BOSTON, Nov. 9 -- This year's Photonics East started on Monday, Nov. 6, and ended on Wednesday, Nov. 9, with large numbers of photonics professionals coming on all three days to get a chance to see the newest products and services offered by nearly 200 of the industries leading companies. Attendees took advantage of exhibitor product demonstrations, such as Burleigh Instruments' presentation of its Freedom 1000 automated alignment system and IntelliSense Corp.'s discussion of microelectromechanical system applications in the field of optical communications, in order to get a sense of where the future of the optics industry is headed.For those looking to expand their knowledge of the industry, Photonics East had about 100 short courses available on such topics as optical communications and networking, imaging electro-optics and biochips. Industry professionals could also attend conferences on a variety of topics including fiber optic sensors, environmentally conscious manufacturing and optical layer and internetworking technology. Attendees could also e-mail their friends with their recently acquired information at the online Internet pavilion located on the exhibit hall floor.While Photonics East 2000 had a viewer attendance of more than 4500, compared with about 4000 attendees last year, this year's exhibitor attendance of 177 was short of last year's number of 207. While this may have given exhibitors more exposure, it did cause a few minor traffic jams for the people trying to navigate their way around the exhibit hall floor.