January 2000, No. 42
International Commission for Optics.
Bureau members : President : A.H. Guenther; Past-President : T. Asakura ; Treasurer : G.T. Sincerbox; Vice-Presidents (as of August 1999) : H.H. Arsenault, M.L. Calvo, R. Dandliker, A.A. Friesem, J. Ojeda-Castaneda, U. Kim, D.A.B. Miller, G.C. Righini, C. Sheppard, L. Wang; Secretary : P. Chavel; Associate Secretary, in charge of Meetings : A.T. Friberg.
International Commission for Optics
Angela M. Guzmán, Jorge Ojeda-Castañeda, and William T. Rhodes
Based on a talk presented at the Sixth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics, Cancún, Mexico, 27-30 July 1999. The authors are with, respectively, the National University of Colombia in Bogota, Colombia; the University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico; and Georgia Tech Lorraine, the European platform of Georgia Institute of Technology, in Metz, France. All three have served as organizers of international meetings.
International meetings, where many attendees are often not fluent in the official conference language, present special challenges to speakers if their presentations are to be easily understood by the great majority of the listeners. The problem is especially acute if the meeting is heavily attended by students unpracticed in listening to talks not in their native languages. A presentation that is good by domestic-conference standards, i.e., well organized, on an interesting subject, given at an appropriate level, etc., may fail at an international conference simply because it is hard for non-native speakers of the conference language to understand the words the speaker is using. Even highly-accomplished speakers often overlook simple yet essential rules for giving a good international conference talk.
Perhaps the most important rule is to be sensitive to the language issue: Speakers at international conferences must be aware of the language-related difficulties that attendees often have in understanding presentations not given in their native languages. Such speakers might ask themselves "How many of the attendees are non-native speakers of the conference language, and of those, how many are students?"
We have special concern with students because it is they, having the least practice in listening to talks not in their native tongues, who generally have the greatest difficulty at international conferences. Yet international conference attendance by students–encouraged, it should be noted, by many of our conference sponsors–can constitute an extremely important contribution to the students' education by introducing them to the international community of researchers, instilling in them a greater sense of professionalism, and introducing them to a much broader range of research topics than they would normally encounter.
In addition to the recommendations typically given for the preparation of a good conference presentation, a list of guidelines for speakers at international meetings should include the following:
- Speak more slowly than normal.
- Speak somewhat louder than normal.
- Enunciate carefully.
- For longer talks, begin especially slowly, giving people an opportunity to become used to your speaking voice and style.
- Avoid contractions (e.g., I’ll, wouldn’t).
- Use simple vocabulary; when possible, use familiar words.
- Choose words with the audience in mind.
- Include all key messages in viewgraphs.
- Work hard to avoid idiomatic expressions.
- Avoid language- or culturally-biased jokes.
Of these guidelines, probably the most important are the first three. A speaker who deliberately slows his pace, speaks somewhat louder than usual, and enunciates carefully is likely to keep the other points in mind also. He is already exhibiting language-related sensitivity to members of the audience. Choosing words with the audience in mind can be especially helpful if conference attendees come predominantly from specific countries. For example, Latin-root words are usually more easily understood by people from Spain, Italy, France, whereas Anglo-Saxon-root words are usually more easily understood by people from Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, etc. Inclusion of all key messages in viewgraphs is quite important, because the non-native-language listeners to the talk will typically have more difficulty understanding the spoken language than the written one. A speaker should take particular care in selecting jokes for an international meeting, since jokes are often based in the language itself, and many jokes exhibit cultural bias. A joke not understood by a listener to a talk serves as a major distraction that seriously interrupts the flow of the talk. Failure to understand a joke, especially when other members of the audience are laughing, can be embarrassing.
Avoiding highly idiomatic speech can be challenging for a speaker, yet such avoidance can be extremely helpful to non-native speakers listening to the presentation. Idioms generally do not translate literally, and if they do it is usually with some difficulty. Following are some examples in English: Our boss has a lot of pull (he has power within the organization). That suited us to a T (it was completely acceptable to us). He kept beating around the bush (he delayed talking about the most important part of the subject). Out of sight, out of mind (once computer-translated to "invisible idiot"!). The report was on the level (honest; truthful). We were left holding the bag (we were left responsible for something someone else had begun). I put my foot down (I insisted). He hit the ceiling (he got angry). It was a piece of cake (it was easy). Many of these expressions are colloquial, but some are not, and all have been used by conference speakers.
