OSA Honors Ursula Keller with Highest Award

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The Optical Society (OSA) announced in early February that Ursula Keller of ETH Zurich would be honored with the society’s highest award. OSA has been announcing winners of its annual awards since November 2019, with most of the awards coming in since January. The awards recognize a range of contributions from education to quantum technology research, among other subjects.

Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize — Ursula Keller
Presented by OSA, the Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize recognizes overall distinction in optics. Keller is honored for fundamental contributions to ultrafast lasers technology, especially in the development of high peak and average power oscillators and important breakthroughs in attosecond science.

Charles Hard Townes Award — Toshiki Tajima
Presented by OSA, the Charles Hard Townes Award recognizes an individual or a group for outstanding experimental or theoretical work, discovery, or invention in the field of quantum electronics. Tajima is recognized for seminal contributions in broad and novel plasma physics and laser-based accelerator physics, introducing the concept of Laser Wakefield Acceleration.

John Tyndall Award — Roel Baets
Presented by OSA, the John Tyndall Award is presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions in any area of optical fiber technology. Baets is recognized for seminal research in silicon photonics and for driving the foundry model in this field.

Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award — Roberta Ramponi
Presented by OSA, the Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award recognizes an individual or group who has had a significant impact on the global optics and photonics community or on society as a whole stemming from nonresearch-oriented activities. Ramponi is honored for leadership in the promotion and dissemination of optics and light-based technologies, and outstanding contributions in establishing a strategic vision for research and innovation in photonics in Europe.

Max Born Award — Nader Engheta
Presented by OSA, the Max Born Award is presented to a person who has made outstanding contributions to physical optics, theoretical or experimental. Engheta is honored for pioneering contributions to optical metamaterials and nanoscale optics.

Edwin H. Land Medal — Eric R. Fossum
Presented by OSA and the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T), the Edwin H. Land Medal recognizes pioneering work empowered by scientific research to create inventions, technologies, and products. Fossum is recognized for the invention and commercialization of advanced CMOS optical sensor imaging technology and the Quanta Image Sensor, and for university entrepreneurial and national young inventor training activities.

Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award — Aaron Bauer
Presented by OSA, the Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award recognizes significant contributions to lens design, optical engineering, or metrology by an individual. Bauer is recognized for theoretical, creative, and innovative design methods for freeform optics.

Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award — Irving J Bigio and Sergio Fantini
Presented by SPIE, the Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award recognizes authorship of an outstanding book in the field of optics and photonics that has contributed significantly to research, teaching, or industry. Biglio and Fantini are recognized for their 2016 book, Quantitative Biomedical Optics: Theory, Methods, and Applications. The book, published by Cambridge University Press, provides a rigorous, quantitative approach to a broad range of areas in biomedical optics.

Stephen D. Fantone Distinguished Service Award — Susan Houde-Walter
Presented by OSA, the Stephen D. Fantone Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who have served the Optical Society in an outstanding way, especially through volunteer participation in its management, operation, or planning in such ways as editorship of a periodical, organization of meetings, or other service to the society. Houde-Walter is recognized for outstanding service to the society through numerous advisory and leadership roles, including 2005 president, member of the board of directors, and chair of the Optics and Photonics News Editorial Advisory Committee.

Esther Hoffman Beller Medal — Julio C. Gutiérrez-Vega
Presented by OSA, the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal recognizes individuals for outstanding contributions to education in optical science and engineering. Gutiérrez-Vega is recognized for exceptional commitment to optics education through extraordinary academic mentoring and teaching; the development of original, engaging teaching materials; and the establishment of a world-class optics graduate program.

Nick Holonyak Jr. Award — Kei May Lau
Presented by OSA, the Nick Holonyak Jr. Award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to optics based on semiconductor-based optical devices and materials, including basic science and technological applications. Lau is recognized for significant contributions to hetero-epitaxy of compound semiconductors on silicon for future integrated lasers and advancing the field of light-emitting diode microdisplays.

R.W. Wood Prize — John Dudley
Presented by OSA, the R.W. Wood Prize recognizes an outstanding discovery, scientific or technical achievement, or invention in the field of optics. Dudley is recognized for elucidating the fundamental aspect of supercontinuum generation through careful study of phase stability and opening the way to compact supercontinuum sources and their numerous applications.

Adolph Lomb Medal — Chao-Yang Lu
Presented by OSA, the Adolph Lomb Medal recognizes a person who has made a noteworthy contribution to optics at an early career stage. Lu is recognized for significant contributions to optical quantum information technologies, especially on high-performance single-photon sources, quantum teleportation, and optical quantum computing.

Emmett N. Leith Medal — Mitsuo Takeda
Presented by OSA, the Emmett N. Leith Medal recognizes seminal contributions to the field of optical information processing. Takeda is recognized for contributions to the fields of optical information processing and holography through the inventions of Fourier fringe analysis and coherence holography.

David Richardson Medal — G. Michael Morris
Presented by OSA, the David Richardson Medal recognizes those who have made significant contributions to optical engineering, primarily in the commercial and industrial sector. Morris is recognized for contributions to the commercial development of diffractive and beam shaping optics, along with significant achievements in entrepreneurship, the founding and development of two highly successful companies, and ongoing support of education in optical engineering.

Edgar D. Tillyer Award — Wilson Geisler
Presented by OSA, the Edgar D. Tillyer Award recognizes a person who has performed distinguished work in the field of vision, including the optics, physiology, anatomy, or psychology of the visual system. Geisler is honored for pioneering theories of optimal visual processing that bring together scene statistics, physiological constraints, and task requirements to gain a new understanding of perceptual functions and eye movements. 
C.E.K. Mees Medal — Daniel J. Blumenthal

Presented by OSA, the C.E.K. Mees Medal recognizes an original use of optics across multiple fields. Blumenthal is honored for innovation in ultralow loss photonic integrated circuits and their application to ultralow linewidth lasers, optical communications, signal processing, optical gyroscopes, and atom cooling.

Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize — Jannick Rolland
Presented by OSA, the Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize recognizes significant research accomplishments in the field of optical engineering. Rolland is recognized for numerous creative and innovative applications in several fields of optical engineering including astronomy, medical imaging, AR, VR, image science, and freeform optics.

Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award — Nimmi Ramanujam
Presented by OSA, the Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award recognizes individuals for their innovative and influential contributions to the field of biophotonics. Ramanujam is recognized for advances in precision diagnostics and therapeutics to address global disparities in cervical and breast cancer management and mortality.

Herbert Walther Award — Eugene S. Polzik
Presented by OSA and the Deutsche Physikalische Gesell­schaft (DPG), the Herbert Walther Award recognizes distinguished contributions in quantum optics and atomic physics as well as leadership in the international scientific community. Polzik is recognized for pioneering experimental contributions to quantum optics including the demonstration of spin squeezing and entanglement of atomic ensembles, quantum teleportation between light and matter, a quantum memory for light, and hybrid atomic-mechanical coupling.

Published: March 2020
The term quantum refers to the fundamental unit or discrete amount of a physical quantity involved in interactions at the atomic and subatomic scales. It originates from quantum theory, a branch of physics that emerged in the early 20th century to explain phenomena observed on very small scales, where classical physics fails to provide accurate explanations. In the context of quantum theory, several key concepts are associated with the term quantum: Quantum mechanics: This is the branch of...
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