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ICO Newsletter

October 2008 Number 77


Zeev Zalevsky wins ICO Prize for 2008

book cover
Zeev Zalevsky, a professor and researcher at the Bar-Ilan University in Israel, is the winner of this year's ICO Prize for contributions to optics.

The 2008 ICO Prize winner has been exploring the limits of optical super resolution.

The ICO Prize, which was established in 1982 to be awarded annually to an individual who has made a noteworthy contribution to optics and published or submitted for publication before he or she has reached the age of 40, has been awarded this year to Zeev Zalevsky.

Zalevsky was recognized for "his achievements and significant contribution in the field of optical super resolution, in particular for his work in theoretical and experimental definition of various approaches for exceeding Abbe's classical limit of resolution."

Zalevsky was born in Russia in 1971 and received his BSc and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from Tel-Aviv University in Israel in 1993 and 1996, respectively. He is currently a professor of electro-optics in the school of engineering at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. His major fields of research are optical super resolution, nano-photonics and silicon photonics, infiber devices and microwave photonics.

In his work in the field of super resolution Zalevsky helped invent various ways to overcome diffraction and the geometrical limitations of detectors by performing adaptation and conversion of spatial degrees of freedom from the spatial domain into non-spatial domains (such as time, colours, code and polarization state), allowing the multiplexing of this spatial information and later on its extraction and reconstruction. He also worked on the axial extension of depth of focus and its relation to visual optics sciences.

Fig. 1
Fig. 1. Spatial information transmission using orthogonal mutual coherence coding: (a) the overall optical output of the system without applying super resolution; (b) the obtained result after applying the super-resolving algorithm for the one-dimensional case.

In addition to his scientific activities, Zalevsky has helped found several start-up companies in various fields of electro-optics. Currently he is head of the electro-optics track in the school of engineering at Bar-Ilan University and leads a research group and laboratory with 15 PhD and masters students. Zalevsky coordinates several research grants in topics related to his fields of interest, which are funded by national agencies and high-tech companies. He is also the current head of the nano photonics group in the new nanotechnology centre being established at Bar-Ilan University.

In 2007 Zalevsky was awarded the Krill Prize for excellence in scientific research by the Wolf Foundation for his achievements in free-space optical systems and methods for enhanced imaging and sensing, electro-optical in-fiber and waveguide-based devices for data sensing, processing and RF photonics.

Zalevsky has published two books, 12 book chapters, more than 170 refereed papers and he holds more than 10 issued patents. He has delivered many invited talks in various conferences in electro-optics and has taken part in organizing several international scientific events. It is expected that Zalevsky will be delivering the ICO Prize lecture in one of the forthcoming major ICO meetings (details will be published in a future issue of the ICO Newsletter).

Figure 1 is from Zalevsky's paper "Spatial information transmission using orthogonal mutual coherence coding." (Z Zalevsky, J Garcia, P Garcia-Martinez and C Ferreira 2005 Opt. Let. 20 2837-2839.) The authors used the mutual coherence function of the illumination to code spatial information and exceed the diffraction limitations of an imaging system. In figure 1a they present the image as it is obtained without coherence coding, and in figure 1b they used coherence coding and obtained improvement of the spatial features that can be resolved in the US Air Force (USAF) resolution target. The demonstration of super resolution in this case was one-dimensional.

The ICO Prize committee for the term 1 October 2005 to 30 September 2008 consisted of Yoon Kim as chair and A Friesem, J Love, G Jin and S Bagayev as members. For the term 1 October 2008 to 30 September 2011 the chair will be Min Gu ( from the Centre for Micro-Photonics, Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, John Street, PO Box 218, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, Australia. Calls for the 2009 ICO Prize are now open. Nominations must be sent to Min Gu no later than 15 April 2009. For more information, see ICO Awards.


Galileo Galilei medal is won by Widjaja

The Galileo Galilei medal for 2008 recognizes the expansion of optics and photonics in Thailand.

Joewono Widjaja, a professor at the Suranaree University of Technology in Thailand, is the recipient of the 2008 ICO Galileo Galilei award.

The Galileo Galilei medal of ICO is awarded for outstanding contributions to the field of optics and photonics which are achieved under comparatively unfavorable circumstances. The comparatively unfavorable circumstances refer to difficult economic or social conditions or lack of access to scientific or technical facilities or sources of information. The Award contributes to one of the essential missions of the International Commission for Optics: recognize the promotion of Optics under difficult circumstances. The award was established by the 1993 General Assembly of ICO and has to be awarded annually since 1994.