Idiomatic expressions rarely appear in technical journal articles, first because they are rather naturally avoided in writing and second because, if they are used, good copy editors will remove them out of sensitivity to the journal’s international readership. Some idiomatic expressions are proverbs, and many are clichés. Frequently an idiom can be interpreted correctly by non-native speakers of English, but only after some thought, and time for additional thought is a precious commodity for one who is struggling to understand new physics! Some idioms simply defy translation. The cliché-prone speaker at a recent conference who remarked "I realize that this is like carrying coals to Newcastle, like preaching to the choir" left most of the native-Spanish-speaking members of his audience wondering what in the world* he was talking about: Coals to Newcastle? Preaching to the choir? What could this possibly mean? For some seconds afterward, those listeners were lost in thought, wondering whether they had missed something of singular importance because they were not sufficiently skilled in idiomatic English.
Native speakers of the conference language who present papers at international conferences are doubly benefited by their native-tongue abilities: they can prepare their presentations with greater ease, and they can generally understand other speakers more easily. But these native speakers also have a responsibility to those attending the meeting who speak the conference language as a second language; they have a responsibility to put the extra effort into their presentations that makes those presentations more easily understood by everyone present.
(Footnote : * Editor's note : idiomatic English meaning, emphatically, "what ?")
7-25 February 2000
ICTP/ICO/OSA Winter College on Optics and Photonics
22-24 February 2000
OWLS Down Under (6th Intl. Conference)
10-16 April 2000
ICO Topical Meeting, Optical Sciences and Applications for Sustainable Development
Prof. Ahmadou Wague, Université Cheikh Anta Diop,
Departement de Physique, Dakar, Senegal
fax +221 8 246318, firstname.lastname@example.org
4-5 June 2000
Dennis Gabor Memorial Conference
18-23 June 2000
OC'2000, Optics in Computing
4-7 September 2000
RomOpto 2000 (6th Conference on Optics)
Prof. V.I. Vlad, Institute of Atomic Physics, NILPRP - Dept. of Lasers, P.O. Box MG-36,
R-76900 Bucharest, Romania
fax. +40 1 423 1791, email@example.com
15-17 November 2000
Intl. Conf. on Optical Design and Fabrication
Dr. Kimio Tatsuno, Central Res. Lab., Hitachi Ltd., 1-280 Higashi-koigakubo, Kokubunji, Tokyo
fax. +81 42 327-7673, firstname.lastname@example.org
August - September 2001
ICO Topical Meeting, Optical Trends in Information, Communication, and Storage
Prof. Asher A. Friesem, Dept. of Physics of Complex Systems, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel
fax. + 972 8 934 4109 email@example.com
3-7 September 2001
IV RIAO / VII OPTILAS
Prof. G.H. Kaufmann, Inst. de FÌsica Rosario (CONICET-UNR), Bv. 27 de Febrero 210 bis, 2000 Rosario, Argentina
fax. +54 341 482-1772, firstname.lastname@example.org
27-30 November 2001
Education and Training in Optics and Photonics 2001
Dr. Tuan-Kay Lim, School of Electrical and Electronic Eng., Nanyang Tech. University, Nanyang Ave., Singapore 639798
fax. +65 791 2687/792 0415, email@example.com
25-31 August 2002
ICO-19, Triennial Congress of the International Commission for Optics "Optics for the Quality of Life"
Dr. Giancarlo C. Righini, IROE "N. Carrara" - CNR, Via Panciatichi 64, 50127 Firenze, Italy
fax. +39 055 412878, firstname.lastname@example.org
The October 1999 issue of the ICO Newsletter included the three combined calls for applications for the "ICO Prize", for the "CIO Galileo Galilei Award" and for the "ICO/ICTP Award" for 2000.
