August 2013 Newsletter
In this Issue:
- Editor’s Note
- From the Division Chair
- Results of the Spring 2013 DLS elections
- 2013 Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science
- Laser Scientists elected to National Academy of Sciences
- Establishment of the DLS Dissertation Award
- Distinguished Traveling Lecturer Program
- Encourage students and colleagues to join the APS and Division of Laser Science
- Towards a United Nations declaration of an International Year of Light in 2015
- Photonics societies unite to launch National Photonics Initiative
- Highlights from the CLEO:2013 meeting
- Upcoming meetings
- Student Travel Grants for FiO/LS 2013 meeting
- Child Care Grants for FiO/LS 2013 meeting
- Symposium on Undergraduate Research at FiO/LS 2013
- Siegman International Summer School on Lasers
- Minutes of the June 2013 DLS Executive Committee meeting
Welcome to the August 2013 edition of the American Physical Society’s Division of Laser Science (DLS) newsletter. This month’s newsletter contains several items of note. In the chair’s letter, Henry Kapteyn highlights recent national events related to laser science and describes the new DLS Dissertation Award. In addition, this issue includes descriptions of the push for the United Nations to declare 2015 the International Year of Light and the National Photonics Initiative. Detailed information about the Frontiers in Optics / Laser Science meeting coming up in Orlando, Florida, in October, is also provided, including information about travel grants and childcare grants available from DLS to members attending the meeting.
For those who prefer to print out a hard copy of this newsletter rather than merely reading the hypertext version, here are some instructions for doing so: Take a look at the menu at the left. In the light blue box, there is a “Print” link next to a little printer icon. Clicking on that link should take you to a printable version of the newsletter. Once you are viewing the printable version, if you select File and Print in your browser's command menu, you should be able to print all pages of the newsletter.
Feel free to contact me with items for inclusion in the next division newsletter, which is planned for February of 2014.
Amy VanEngen Spivey, editor
Heading into the fall and the start of a new academic year for many of us, it is worthwhile to take stock of the year to-date in laser science. Optical and photonics sciences are as strong and consequential as ever — and the significance of the field is being reinforced in a variety of ways. The National Photonics Initiative kickoff happened in February, and is off to a strong start. The initiative has caught the attention of the funding agencies, with working groups within the agencies as well as an inter-agency working group established, increasing coordination between agencies in optics and photonics funding. Although the sequestration and current legislative gridlock don’t make for the optimum environment for launching an initiative, the response to-date has been heartening to those of us in the field. Many of us were attracted to this field because it combines fundamental science with new technologies that have a significant impact on society, and the success to-date of the NPI is a reflection of the vitality of the field and the enthusiasm of the participants.
This activity provides a perfect backdrop for DLS’s new effort: the new APS Division of Laser Science Dissertation Award. Last fall, we prepared a proposal to APS for establishment of a DLS Dissertation Award, patterned after that of several other APS divisions. The proposal was approved by the APS council this spring, and we will run the first competition at the FiO/LS meeting in Tucson in 2014. These awards have proven to be very effective in raising the profile of a field and encouraging academic departments to hire promising young researchers onto their faculties. DLS is providing initial funding for the kickoff of this award; however, to sustain it we need to secure modest endowment funding. Please consider directing some of your largess in the near future to the DLS Dissertation Award endowment fund.
I would encourage everyone also to consider nominating your deserving colleagues for recognition through DLS — for APS Fellowship, and for the Schawlow Award. I wish you a productive 2013-14.
Henry C. Kapteyn
Chair, APS Division of Laser Science
Congratulations to the recently elected members of the Division of Laser Science Executive Committee! As of the DLS election in May 2013, Richard Averitt and Ralph Jimenez join the Executive Committee as members-at-large. They will serve through the close of the 2015 Laser Science meeting. In addition, John Fourkas was elected Vice-Chair of the Division. He will serve for one year in that office and then move up to the Chair-Elect position. Many thanks go to all of the candidates who agreed to be nominated and to the members who participated in the election, as well as to the outgoing officers of the division.