For the year 2008 the award has been accorded to Joewono Widajaja, professor at the Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand. And the citation reads: "For his outstanding contributions in wavelet transform based signal processing, speckle metrology, holography, join transform correlator, speckle and Internet photonic routing. The Committee was considering as well the comparative unfavorable circumstances since the candidate has done all activities in a developing country (as defined by UN)".

Joewono Widjaja in front of his poster "Pattern recognition by using joint transform correlator with compressed reference images" at a major optics and photonics meeting in Thailand.

Joewono Widjaja obtained B. Eng. (Electronics Engineering) from Satya Wacana Christian University; Salatiga, Indonesia in 1986, and M. Eng. (Electronics Engineering) in 1991, Dr. Eng. (Electronics Engineering) in 1994, both from Hokkaido University; Sapporo, Japan. In 1994-1995 he was Research Associate of University of Electro-Communication, Japan where he performed research in wavelet transform correlator and signal processing using photorefractive four-wave mixing. In 1995-1996 he was Postdoctoral Research Fellow; School of Applied Science, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and continued to the work in wavelet transform. Since 1997 he has been with School of Laser Technology and Photonics, Institute of Science, Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand, where he became Professor in 2007. Suranaree University of Technology is located in Nakhon Ratchasima Province about 260 kilometers northeast of Bangkok and it is the first autonomous public university in Thailand.

Joewono Widjaja research area covers wavelet transform based signal processing, holography and optical information processing, optical correlator and IP address processing for internet photonic routing. He published twenty nine peer-reviewed papers and sixteen proceedings of international conferences. He holds two patents related to method and system for multiplexed transmission and method and apparatus for address processing in optical packet communication. His work in wavelet transform correlator has been published in Encyclopedia of Optical Engineering, Marcel Dekker, New York (2003).

For contributions to academic societies the professional activities of Joewono Widjaja include: Elected member of the Institute of Science Committee for the period 2000 -2001, Editorial board of the Suranaree Journal of Science and Technology, 2003 - date, Editorial Board - Optical Memory and Neural Networks, 2004 - date. He is Steering committee member of Asian Committee for Experimental Mechanics and was Vice president of SPIE's Thailand Chapter for the years 2004 - 2007. He also has been organizing and promoting academic cooperation with overseas academic and research institutions.

Joewono Widjaja has received the following Honors and Awards: Asami Award (Distinguished Achievement in Master Program), 1991, Hokkaido University Monbusho Japanese Government Scholarship, 1987-1994, Japan Science and Technology Agency (STA) Fellowship, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, December 1999 - April 2000. He delivered an Invited Talk at SPIE's Photonics Asia in Beijing, China (2002) and a Plenary Talk at International Conference on Optics and Laser Applications in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2007).

As for the unfavorable conditions required for the nomination, Thailand is a developing country and its income depends mainly on agriculture and natural resource extraction. After the economic crisis in 1997, Thailand is still in a phase of economic development. It lacks development of modern infrastructures for research and education, and low budget for research especially in more fundamental research in optics.

It is expected that Joewono Widjaja will deliver the Galileo Galilei Award Lecture in one of the major ICO events. This activity will be announced on due time in ICO Newsletter.

The Chair of the Galileo Galilei Award for the period October 1, 2005-September 30, 2008 was Ichirou Yamaguchi, Faculty of Engineering, Gunma University, Japan. Members of the Committee: Sergey Bagayev, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science, Russia; Anna Consortini, University of Florence, Italy; Zohra Ben Lakdhar, University of Tunis, Tunisia; Valentin Vlad, National Institute of Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics, Bucharest, Romania.

The new Chair of the Galileo Galilei Award Committee for the term October 1, 2008 - September 30, 2011 is Prof. Tomasz Szoplik, Institute of Geophysics, Department of Physics, Warsaw University, ul. Pasteura 9, 02-093 Warsaw, Poland, e-mail:

Call for nominations for 2009 Award is open with deadline April 15, 2009. Nominations should be sent to the Chair of the Committee. For more information, see ICO Awards.


New bureau elected at ICO-21 meeting

The 60th General Congress and Assembly looked towards Optics for the 21st Century.

Members of the old and new ICO Bureau pictured at the gates of the University of Sydney's School of Physics during the ICO-21 Congress and General Assembly meeting in July. From left to right (first row): A Wagué, M L Calvo, G Sincerbox, I Yamaguchi, R de Cecilio (ICO staff), A T Friberg and D T Moore. Second row: A Sawchuk, F Mendoza, H P Stahl, A M Guzman and M Kujawinska. Third row: G von Bally, P Török (representing the European Optical Society at the meeting), J Harrington, J Love and I C Khoo.