The ICO Prize, established in 1982, is awarded to an individual who has made a noteworthy contribution to optics before reaching the age of 40.
The Galileo Galilei medal of the ICO, established in 1994, is awarded for outstanding contributions to the field of optics which are achieved under comparatively unfavorable circumstances.
The ICO/ICTP Award was established in August 1999 and will start in 2000. It is awarded to a young researcher from a developing country conducting research in a developing country and less than 40 years old. It consists in a cash amount given by ICO and the invitation by ICTP to attend the next ICTP event appropriate for the recipient.
Detailed rules and explanations, as well as a copy of the application form, are to be found in the ICO web page. To those who have difficulty accessing the web, they are also available upon request from the ICO Secretary.
While the deadline for the ICO/ICTP Award 2000 is now over, the deadline for both the ICO Prize and the ICO Galileo Galilei Award is March 15, 2000. While the nominations can be sent to the ICO Secretariat, it saves some time to send them directly to the respective award committee chairs :
- for the ICO Prize, Prof. René Dändliker, Université de Neuchâtel, rue A.L. Bréguet 2, CH 2000 Neuchâtel, email@example.com
- for the ICO Galileo Galilei Award, Prof. Maria Calvo Padilla, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Departamento de Optica, Facultad de Ciencias Fisicas, Ciudad Universitaria, E 28040 Madrid, firstname.lastname@example.org
The 1999 Prize of the International Commission for Optics has been awarded to Hugo Thienpont of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium, in recognition of his contributions to photonics, optical computing and parallel optics. The Prize has been established in 1982 to recognize noteworthy contributions to optics by scientists who have not reached the age of 40. The Prize consists of a citation, a cash award and an invitation to present a lecture and receive the award at the next appropriate major ICO event. In addition, the Carl Zeiss company has accepted to donate an Ernst Abbe Medal to the recipients. The ICO Prize Committee for 1997-1999 consisted of K. Chalasinska-Macukow (chair), R. Dandliker, Y. Ichioka, E. Marom, and G. T. Sincerbox.
Hugo Thienpont was born in Ninove, Belgium, in 1961. He received his elementary education in the village school in Oetingen and his secondary education from the Koninklijk Atheneum Halle. He studied at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) where he graduated in July 1984 as an Electrotechnical Engineer with majors in applied physics, applied optics, opto-electronics and laser physics. His graduating work was focused on the "Study and fabrication of a ring laser gyro". In October that year he joined the Applied Physics Department as assistant to Prof. Dr. Roger Van Geen, where he started his research activities on ìInformation processing using the peculiar properties of the interaction of light and matter.
In 1987 he was a visiting scientist in the Applied Physics Department of Prof. Dieter. Jaeger in Munster, Germany where he worked on "Thermo-optically bistable Si and GaAs devices". After fullfilling his military duties, he continued his research at the VUB on arrays of electrically controlled optically bistable elements in simple Silicon technology. He used these elements as workhorses in optical computing demonstrator experiments before opto-electronic elements became practically available. In 1989 he was a visiting scientist at the "Philips Research Laboratories" in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, in the Spectroscopy group of Prof. Q.E.H. Vrehen and Prof. E. Meyer. There, in the framework of his appositional thesis, he studied the nonlinear behavior of conjugated polymers and observed, for the first time, the saturation of the second hyperpolarizability with chain length of a series of oligomers with well defined lengths.
In 1990 he received the PhD degree in applied sciences for his work entitled: "Aspects of Optical Bistability in Nonlinear Resonators for Digital Light Control: between theory and technology" and also became the proud father of a lovely daughter Astrid. In 1993, together with his colleague Prof. Irina Veretennicoff, he contributed to the development of a new Electrical Engineering subdiscipline "Photonics" at the VUB. In 1994 he became Professor in the Faculty of Applied Sciences, with teaching responsibilities in 6 compulsory courses in this novel Photonics engineering discipline: Optical Fiber Telecommunication, High Capacity Optical Telecom Systems, Display Technology and Optical Memories, Hot Topics in Photonics, and both an introductory and an advanced course on Laboratory Projects in Photonics. Since then he has been responsible for the scientific direction of more than eighty graduate works and several PhD theses of students both from the VUB and students coming from abroad in the framework of the European Student Exchange programs ERASMUS, SOCRATES and TEMPUS .