Including the newly elected officers, the current members of the DLS Executive Committee are as follows:
Henry Kapteyn (University of Colorado at Boulder)
Antoinette Taylor (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
John Fourkas (University of Maryland – College Park)
Carlos Stroud (University of Rochester)
Secretary / Treasurer
Anne Kelley (University of California – Merced)
Anthony Johnson (Univ. of Maryland – Baltimore County)
Nora Berrah (Western Michigan University)
David Reitze (California Institute of Technology)
Randy Bartels (Colorado State University)
Gregory Engel (University of Chicago)
Richard Averitt (Boston University)
Ralph Jimenez (University of Colorado – Boulder)
Amy VanEngen Spivey (University of Puget Sound)
Robert Alfano (photo courtesy the American Physical Society)
Congratulations to the 2013 recipient of the Arthur Schawlow Prize: Robert Alfano of the City College of the City University of New York! Dr. Alfano holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Science and Engineering at CUNY-CCNY, where he has taught since 1972. Professor Alfano is being recognized “For pioneering contributions to the field of ultrafast laser science, including the discovery of supercontinuum generation and new laser materials, as well as the study of pulse propagation in strongly scattering media.”
Congratulations to DLS members Robert W. Field (MIT), Naomi J. Halas (Rice), and Henry C. Kapteyn (Colorado) for their election to the National Academy of Sciences in April 2013. Well-known optical scientists John Pendry (London) and Anton Zeilinger (Vienna) were also elected as NAS Foreign Associates. This is excellent representation for the laser science area, of 105 people elected in all areas of the sciences in 2013.
In its April 2013 meeting, the APS council approved a proposal by DLS to establish a DLS Dissertation Award. The first competition will be held in 2014, in conjunction with the 2014 Frontiers in Optics/Laser Science (FiO/LS) meeting in Tucson. Anyone who has passed their PhD thesis defense (in the United States or abroad) in 2012, 2013, or in 2014 before the FiO/LS meeting, and who is a member of the Division of Laser Science of the APS, will be eligible. Submission for the DLS thesis award should be made in conjunction with submission of a talk to the Laser Science conference.
The nomination process is initiated by the thesis advisor, who must also be a DLS member. The nomination package consists of a nominating letter and two supporting letters, a 1500 word summary of the thesis work, and verification that the PhD exam was passed. Details will be posted on the APS web site in early 2014.
Next deadline: November 30
The Distinguished Traveling Lecturer (DTL) Program is sponsored by the DLS, and its goal is to bring distinguished scientists to speak at colleges and departments that might not otherwise have the resources to invite them. The program covers the speaker’s honorarium and travel expenses, while the host institution is responsible for the speaker’s local expenses. Application deadlines occur on May 30 and November 30 each year. The current distinguished lecturers are:
Laurie Butler (University of Chicago)
Hui Cao (Yale University)
Eric Cornell (University of Colorado and NIST)
Fleming Crim (University of Wisconsin)
Jim Kafka (Spectra-Physics / Newport)
Wayne Knox (University of Rochester)
Chris Monroe (University of Maryland)
Luis Orozco (University of Maryland)
Carlos Stroud (University of Rochester)
Ron Walsworth (Harvard University)
Linda Young (Argonne National Laboratory)
There are many benefits to joining the Division of Laser Science when you become a member of APS. These benefits include:
- Reduced registration fees at CLEO and FiO/LS
- Eligibility for nomination as APS Fellow through DLS
- Student travel grant program
- Eligibility for visit from a DLS Distinguished Traveling Lecturer
- Eligibility for the upcoming DLS Dissertation Award
- International Travel Grant Program
Students can join APS (and DLS) for free in their first year of membership, and regular APS members pay just $8.00 to join the division.
Encourage your colleagues and students in optics and laser physics, or anyone who uses lasers on a regular basis, to join the APS Division of Laser Science!
(information courtesy of John Dudley, President, European Physical Society)
A movement is currently under way to request that the United Nations (UN) name 2015 the International Year of Light. This proposal is being driven by a partnership of over 100 scientific societies, academies, technology platforms and unions from over 85 countries from all continents of the globe. The project is accompanied by the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Basic Sciences Program. An International Year of Light will highlight to the citizens of the world the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives, for their futures, and for the development of society. The project prospectus, from which most of the information in this article was cited, can be downloaded here.
Why 2015? The year 2015 is a natural candidate for the International Year of Light because it commemorates a number of important milestones in the history of optics dating back 50, 100, 150, 200 years and even further. For example, in 1815, Fresnel published his first work introducing the theory of light as a wave. In 1865, Maxwell described the electromagnetic theory of light. In 1915, Einstein’s development of general relativity showed how light was at the center of the very structure of space and time. In 1965, Penzias and Wilson discovered the cosmic microwave background. These are just some examples of milestones related to light and optical science that will celebrate their anniversaries in the year 2015.
