Southampton Photonics Inc. (SPI), a Southampton, England-based maker of optical components such as amplifiers, transmitters and filters, announced yesterday at Photonics West 2004 that it has contracted with the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, England, to provide a kW laser for advanced industrial materials processing applications. The university's Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre will use the kW laser to explore novel processing applications. SPI said the laser's ultrahigh brightness (beam quality can be set between 0.5 and 50 mm.mrad) will enable the center to investigate applications such as high-speed cutting and welding, deep-section cutting and a variety of other processes that can benefit from using this intense source of energy. . . . James Sethian, head of the Mathematics Group at the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a mathematics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, has been awarded the Norbert Wiener Prize in Applied Mathematics by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). The prize was presented at the joint AMS-SIAM meeting, held this month in Phoenix. Sethian was honored "for his seminal work on the computer representation of the motion of curves, surfaces, interfaces, and wave fronts, and for his brilliant applications of mathematical and computational ideas to problems in science and engineering." Among the practical problems solved by Sethian: the tracking of interfaces and drops in fluid mechanics with applications to inkjet design for high-speed printers; the analysis of crystal growth (with J. Strain); and the design of optimal structures under loads (with A. Wiegmann). "His models of implicit surface motion together with fast Eikonal solvers are standard fare in medical and biomedical shape extraction, and they are used in hospital electron-beam scanners to quantify cardiac motion and efficiency," the AMS said.