4 decades of optical information processing

Joseph W. Goodman

The fact that my title mentions four decades of optical information processing should not be taken to mean that I personally participated in all of those decades. In fact, I joined the field of optics by pure accident in 1963, after a Ph.D. in the field of radar signal processing. I participated in the last three of the four decades, and I was close enough to the first decade to have been influenced by it extensively. The 1960s were exciting times. The HeNe laser had just become commercially available. New ideas were surfacing in the field of holography that had great appeal to one trained in systems theory. From the perspective of academia, Ph.D. thesis topics were plentiful.

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