The International Year of Light will consist of coordinated activities on national, regional, and international levels in order to achieve the following goals:
- Improve the public understanding of how light and light-based technologies affect our daily lives and are central to the future development of the world.
- Build worldwide education capacity through activities targeted on science for young people, addressing issues of gender balance, and focusing especially on developing countries and emerging economies.
- Enhance international cooperation by acting as a central information resource for activities coordinated by learned societies, educational establishments, and industry.
- Focus on particular discoveries in the 19th and 20th centuries that have shown the fundamental centrality of light in science.
- Highlight the importance of research into the fundamental science of light and its applications and promote careers in science in these fields.
- Promote the importance of lighting technology in sustainable development and for improving quality of life in the developing world.
- Highlight and explain the intimate link between light and art and culture, enhancing the role of optical technology to preserve cultural heritage.
- Maintain these goals and achievements in the future beyond the International Year of Light.
A resolution proposing an International Year of Light in 2015 was placed before the 190th Session of the UNESCO Executive Board held in Paris in October 2012 by Ghana, Mexico, the Russian Federation, and New Zealand. The resolution was adopted with cosignatories from a further 28 board members: Angola, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, China, Congo, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Kenya, Indonesia, Italy, Malawi, Nigeria, Peru, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Thailand, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. Other member states of UNESCO who declared support for the initiative were Hungary, Serbia, and South Africa. This is more declared signatory support than for any other international scientific year examined by the UNESCO Executive Board.
The nation of Mexico is now leading the preparation of a resolution to the 68th United Nations General Assembly, which kicks off in September 2013. In fact, a delegation of international scientists attended a meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York hosted by Mexico recently in May to explain to representatives from UN member states how an International Year of Light will help to meet UN objectives in areas such as development, economic growth and sustainability. The delegation included APS Fellow (and Division of Laser Science Executive Committee member) Anthony Johnson. In parallel with the passage of the formal procedure through the UN, scientific societies worldwide are actively gearing up already with informational meetings and coordination. This will build steadily during the remainder of 2013 and accelerate rapidly in 2014!
(press release courtesy the National Photonics Initiative)
Washington, DC – May 23, 2013 – The American Physical Society (APS), IEEE Photonics Society, Laser Institute of America (LIA), the Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, today announced the launch of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), a collaborative alliance seeking to unite industry, academia and government experts to identify and advance areas of photonics critical to maintaining US competitiveness and national security.
“Life without photonics is almost unimaginable. From the moment you wake up to the alarm on your smartphone, to swiping your credit card to pay for coffee, to logging into your computer and connecting with the world through the Internet, photonics makes it possible,” said OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan. “The NPI will work to advance photonics in the areas that are most critical to the US, like improving the economy, creating jobs, saving lives and sparking innovation for future generations.”
Photonics generates, controls and detects light to advance manufacturing, robotics, medical imaging, next-generation displays, defense technologies, biometric security, image processing, communications, astronomy and much more. Photonics forms the backbone of the Internet, guides energy exploration and keeps men and women in uniform safe with night vision and physiological feedback on the battlefield.
In 1998, the National Research Council released a report, “Harnessing Light,” which presented a comprehensive overview of the potential impact of photonics on major industry sectors. In response, several worldwide economies moved to advance their already strong photonics industries. The United States, however, did not develop a cohesive strategy. As a result, the US lost its competitive advantage in a number of cutting-edge technologies as well as thousands of US jobs and companies to overseas markets.
“The EU, Germany, Korea, Taiwan and China all recognize the importance of photonics, and have taken action,” said SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs. “The Department of Defense, for example, has long supported photonics, and we have seen the advantage provided to our troops. But now more photonics research is needed to maintain our national security in the face of growing non-traditional threats. The time is now for the US to make the right investments in the crucial capabilities of the future.”
In 2012, the National Research Council released “Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation” that called for a national photonics initiative to regain US leadership in key photonic-driven fields. In response to that call, the NPI was established to raise awareness about photonics and the impact of photonics on our everyday lives; increase collaboration and coordination among US industry, government and academia to advance photonics-driven fields; and drive US funding and investment in areas of photonics critical to maintaining US competitiveness and national security.