Today he is the research director of the "Laboratory for Photonics" at the VUB and the promoter of research projects for the Flemish Foundation for Scientific Research (FWO), the Flemish Institute for Science and Technology (IWT), the Belgian Inter-University Excellence Centers (IUAP) and the European Community Microelectronics Advanced Research Initiatives (EC-MEL-ARI). Most of these projects are related to Micro-Optic and Photonic Interconnect Technologies in High Capacity Information Processing Systems.
During the last ten years Hugo Thienpont and his colleagues worked on different topics, all related to materials, devices, interconnects, architectures and demonstrators for photonics in computing. The main part of their work concentrates on the construction of prototype optical computing modules, the demonstration of various functions with these set-ups and the assessment of the scalability of these systems and their future performances.
One of these demonstrators is a data transparent ultra-fast reconfigurable interconnect module, based on a combination of controlled polarisation switching VCSELs and anisotropic diffractive optical elements. A second demonstrator, fabricated using in-house deep proton lithography as a micro-optics rapid prototyping technology, is a micro-miniaturized free-space optical interconnection module for Terabit/s intra-chip data communication.
However, most of the work from 1994 to 1999 was devoted to Digital Parallel Computing Demonstrators. In this part of the work Hugo and his team made extensive use of arrays of optical thyristor differential pairs. Using arrays of these opto-electronic processing elements, large diameter GRIN lenses and different refractive and diffractive micro-optical components, the following functions, essential for the construction of a photonically enhanced optical image processor, were demonstrated: cascaded array to array data transcription, reconfigurable optical interconnects between processing planes, plane to plane interconnects with fan-out, digital optical logic operations, grey-level optical thresholding, and parallel digital optical data input with a micro-display.
Besides supervising and inspiring fundamental and applied research projects, Hugo also manages photonics-related industrial projects with companies like Barco and Agfa-Gevaert. This way he wants to narrow the gap between academic and industrial research, and between academic training and industrial reality.
Hugo Thienpont has more than 200 publications in international conference proceedings or peer reviewed international journals and has been invited speaker at many international conferences. He is member of the editorial board of the "International Journal of Opto-electronics" and associate editor of 'Optical Engineering'. He was guest Editor of the special issue of the Journal of European Optical Society on 'Optics in Computing' in 1999 and is guest editor of the Applied Optics special issue on 'Optics in Computing' in 2000. He is referee for Optics Letters, Optics Communications, IEEE J. Lightwave Techn., Applied Optics, IEEE Phot. Techn. Lett. and several other journals. He serves in technical program committees of several IEEE, OSA and SPIE and ICO meetings related to photonics and shared the Technical Program Chair of the ICO topical meeting "Optics in Computing '98" with Pierre Chavel. Thienpont is a member of the OSA, SPIE, IEEE-LEOS, and the EOS.
The 1999 Galileo Galilei Award has been awarded to Mario Garavaglia of CIoP, Argentina in recognition of his scientific contributions in the fields of lasers, spectroscopy, interferometry, and holography, as well as their applications to industry, medicine and biology and for his promotion of optics education an research in South America. The Award was established in 1993 to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of optics achieved under comparatively unfavorable circumstances regarding the economic and social conditions and the access to scientific facilities and sources of information. It consist of the Galileo Galilei Medal, donated by the Societa Italiana di Ottica e Fotonica, funding of registration and approved local expenses at a major ICO Meeting where the Awardee will give a presentation based on his achievements, and appropriate measures of ICO to support the future activities of the winner. The ICO Galileo Galilei Award Subcommittee for 1997-1999 consisted of M.J. Yzuel, chair ; K. Chalasinska-Macukow, A. Consortini, G.G. Mu, and J. Ojeda-Castaneda.
