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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Undergraduate optics program for the 21st Century
Author(s): James M. Palmer

Paper Abstract

We have been offering a successful BS degree in optical engineering for the past ten years. We have produced more than 100 graduates, highly trained in basic optics and electronics. Our Industrial Affiliates, while very pleased with our graduates, requested that we produce some with greater mechanical engineering skills and knowledge. Our response was the creation of a new degree program, retaining the virtues of the previous one, but allowing a high degree of flexibility through the inclusion of minors within the program. The new program allows sufficient room for a variety of minors. Engineering minors identified include aerospace, computer, electrical, materials and mechanical. Science minors include astronomy, computer science, math and physics. Non-science minors accommodated include business, pre-health and pre-law. The new BSO program features: (1) Better structure and flow, more tightly coupling related classes; (2) New laboratory classes for juniors, linked to lecture classes; (3) Expanded optical deign, fabrication and testing classes; (4) New class in electronics for optics; (5) New classes in fiber optics and optical communications; (6) New capstone/senior project class for ABET compliance. This new BSO program will produce better entry-level optical scientists and engineers, and better candidates for graduate school. Our interactions with the external community will provide inputs concerning industrial needs, leading towards improved student counseling and program development. We will better serve national needs for skilled personnel in optics, and contribute even more to the optics workforce pipeline.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 May 2002
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4588, Seventh International Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics, (28 May 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.468749
Show Author Affiliations
James M. Palmer, Optical Sciences Ctr./Univ. of Arizona (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4588:
Seventh International Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics
Tuan-Kay Lim; Robert P. Breault; Arthur H. Guenther; Arthur H. Guenther, Editor(s)

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