“The NPI offers an opportunity for us to show how critical it is for federally funded research to flourish in this country,” said Kate Kirby, executive officer of APS. “So many of the technologies that we use every day have come from the results of scientific research in optics and photonics funded by the federal government.”
As part of the NPI effort, more than 100 experts from industry, academia and government collaborated to draft a white paper entitled “Lighting the Path to a Competitive, Secure Future,” detailing recommendations to guide funding and investment in five key photonics-driven fields: advanced manufacturing, communications and information technology, defense and national security, health and medicine and energy. New opportunities in these fields such as 3-D printing, more efficient solar power, improved nuclear threat identification, more accurate cancer detection and the growth of Internet speeds and capacity, offer the potential for even greater societal impact in the next few decades.
“There are thousands of companies that have sprung up in the last decade or so that produce the photonics devices and systems that we all depend on now, but there’s plenty of room for growth,” said Richard Linke, executive director of the IEEE Photonics Society.
In order to capitalize on new opportunities and regain global leadership and economic prosperity, the white paper also provides key recommendations to the United States government that apply across all five of the fields:
- Drive funding and investment in areas of photonics critical to maintaining US competitiveness and national security — advanced manufacturing, defense, energy, health and medicine, information technology and communications;
- Develop federal programs that encourage greater collaboration between US industry and academia to better support the research and development of next-generation photonics technologies;
- Increase investment in education and job training programs to reduce the shortage of technically skilled workers needed to fill the growing number of photonics-based positions;
- Expand federal investments supporting university and industry collaborative research to develop new manufacturing methods that incorporate photonics, such as additive manufacturing and ultra-short-pulse laser material processing; and
- Collaborate with US industry to review international trade practices impeding free trade, and the current US criteria restricting the sale of certain photonic technologies overseas.
The NPI maintains that fulfillment of these recommendations will position the United States as a global leader in photonics research and development, and will grow the US economy and add jobs at home. “Our objective is to direct funding intelligently to research, implementation, education and training, with the ultimate goal of restoring US competitiveness, thereby improving our security, our economy and our quality of life,” said LIA Executive Director Peter Baker.
For a complete copy of “Lighting the Path to a Competitive, Secure Future,” and for more information about the NPI, please visit the National Photonics Initiative web page.
(photos and information courtesy the Optical Society)
Dr. Kumar Patel of Pranalytica, Inc., USA, and the University of California at Los Angeles gives a plenary presentation on quantum cascade lasers at CLEO 2013.
Enthusiasm and attendance were high in the poster sessions at CLEO.
This year, CLEO:2013 (the Conference on Lasers and Electro-optics) was held June 9-14 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California. CLEO is co-sponsored by the Division of Laser Science of the American Physical Society, the IEEE Photonics Society, and the Optical Society. As in years past, more than 1,800 technical presentations were given at CLEO, and over 300 companies showcased their products on the exhibit floor.
Day-by-day highlights and summary information about all aspects of the conference are detailed on the conference web site.
In 2014, CLEO will return to San Jose, California, from June 8 to June 13. See you there!
Frontiers in Optics 2013 and Laser Science XXIX (FiO/LS)
Dates: October 6-10, 2013, with exhibition Oct. 8 and 9
Location: Hilton Bonnet Creek, Orlando, Florida, USA
Regular abstract submission deadline: May 6, 2013
Post-deadline submission deadline: September 23, 2013
Housing deadline: September 4, 2013
Early registration deadline: September 9, 2013
Laser Science XXIX program chairs: Peter Delfyett (Univ. of Central Florida) and Daniel Gauthier (Duke University)
This year, Laser Science XXIX serves as the 29th annual meeting of the Division of Laser Science (DLS) of the APS and is co-located with the Optical Society’s Frontiers in Optics conference. Together, these meetings provide an important forum for presenting the latest work in optics-related fields. A wide array of topics and speakers has been arranged for the LS XXIX program in areas ranging from Cold Atoms and Molecules to Attosecond and Strong Field Physics to Nano-opto-mechanics. A full list of session topics and confirmed invited speakers is given on the FiO/LS website.
