University of Waterloo, Canada
Candidate for Member-at-Large
V. Lakshminarayanan (Vengu) after graduating from high school in California, moved to Madras (Chennai) India, where he received his BSc and MSc degrees in physics. After a year at the University of Oregon he moved to the University of California at Berkeley, where he received his Ph.D. for his Ph.D. he worked on wave guiding by retinal photoreceptors of the eye. Following this, he spent 5 years at Berkeley as researcher/manager of a large NIH funded lab (The Visual Studies Center), then spent two years in the medical optics industry before moving to the University of Missouri at St. Louis where he was affiliated with both the School of Optometry and the Physics dept. Subsequently he moved to to the University of Waterloo as a full professor of Vision Science, Physics and Electrical Engineering. He has published widely, in areas ranging from quantum chemistry, classical and quantum optics, bioengineering and biophysics, applied mathematics , vision science and neuroscience and has published over 300 papers, books, etc. in these areas He has been a KITP Scholar at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at Santa Barbara and is currently an associate of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics. His international experience includes being an advisor on optics programs at the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics at Trieste, Italy from 2003 onwards. He is a member of the steering committee of the US IUPAP group of the NAS. He has chaired the US Committee to the International Commission on Optics and is a founding member of the UNESCO program on active learning in optics and photonics for which he received the SPIE-International Society for Optical Engineering Educator award in 2011. Vengu has also served as the Chair of the Committee on International Scientific Affairs of the APS. A former director of the OSA, he is a Fellow of the APS, AAAS, OSA, SPIE and the Institute of Physics. (amongst other honours).
With physics becoming an increasingly global venture, I believe that APS must reach out to other countries and serve researchers, educators and students in many previously underserved areas. This can take many paths - traditional ones such as student/researcher exchanges, conferences, etc. but also applications of new technologies - video conference links, web casts and so forth to be of service to greater numbers of people. Of great importance is in facilitating growth in science and technology in under developed or developing nations. Here, I believe APS can play a major role in STEM education from the school level onwards. I believe APS should put a major emphasis on education and development of appropriate technologies in developing countries as well as sustainable physics development Given the challenges we face (energy, water, resources, poverty) a multidisciplinary approach is warranted. These approaches should not have a negative impact on the environment and these are global challenges which can only be met by global collaboration. I truly believe APS can play a major role in confronting and overcoming these challenges,