-free high-power semiconductor lasers. The evening social event was the poster reception held nearby at the Fairmont Hotel. Thousands of attendees enjoyed light refreshments and mingled with hundreds of poster authors, who eagerly discussed their research and discoveries.