In addition to the separate LS and FiO technical sessions, there will be a joint FiO/LS plenary session featuring John Bowers, Margaret Murnane, and David Wineland as plenary speakers and Robert Alfano as the winner of the 2013 Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science. In addition, a number of special symposia are taking place during the conference. They are as follows:
- Symposium on Advanced Distributed Optical Fiber Sensor Systems for Security and Safety Applications
- Symposium on Functional Imaging of Visual Systems
- Symposium on the 100th Anniversary of the Bohr Atom
- Symposium on Photonics for Quantum Information Processing
- Laser Science Symposium on Undergraduate Research
More information about DLS-sponsored student travel grants, child care grants, and the Laser Science Symposium on Undergraduate Research at FiO/LS can be found below. See you in Orlando!
APS March Meeting
Dates: March 3-7, 2014
Location: Denver, Colorado
The Division of Laser Science will be organizing a session at the 2014 APS March Meeting.
Dates: June 8-13, 2014
Location: San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, California, USA
Abstract submission deadline: January 22, 2014
Deadline: September 1, 2013
(from Anne Kelley, Secretary/Treasurer of DLS)
We are now accepting applications for Student Travel Grants to assist with travel costs to Frontiers in Optics 2013/Laser Science XXIX in Orlando, FL, October 6-10, 2013.
Through this program, DLS will provide partial funding (up to $500) for a limited number of graduate students to attend and participate in the FiO/LS meeting. To be eligible, the student must be a member of APS-DLS and must be the presenting author on an accepted oral or poster presentation. Normally, the student’s faculty mentor must also be a DLS member.
Applicants should submit an application and a recommendation form from a faculty advisor, along with proof that the paper has been accepted to the conference, to the APS-DLS Secretary-Treasurer. Priority will be given to a single awardee per research group. Successful applicants will be informed as soon as possible before the meeting, and checks will be issued at the meeting. See the APS web site for more details.
The deadline for receipt of complete applications is September 1, 2013.
Deadline: September 1, 2013
(from Anne Kelley, Secretary/Treasurer of DLS)
Grants of up to $500 are available to assist DLS members who are bringing children to Frontiers in Optics 2013/Laser Science XXIX (October 6-10, 2013, Orlando, FL, USA) or who incur extra expenses in leaving them at home (e.g., extra daycare or babysitting services). Eligible costs include babysitters (onsite at the conference location or at home) and airfare/hotel for a caregiver to accompany the child to the conference location. Meals, toys, onsite transportation and tickets to museums or other attractions are not eligible for reimbursement. Grant recipients are solely responsible for their choice of child care provider; APS-DLS does not endorse any child care providers.
Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and grant recipients will be notified prior to the conference. In the event that the number of requests for grants exceeds the funding available, preference will be given to applicants in the early stages of their careers.
Applications must be received by September 1, 2013, and successful applicants must submit a reimbursement request along with original receipts no later than November 10, 2013.
Application forms and details can be found on the APS web site.
(From Harold Metcalf)
The thirteenth annual Symposium on Undergraduate Research at the Frontiers in Optics / Laser Science meeting is tentatively scheduled for Monday, October 7, in the afternoon. This symposium is one of the highlights of the FiO/LS meeting, and all meeting participants are invited to attend the posters and talks. It has grown from ten presentations in 2001 to almost fifty in recent years. Last year in Rochester, NY, participants presented 48 talks and posters in three sessions. Programs, articles, and photos from past symposia are available on the APS web site.
Symposium events begin with a poster session followed by the oral presentation sessions. Besides students and mentors, the audience usually includes many regular conference attendees. The abstract deadline will be sometime toward the end of the summer, since undergraduate students usually do their projects in various summer programs. Student participants typically receive financial support to cover the costs of their lodging, conference registration, and meals.
Those interested in having their names on the mailing list should write to Dr. Harold Metcalf (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please send the names and e-mail addresses of both the student and the advisor.
(information courtesy the Optical Society)
The OSA Foundation is working to raise the final funds needed to fully endow the Siegman International Summer School on Lasers. This summer school is being co-founded by the Foundation and IPG Photonics and named in honor of Anthony E. Siegman, past president of the Optical Society (OSA) and founding member of the OSA Foundation Board. Siegman passed away in October 2011 at the age of 79. The program is modeled after a summer school that Siegman helped organize shortly before his death that took place in 2011 at the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics (CIOMP) in China. It was a great success and welcomed more than 100 students from 13 countries with a week-long program of world-class lectures, interactive sessions and networking events.
The first Siegman International Summer School on Lasers will take place in summer 2014 and will provide an opportunity for graduate students to present their own research to their peers, learn from an international group of accomplished speakers, and network with other students in the field of optics. Each year, the school will take place in a different region of the world, bringing world-class education to students who may not have had access to such resources otherwise.
