Vasudevan (Vengu) Lakshminarayanan
University of Waterloo, Canada
Candidate for Member-at-Large
An optical physicist by training (Ph.D. UC Berkeley), I am currently a professor of Optometry (vision science), Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada. I am also currently an Associate of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics and a member of the Center for Bioengineering and Biotechnology at Waterloo. I have held research and teaching appointments at the UC Berkeley and at UC Irvine as well as the University of Missouri at St. Louis. I have worked in the medical optics industry for a few years. I was a Kavli fellow at the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara. I have worked extensively in the fields of classical Optics,biomedical optics, neuroscience, clinical applications, and mathematical modeling of visual/ perceptual/ cognitive phenomena as well as translational research. I am an advisor to the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration), A founding member of the optics advisory board of the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics Trieste, Italy), a member of various NIH study sections as well as DFG (the German Funding Agency) and A-STAR (Singapore Funding Agency). I am very involved in professional affairs, including being a director of the OpticalSociety of America (2002-2004), and am the former chair of the United States Advisory Committee to the International Commission on Optics, and a member at large for the United States IUPAP (International Union for Pure and Applied Physics) committee. I also served as a member of the Steering committee of the US IUPAP committee and have represented the US in two IUPAP general assembly meetings. In addition to over 325 publications, I am also the author/editor of 11 books and am a section editor/topical editor of Optics Letters, Journal of Modern Optics, American journal of Bioengineering, Optics and Photonics News, etc. I have won a number of awards and honors, most recently the Educator Award from SPIE. I am a founding member of the UNESCO Active Learning in Optics and Photonics project. I have served as the Chair of Committee of International Scientific Affairs of the APS as well as a Director of OSA. I am a fellow of the APS, OSA, SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering, AAAS, Institute of Physics (UK), Optical Society of India , the American Academy of Optometry and a senior member of the IEEE.
Physics is increasingly not only multi-national but also multi-disciplinary and I believe that APS should be in the forefront of these changes. Even though APS is the leading professional society and based in the United States, we have a global responsibility to encourage the growth of the profession. We do this by being pro-active, and by taking the lead in fostering new development in collaboration with our sister societies internationally since we cannot do it all. We should be exploring and adapting newer, cheaper and optimal ways of disseminating results from our conferences and publications so that the physics playing field is "level" internationally. One particular region of interest are the BRICS countries which are economically and scientifically developing rapidly. We should be aggressively fostering collaboration in areas such as joint conferences, research programs, exchange of scientists and students (such as the current Indo-US program of the APS) and publicationsWe should also be involved in science education in general, and physics in particular since today's students are our future colleagues and are the "seed corn" for the future development of our field.