Mario Garavaglia was born in Junín (BA), Argentina in 1937. He got his Licenciado Degree in Physics from Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP), Argentina, in 1960, with the thesis on "Interference analysis of the hyperfine structure of natural mercury", under the direction of Athos Giacchetti. During 1964-65 he made postgraduate studies at Uppsala University, Sweden, on the stimulated emission on natural mercury, under the direction of Kjell Bockasten and Bela Lengyel. In 1965 he got his Doctor Degree in Physics from UNLP, Argentina. His thesis was on "Laser spectroscopy of neutral mercury"; the adviser was Rafael Grinfeld. In 1996 he was designed Adjunct Professor at Department of Physics, UNLP. Also, in 1966 he was incorporated as member of the Research Career of the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina. His present status at UNLP is Professor of Physics, and at CONICET is "Investigador Superior".
Prof. Garavaglia has published over 120 research papers in internationally reputed journals. His research activity was focused on different subjects along the time from 1959 to now a day. Classical and Modern Optics (1959 - ), Emission Optical Spectroscopy (1959 - 79), Laser Spectroscopy (1964 - 81), Optical Metrology (1966 - ), Laser Physics (1964 - ), Optics and Laser Technological Applications (1966 - ), Optics and Laser Biomedical Applications (1978 - ), and Ophthalmic Optics and Retinal and Brain Image Processing (1980 - ). Prof. Garavaglia directed 20 Doctoral Thesis, and also he was co-director or adviser of 14 graduated students in doing their Doctoral Thesis.
In 1966 Prof. Garavaglia initiated the activities of the Laboratory of Spectroscopy, Optics and Lasers in the Department of Physics, UNLP. In 1976 he promoted the expansion of the activity of the laboratory, and in 1977 was the founder of the Centro de Investigaciones Opticas (CIOp), and was its director from 1977 to 1992. CIOp is one the most important institution in education and research in Optics in Latin-America. Also, inside the CIOp, he promotes the constitution of the Laser Processing Laboratory, the only one in the Latin-American region that has a laser industrial installation for research, education, training, and industrial services. In 1992 he was appointed Director of CONICET. For almost three years he served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the CONICET and as a Member of its Executive Committee.
Prof. Garavaglia served as the Executive Secretary of the Organiser Committee of the First Latin-American Seminar on Lasers and Applications to Physics and Chemistry, which was held in La Plata, 1978. He was Co-ordinator of the Argentine delegation to the CONICET-NSF Workshop on Fourier Optics. Prof. Joseph Goodman was the NSF Co-ordinator. The workshop was help in La Plata, 1979. He was also Co-ordinator of the Argentine delegation to the CONICET-NSF Workshop on Laser in Biomedicine, organised at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA, in 1983. Prof. Myron Wolbarsht was the NSF Co-ordinator. Prof. Dieter Kind, President of the Comité Consultatif pour la Définition du Metre (CCDM) invited him in 1982 to take part in the Seventh Session of the CCDM for the discussion and approval of the suggestion for the 1983 definition of the metre. He was also Member of the World Health Organization and the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) Task Group to prepare the "Environmental Health Criteria Document 23. Lasers and Optical Radiation" (1982).
Prof. Garavaglia has been Lecturer for 65 postgraduate courses on Optics, Lasers Physics, Optical Technology, Laser Applications to Industry, and Laser and Optics in Biomedicine at Universities and other academic institutions in Argentine and other Latin-American countries. The number of graduate students that have attended Prof. Garavaglia's lectures can be estimated in 3.000. The Organization of the American States published and distributed in 1976 his book "El Láser" (Spanish). The Galileo Galilei Award Subcommittee after discussion, unanimously reached the conclusion that the 1999 Galileo Galilei Award should be given to Prof. Garavaglia for his work on Lasers and their applications in industry, medicine and biology and for his promotion of Optics in South America.
Together with some brief news from several Territorial Committee members, this issue of the Newsletter contains a description of the history and activities of the Territorial Committee in Cuba. The ICO Secretariat always welcomes such contributions for inclusion in the Newsletter.
the new President of the Brazilian Committee of Optics is Prof. Ricardo J. Horowicz of the University of São Paulo, email@example.com
The new ICO Territorial Committee in Cuba consists of Drs Angel Augier, ISPJAE, President, firstname.lastname@example.org Octavio Calzadilla, Vice-President ; Luis Ponce, Treasurer ; and Juan Darias, Associate Secretary.