(from Anne Kelley, Secretary/Treasurer of DLS)
DLS Executive Committee meeting — draft minutes
Guadalupe Room, San Jose Marriott, San Jose, CA
June 10, 2013
Attending: Henry Kapteyn (chair), Toni Taylor (chair-elect), Anthony Johnson (councillor), Anne Kelley (secretary-treasurer), Amy Spivey (newsletter editor), Ralph Jimenez (member-at-large), John Fourkas (vice-chair, via videoconference), Carlos Stroud (past chair, via videoconference)
Henry Kapteyn called the meeting to order at 9:09 am.
The minutes from the October 2012 Laser Science meeting were approved.
Anne announced the newly elected Executive Committee members, vice-chair John Fourkas and at-large members Ralph Jimenez and Richard Averitt. A total of 272 members (21.8% of the membership) voted, 269 online and 3 by mail. The number of mail ballots received has been in the 3-6 range in each of the four elections Anne has run. APS handles the mailing of paper ballots to voters who do not have valid e-mail addresses, but providing this option greatly lengthens the period of time required to run an election. The EC discussed eliminating the paper ballot option for future elections. This is allowed by DLS bylaws, although APS discourages it. Members were in favor of this, but wanted to be sure that members whose e-mails bounce are still able to vote, and suggested asking APS to mail instructions for voting online to those members whose e-mails bounce. The EC voted to eliminate the paper ballot option for the next election with the consent of APS, but will revisit the question.
Anne presented a treasurer’s report. As of 5/17/13 the DLS account balance was $442,988. Our bottom line has been fairly flat for the past few years and is likely to remain so for the current year. Income from CLEO this year is projected to be slightly above the $19K last year but well below the $36K in 2011. We also owe OSA about $20K for our share of the cancellation penalties associated with moving CLEO from Baltimore to San Jose in 2013 and 2015, although this amount may be further negotiated downward. DLS membership as of the official January 2013 count stood at 1316, which is 2.65% of the APS total. This was down from 1408 (2.81%) in January 2012. Programs to help boost membership including the new thesis award and the DLS session at the March meeting were discussed.
Anne reported on the Student Travel Grant and Child Care Grant programs. This year there were 20 applications for Student Travel Grants, of which only ten could be awarded; awards were made only to applicants with complete packages and who met all requirements, and whose advisors had not had previous students receive a travel grant recently. There was only one applicant for the Child Care Grant program for CLEO, and that one was awarded.
The new (2012) APS Fellows were announced. The 2013 nominees have already been received by APS. The vice-chair (John Fourkas) chairs this year’s committee, Toni Taylor and Carl Lineberger will carry over from last year, and two new members need to be chosen. One of these is supposed to be appointed by APS. Shelly Johnston will be asked whether this procedure needs to be followed this year or whether John, in consultation with Henry, can simply choose two new members.
Upcoming Laser Science meetings were discussed. Program chairs need to be chosen for the 2014 meeting in Tucson. After considerable discussion, Galina Khitrova from Arizona was offered one co-chair position by e-mail from Henry and promptly responded affirmatively. A second co-chair, not necessarily from Arizona, needs to be found. Arrangements for the Laser Science banquet at the 2013 meeting in Orlando were also discussed. Suggestions for after-banquet speakers were made. Anne will work with Jocelyn Argarin from OSA on banquet location and price.
The Symposium on Undergraduate Research was discussed. Members agreed that Hal Metcalf has done a wonderful job with this symposium and recognized Hal’s ongoing efforts.
Anthony Johnson presented an APS Council report. Anthony has been elected to the APS Executive Board starting Jan. 1. The 2013 Schawlow Prize to Bob Alfano (CCNY) was approved. Establishment of the new DLS thesis award, $1000 plus a certificate, was approved. Treasurer/Publisher Joe Serene reported that APS finances are doing better than budgeted, with less draw required on the reserve fund than expected; investments have done well. Journal prices will increase according to tiers, more for larger institution. Executive Officer Kate Kirby participated in the Conference on Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP), a grass roots conference that has been meeting simultaneously at a number of sites each year to encourage undergraduate women studying physics. APS is seeking funds from NSF to assist the continuation and expansion of CUWiP. The March meeting was successful with over 9200 participants. Official APS membership was 49,653 in 2013, slightly down from 2012 but higher than 2011. Kirby expressed concerns about restrictions on government travel impacting meeting attendance. Kirby’s reappointment as Exec Officer for another 5 years was approved. An external audit of APS gave an unqualified clean opinion and found its financial situation sound. A new, wholly owned subsidiary, AIP Publishing, LLC, has been created to control all AIP publications with the exception of Physics Today. Discussion of open access policy, helping federal agencies comply with new requirements for public access to federally funded research.
