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Scientific Associate of


ICO Awards

Affiliated Commission of

Prof. Guoguang Mu (1931-2012)

ICO mourns the passing away of Prof. Guoguang Mu – (1931 – 2012)


It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Prof. Guoguang Mu on April 12, 2012, at the age of 81. Guoguang Mu was one of the early pioneers of optics, applied optics, and optical instrumentation in China, and made distinguished contributions to white light information processing. He served as ICO Vice President from 1993 to 1999 and continued his commitment to ICO thereafter. At his death, he was serving as the representative of the ICO Chinese Territorial Committee.

    Guoguang Mu was born in Jinxi (current day Hu Lu Dao City), Liao Ning Province, on January 22, 1931. He graduated from the Physics Department of Nankai University in 1952. From 1986 to 1995, he was the president of Nankai University. From 1993 to 2005, he was the president of the Chinese Optical Society (COS). In 1991, he was elected a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). In 1994, he was elected as a fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World. Guoguang Mu was fellow of OSA, SPIE and a Vice President (1993-1999) of the International Commission for Optics.

    Guoguang Mu was a famous opticist with an international reputation. He designed and manufactured many novel optical instruments. He presented many important novel concepts and technologies in white light information processing, pattern recognition, colour image coding and decoding, and colour photography, which have been widely used. He published more than 100 scientific research papers on internationally renowned optical journals and owned 2 very valuable patents. He received 3 national scientific and technological prizes and the Ho Leung Ho Lee Prize for exceptional Chinese scientists.

    Guoguang Mu engaged in optical teaching and research for 60 years and trained many excellent optical professionals who work both in China and in many foreign countries. He played a major role in the developments of Chinese optical teaching and optical researching. The book “Optics” that he and Yuan Lin Zhan wrote and compiled in 1964 was the first classical fundamental book for optical physics, which has been a commonly used textbook for undergraduate students and has had a pervasive influence on Chinese optical teaching. When he was the president of COS, he actively promoted the academic exchanges between Chinese Optical Society and many international optical societies, including the Optical Society of America (OSA) and SPIE.

    Guoguang Mu was an excellent education and university leader, who was deeply respected and loved by the teachers and students of Nankai University. He promoted the structural reforms of education and teaching in Nankai University. These included the general subject distributions of arts, sciences, and technologies, paying more attention to constructing an elite group of teachers, which produced very successful results. He strongly believed in open teaching and promoted wider and closer association and collaboration between Nankai University and many internationally renowned universities.

    Guoguang Mu shall be remembered by the teachers and students of Nankai University. His spirit will continue to influence more and more scientists, especially the teachers and researchers who are engaged in optics and optical engineering. He was survived by his wife Mrs Yuanxiang Chi, his daughter Xiaohong Mu, his son-in-law Zhigang He, his daughter-in-law Peiyang Yan, his grandson Weiyu Mu, Guangwei He, his granddaughter Weihuang Mu and Guangyue He.