The ICO Territorial Committee in Russia is based on the Scientific Council on Optics and Laser Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). The Chairman is Professor Sergei N. Bagayev, Director of the Institute for Laser Physics of the Siberian Branch of the RAS, Novosibirsk, email@example.com. The Vice-Chairman is Professor Evgueni M. Zolotov of the General Physics Institute of the RAS, Moscow, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new Chair of the ICO Territorial Committee in Spain is Prof. Carlos Ferreira of Universidad de Valencia, email@example.com
United Kingdom :
The adhering body for the ICO in the United Kingdom is now the Institute of Physics, firstname.lastname@example.org. The transfer of responsibilities from the Royal Society has taken effect from 1 March 1999.
About the Section of Optics of the Cuban Physical Society and the Cuban Territorial Committee of ICO :
The Section of Optics of the Cuban Society of Physics (SCF) originated in 1979, when the society was founded. It comprises members from universities and research-production centres concerned with the development of Optics in Cuba. Some of these centres are the Faculty of Physics and the Institute of Materials and Reagents (IMRE) of Havana University, the Department of Physics of the Polytechnical Institute "Jose Antonio Echeverria" (ISPJAE), the Centre of Development of Equipment and Scientific Instruments (CEDEIC), and the Centre of Applied Studies to the Nuclear Development (CEADEN). Different topics of Optics were inaugurated, especially some branches that had no antecedents in Cuba, such as Holography, Fourier Optics, Optical Image Processing, Laser Physics, as well as the production of some types of laser equipment and instruments, and the preparation of the necessary human resources. The formation of graduates in Optics, doctors (PhD) in Optics, abroad and in the country, as well as courses for graduate students and a master program in Optics (MSc) in Cuba are offered at present as a result of the existence of about 100 professionals that have participated in these programs. These include over 30 doctors in Optics and Laser. Of the total number more than 40 have been trained in Cuba. From 1975 so far about 15 national or international events relevant to Optics have been organized in Cuba. Optics has attracted an increasing interest since 1979, and Cuban specialists have attended conferences or meetings of Optics in numerous countries. At the Ist Ibero-American Meeting on Optics, held in Barcelona in 1992, the idea of organizing an event OPTILAS in Cuba was analyzed and adopted and discussions about ICO membership of Cuba were started. In 1995 the fifth International Meeting OPTILAS took place in Cuba with support of the ICO, and in 1997, the General Meeting ICO 17 in Korea approved full membership of Cuba in ICO. The Cuban Territorial Committee of the ICO has always been closely linked with the Section of Optics of the SCF. At present one of the main objectives is to maintain participation in international events, especially in the Ibero-American area, such as the next RIAO-OPTILAS to be held in Argentina in 2001, and the organization of new versions of the event TECNOLASER, which usually takes place every two years as part of the international convention METANICA in Cuba, especially for the year 2000. Application for an ICO Topical meeting is being considered. The Territorial Committee's objectives for the new millennium involve the following aspects :
- To promote research in Optics impacting the economic, social and human development of the country.
- To maintain and as much as possible to increase the Cuban participation in national and international events.
- To promote the increase of Optics publications in journals of international impact.
- To foster the development of national human resources in the different specialties of Optics.
- To increase and improve the international relationships with specialists from all over the world, as well as the international collaboration in the specialties of Optics.
In line with its policy to support regional development in its field, the ICO, in conjunction with the ICTP and in cooperation with the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, has decided to held its Topical Meeting of the year 2000 in Dakar, the capital of Sénégal. Université Cheik Anta Diop of Dakar will be the host organization. The topic will be "Optical Sciences and Application for Sustainable Development". The purpose of the Conference is to highlight recent advances in Optical Sciences and its applications. A detailed announcement and call for papers can be found in the ICO web page http://www.ico-optics.org/ or can be obtained from the ICO Secretariat. The submission deadline is December 31st, 1999.