Toni Taylor reported on the APS convocation. Toni noted that this is a very good orientation to APS for new EC members and it would be advisable for new members to attend next year, particularly the new vice-chair to be elected this summer. John Fourkas has participated in previous years.
The International Travel Grants program (ITGAP) was discussed. During the two years DLS has been contributing to the program, the Division has received no grants and perhaps has not even applied for any. As there seems to be little interest in this program among our membership, the EC voted to discontinue our $1000/yr contribution to ITGAP.
The new DLS thesis award was discussed. The consensus was that this should be done at FiO/LS starting in 2014. Advertise it heavily for next year, including during the plenary session when the Schawlow is presented. The award gives $1000 for winner plus travel for three finalists ($500 stipend, like a student travel grant). Use same deadline as for regular papers; offer a check box on submission form to be considered for thesis award?
The EC met with Chad Stark, OSA meetings manager. Chad agrees to the check box idea for the thesis award. Number of contributed papers for CLEO 2013 is somewhat down, but not so bad compared to other meetings. Future dates for CLEO: 2014 8-13 June, 2015 10-15 May, 2016 5-10 June, all in San Jose. The cancellation penalties for moving CLEO from Baltimore to San Jose in 2013 and 2015 were discussed, and it was proposed that our share of the 2013 penalty (1/6 of $20,937) be deducted from the 2013 profit, then deal with 2015 later. FiO/LS 2013 has 76 LS contributed papers, nearly the same as Rochester last year. Future dates for FiO/LS: 2013 Orlando 6-10 Oct, 2014 Tucson 19-23 Oct, 2015 San Jose 18-22 Oct, 2016 Rochester 16-20 Oct. For the Undergraduate Research Symposium in SUR Orlando, Jocelyn Argarin is negotiating lunch costs down and OSA will cover some of the program printing costs. The need to invite the Schawlow awardee for FiO/LS was brought up. The undergraduate registration fee for Tucson next year will probably be about the same as for this year; revisit at FiO/LS.
DLS has been asked to support a documentary film on Charles Townes by a young filmmaker. Members watched a trailer for the film on YouTube. The consensus was that a documentary on Townes is a good idea, but the content of the proposed film was too vague and focused in part on aspects well outside the purview of DLS. It was suggested that OSA be involved, perhaps in connection with their history project. Carlos will talk to several people who will be at Rochester and might be interested in this project.
The National Photonics Initiative was discussed. DLS has not been asked for any specific input into promoting this; should we insert ourselves? Some members thought that the emphasis on photonics as a vehicle for short-term job creation, with limited emphasis on forward-looking science and technology, places DLS in a peripheral role in the NPI.
The DLS representatives to JCQE, Nick Bigelow and Dan Heinzen, joined via videoconference to discuss JCQE, its relevance and future. There has been a suggestion that JCQE be disbanded and its functions — primarily, selection of the QELS conference chairs — taken over by CLEO Steering. There is no travel or staff support for JCQE members, making it hard for them to participate in face to face meetings. JCQE has 9 reps, 3 each from APS, OSA, IEEE. Steering has 5 each from OSA and IEEE, 2 from APS. The concern is that if JCQE goes away, QELS may lose its identity. After some discussion, the EC voted to recommend that JCQE be retained but streamlined into a teleconference, and that one of the JCQE representatives should report to the DLS EC meeting. We also need to appoint two new reps, one to replace Nick, whose term expires now, and one to fill a current vacancy.
Amy Spivey discussed the DLS Newsletter, asking for items that should be included. The EC expressed broad satisfaction with the way the Newsletter is being done.
DLS has been asked to contribute to the Siegman summer school on lasers. One member suggested that it is more appropriate to ask individual DLS members to contribute. Several EC members said that they would do this. No Divisional contribution will be made.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:46 pm.
The articles in this newsletter represent the views of their author(s) and are not necessarily those of the Unit or APS.