SAN DIEGO, Calif., August 7 -- More than 3200 attendees arrived in San Diego for the opening days of the SPIE annual meeting 2003 symposium, and about 1000 attended a welcome reception Monday night that featured mariachi music and a Mexican buffet. SPIE's International Symposium on Optical Science and Technology opened Sunday, with more than 1700 registering for short courses and the handful of technical conferences that kicked off the week-long meeting. More than 900 attended the Monday night poster session. Highlights of the meeting have included a conference honoring physicist Emil Wolf's long and distinguished career. Wolf also presented the keynote address, a tribute to Max Born, who won the 1954 Nobel Prize in Physics, at a banquet Wednesday night. Wolf is a professor of optical physics at the University of Rochester. He is the co-author, with Born, of the well-known book, Principles of Optics, and the co-author, with Leonard Mandel, of Optical Coherence and Quantum Optics. Among his numerous contributions to the field of physics, Born published a paper in 1924 entitled "Zur Quantummechanik," which marked the first time the phrase "quantum mechanics" was used. The Global Homeland Security Technical Group held a well-attended meeting Monday afternoon to lay the groundwork for future directions and activities. John Carrano, DARPA Program Manager, spoke to the Global Homeland Security Technical group about challenges for optically based biological agent sensors. The group also discussed plans for a global homeland security symposium in Washington in December. Also featured during the opening days of the meeting was a session on the military's needs for future displays, during a conference on organic light-emitting materials and devices. Bruce Bunker of Sandia National Labs presented a paper entitled, "Incorporation of bioactive materials into integrated systems" during a nanofabrication technologies conference. An astrobiology conference concluded with a session on the abundance of life forms found in the terrestrial cryoshpere (Antartica) that suggests bacterial life forms are capable of withstanding the rigors of space. Approximately 35 students from around the world attended a student chapter leadership orientation on the first day of the symposium. Representatives from many of SPIE's 32 student chapters attended, from as far away as Russia, Argentina, and Romania. They heard presentations on the structure and organization of SPIE, as well as a seminar on job interviewing techniques.