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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Advanced optics in an interdisciplinary graduate program
Author(s): S. Nic Chormaic

Paper Abstract

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, established in November 2011, provides a 5- year interdisciplinary PhD program, through English, within Japan. International and Japanese students entering the program undertake coursework and laboratory rotations across a range of topics, including neuroscience, molecular science, physics, chemistry, marine science and mathematics, regardless of previous educational background. To facilitate interdisciplinarity, the university has no departments, ensuring seamless interactions between researchers from all sectors. As part of the PhD program a course in Advanced Optics has been developed to provide PhD students with the practical and theoretical skills to enable them to use optics tools in any research environment. The theoretical aspect of the course introduces students to procedures for complex beam generation (e.g. Laguerre-Gaussian), optical trapping, beam analysis and photon optics, and is supported through a practical program covering introductory interference/diffraction experiments through to more applied fiber optics. It is hoped that, through early exposure to optics handling and measurement techniques, students will be able to develop and utilize optics tools regardless of research field. In addition to the formal course in Advanced Optics, a selection of students also undertakes 13 week laboratory rotations in the Light-Matter Interactions research laboratory, where they work side-by-side with physicists in developing optics tools for laser cooling, photonics or bio-applications. While currently in the first year, conclusive results about the success of such an interdisciplinary PhD training are speculative. However, initial observations indicate a rich cross-fertilization of ideas stemming from the diverse backgrounds of all participants.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 July 2014
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 9289, 12th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference, 92890M (17 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2070380
Show Author Affiliations
S. Nic Chormaic, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (Japan)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9289:
12th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference
Manuel F. P. C. Martins Costa; Mourad Zghal, Editor(s)

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