University of Florida, Gainsville
"For his achievements as an undergraduate student at the University of Florida, particularly for his research on 'Programmable Shaping of Ultrabroad-bandwidth Pulses from a Ti:sapphire Laser'."
Mr. Schaffer was honored for his thesis entitled "Programmable Shaping of Ultrabroad-Bandwidth Pulses from a Ti:Sapphire Laser," which has been published in the Journal of the Optical Society of America B. He graduated from the University of Florida in Gainseville in December 1995, with minors in both mathematics and English. he is currently pursuing graduate studies in physics at Harvard University under a National Defense Science and Engineering Fellowship awarded him by the U.S. Department of Defense.
While an undergraduate, Mr. Schaffer worked on the development of ultra-fast laser spectroscopy, with particular responsibility for the generation, manipulation, and amplification of femtosecond laser pulses. The ability to do spectroscopy at these ultra-short time scales could result in applications extending from basic science to practical applications in biophysics, such as the study of the back of the retina for early diagnosis of eye disease. In addition to successfully developing the theory and implementation of temporal pulse shaping techniques at ultra-short time scales, Mr. Schaffer recently worked on the construction of multi-pass amplifier systems for a femtosecond laser system.