James C. Wyant
This September, I had the good fortune to represent OSA at meetings in Brazil and Peru. In each country, I enjoyed the warm hospitality of my hosts, participated in some outstanding sessions and meetings, met with a number of student members, and even took time to see the sights. I was reminded of the vitality of the international optics and photonics community and the growing strength of OSA's global outreach program.
My first stop was SPECKLE 2010: "Speckle Fields Forever," held 13-15 September. The meeting was the fourth international conference on areas and applications of speckle to be held since 2000. I served as a keynote speaker, and I also had the great pleasure of presenting awards to two OSA members. I gave a student paper prize to Gordon M.J. Craggs, Vrije University, Brussels, Belgium, and I presented a 2010 OSA Fellowship to Guillermo H. Kaufmann, who was elected an OSA Fellow for his contributions to speckle metrology. I also took a side trip to visit Machu Picchu and found it to be an amazing place. I'd like to come back and hike the Inca trail on another visit.
At RIAO OPTILAS, the 7th Ibero-American Meeting on Optics and 10th Latino-American Meeting on Optics, Lasers and Applications, held 20-24 September, I had another opportunity to present a student paper prize, this one to Facundo Orte, ANPCyT Argentina, Ceilap (Citefa-Conicet), Argentina. I also visited with two student chapters: the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria Chapter and the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru Chapter. Visiting with the student members was a highlight of my stay. The students are resourceful and innovative, but they lack resources and connections to the global community. I think OSA could play a role in linking the students in less advantaged countries to professors, mentors and other students.
Another great success was LAOP 2010, the first Latin American Optics and Photonics Conference, held 27-30 September. Nearly 200 papers were presented on topics ranging from optical communications to biophotonics, including a special LaserFest session. OSA's 2009 President Tom Baer delivered the keynote presentation, and I presented a talk on developments in optical testing technology during the last decade. Immediately following LAOP, young researchers gathered for the first IONS meeting to be held in South America. I am continually impressed by the energy and commitment of the student organizers of IONS, the International OSA Network of Students.
Also in September, OSA launched "Optics and Photonics Latin America," a unique online resource and networking community. The site—www.opticslatinamerica.org—highlights the people, news and organizations that make the region a source of scientific discovery and innovation. It features an interactive map displaying academic and industry resources by country, journal articles from Latin American authors, a regional event calendar, and information about grants and student programs, recognitions and activities. As optics and photonics innovations and business applications expand worldwide, and with nearly half of our members residing outside of North America, OSA is hoping that websites such as this will provide better accessibility to regional industry and academic resources to the global community. The site is a shared community, so I encourage you to submit information or have your organization added to the online directory.
In this issue, be sure to read Carlos López-Mariscal's article on optofluidics, Alwyn Seed's piece on wireless-over-fiber technology, and Jeff Hecht's fascinating history of how the laser launched nonlinear optics.
—James C. Wyant