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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Optical engineering: learning by design
Author(s): Andrew G. Kirk

Paper Abstract

This presentation will describe the issues associated with a design-based course in optical engineering. The original purpose of this course was to provide senior undergraduate and graduate students with a good foundation in free-space optics, including topics such as geometric aberrations, Gaussian beam theory, diffractive optics, interference filters and polarization. However in order to make the material more immediate and to help the students to integrate their knowledge, a design project component was introduced into the course several years ago. Over the succeeding years, the project component has become a more and more significant part of the course, so that it now forms the central component. Typical enrollment is 15-25 students. The class is typically 75% graduate students, with the remainder being senior undergraduates. 30% have previously taken an undergraduate optics class and around 30% are typically doing graduate/undergraduate research in photonics. A course in electromagnetic waves is a pre-requisite but for many of the students this is their first real ‘optics’ course. Therefore it is a significant challenge to present sufficient material that the students can do real work in their design projects without over-burdening them with new concepts. Most of the students (90%) attend McGill, with the remainder attending UQAM, Ecole Polytechnique or Concordia.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 June 2007
PDF: 2 pages
Proc. SPIE 9665, Tenth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics, 966521 (3 June 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.2207807
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew G. Kirk, McGill Univ. (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9665:
Tenth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics
Marc Nantel, Editor(s)

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