The 60th General Congress and Assembly, ICO-21, was held in Sydney, Australia, on 7-10 July 2008, with the theme "Optics for the 21st Century". The meeting was hosted by the Australian Optical Society and Engineers Australia, and more than 350 participants attended.

The hard work of John Love (general chair), Keith Nugent (program committee chair), Ari T Friberg (international advisory committee chair), Chris Walsh (local organizing committee chair) and their colleagues from the conference committee sessions, along with the support of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and SPIE, are gratefully acknowledged by ICO and resulted in an enjoyable and fruitful event.

As is traditional, the ICO General Assembly took place in two subsequent sessions. The reports of the president, secretary, associate secretary and treasurer were presented, and the various bureau committees presented their corresponding triennial reports. The election of the new bureau for the next triennial term also took place, along with the approval of the admittance of new members, and the designation of location for ICO-22.

The new bureau elected for the term 1 October 2008 - 30 September 2009 consists of - president: M L Calvo (Spain); past president: A T Friberg (Finland); secretary: A M Guzman (Colombia); associate secretary: G von Bally (Germany); treasurer: J Harrington (USA); vice-presidents: Y Arakawa (Japan), Z Bingkun (China), Z Ben Lakhdar (Tunisia), M Gu (appointed by Optics Within Life Sciences), I C Khoo (appointed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Lasers and Electro-Optics Society), H Lefèvre (France, from industry), F Mendoza Santoyo (Mexico), D T Moore (USA), M Oron (Israel, from industry), R Ramponi (appointed by the European Optical Society), H P Stahl (appointed by SPIE), D T Strickland (appointed by OSA), T Szoplik (Poland) and A Wagué (appointed by the LAM Network). The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) Executive Council delegate is yet to be appointed.


Sudan and Tunisia expand African presence

ICO has welcomed Sudan and Tunisia as its newest full members

Members of the Sudan Committee of Atomic, Optics and Lasers Science at the University of Khartoum. Tahani S Mohamed Shatir, who is in charge of links with ICO, is standing on the left.

During the term 2005-2008, two Territorial Committees, Sudan and Tunisia have applied for full ICO Membership. They both have been accepted as members by the ICO General Assembly held in Sydney, Australia, July 9, 2008. The President of the Tunisia territorial committees is Zohra Ben Lakhdar, a professor from the University of Tunis (see this Newsletter October 2006 issue). Moreover, she has been elected as ICO Vice-President at the last ICO Bureau elections held in Sydney for the term 2008-2011 and she is chairing the Education Committee.

The President of the Sudan territorial committee is Dr. Abdelmoneim M. Awadelgied, a professor at the University of Karary, Faculty of Engineering, in Sudan and who has in charge the presidency of the Committee of Atomic, Optics and Lasers Science, Sudan Institute for Natural Sciences.

The Committee was founded in 2000. As some of the activities of the committee for the year 2008 were a training course on laser spectroscopy applications at the University of Khartoum and a training course in laser engineering applications at the Al-Zargaa Complex also in Khartoum. Moreover, it was performed various visits in various Sudanese academic centers.

The former Khartoum University College, founded in 1902 as Gordon Memorial College became the University of Khartoum in the year 1956, after the independence of the Sudan. The Sudan Institute for Natural Sciences is a national institution under the support of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. After 1990 the number of public universities in Sudan has increased up to a total of twenty six.

With the admittance of these two new members, the African territorial committees of ICO have increased up to a total of three, namely: Ghana/West Africa, a member since 1993, Tunisia a member since 2006 and Sudan, a member since 2008. Still, Morocco is an Associate Member since 2002. This is indeed a positive new that goes into the expected direction toward the increase of the presence of the optics community in the African Continent.

The Bureau has been authorized by the General Assembly to transform associate membership into full membership during the forthcoming triennium as soon as all the required conditions are fulfilled.


International Commission for Optics

Bureau members (2008-2011):

President: M L Calvo;

Past-President: A T Friberg; Treasurer: J A Harrington;

Secretary: A M Guzman, Physics Department, Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA; e-mail

Associate Secretary: G von Bally

Vice-Presidents, elected: Y Arakawa, Z Bingkun, Z Lakhdar, H Lefèvre, F Mendoza, D T Moore, M Oron, T Szoplik

Vice-Presidents, appointed: M Gu, I C Khoo, R Ramponi, P Stahl, D T Strickland, A Wagué

IUPAP Council Representative: To be appointed