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SPIE and OSA award student prizes at NSBP/NSHP meeting

20 February 2009

BELLINGHAM, Wash., USA  -- Winners of annual Best Posters in Optics and Photonics sponsored by SPIE and OSA were announced at a banquet during the Joint Meeting of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP). The meeting was held 11-15 February, in Nashville, Tenn.

Judges were NSBP President Peter Delfyett, Univ. of Central Florida, CREOL, and Anthony Johnson, Director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Deputy Director and Materials Thrust Leader of the National Science Foundation (NSF) MIRTHE program.

Graduate Poster Awards, sponsored by SPIE, went to:

  • First Prize ($400 and student membership), to Thomas Searles, Rice Univ., for a paper on "Polarization-dependent magneto-absorption spectroscopy of single-walled carbon nanotubes."
  • Second Prize ($200 and student membership), to Trevor Rhone, Columbia Univ., for a paper on "Optical studies of two-dimensional electron systems under extreme conditions."

Undergraduate Poster Awards, sponsored by OSA, were made to:

  • First Prize ($400 and student membership), to Sergio Cantu, Univ. of Texas at Brownsville, for a paper on "Low-loss optical resonator for Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory."
  • Second Prize ($200 and student membership), to Saba Hamidi, South Carolina State Univ.,for a paper on "Liquid crystal membranes in aqueous solutions."

"On behalf of Peter, the NSBP, the NSHP and I, we want to thank OSA and SPIE for sponsoring these wonderful awards and recognition for these outstanding students," Dr. Johnson said. "It is worth every penny to see the faces of the students as they walk up to the podium to accept their prizes for best poster."

"We are very pleased to provide continued support for this very motivating program that recognizes outstanding work by students," said SPIE President María Yzuel, a professor at the Univ. Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. "This is an important way in which scientific societies can help build expertise among those who will become the leaders of future generations of scientists and engineers."

SPIE is the international optics and photonics society, founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 188,000 constituents from 138 countries, the Society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. In 2008, the Society provided $1.9 million for scholarships, grants, and other activities supporting research and education around the world. For more information, visit SPIE.org.

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