BALTIMORE, May 3 - CLEO/QELS, the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference, begins its 2001 edition at the Baltimore Convention Center on May 6. The conference will run to May 11, while the technical exhibit runs from May 8-10. CLEO/QELS is considered the world's most significant conference and exhibit on lasers and electro-optics and the technical exhibit is the largest in North America emphasizing photonic technology. On tap are peer-reviewed research papers, product and system design solutions, and an exhibit featuring the latest components and subsystems from more than 300 companies. Also scheduled are selected short courses for professional advancement. A number of new courses have been added this year to cover the hottest topics in the optics community. Photonics Basics for Engineers and Technicians Courses (101-103) are scheduled for Sunday, May 6. These courses provide a jump-start into fast-paced world of photonics. Included with these 8-hour courses are coffee breaks and box lunches. Together CLEO and QELS have a total of 1169 papers scheduled for presentation during the five-day conference. These include 3 plenary papers and 16 tutorials. CLEO has 41 invited papers and 702 contributed papers, of which 195 will be presented in 3 poster sessions. QELS has a total of 57 invited speakers and 348 contributed papers, of which 96 will be presented in 3 poster sessions. The exhibits will be open from Tuesday, May 8 through Thursday, May 10, at the Baltimore Convention Center. Dedicated exhibits-only visiting time is scheduled on Wednesday morning.