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Course Levels and SPIE Foundation Courses

Course Levels

Each SPIE course is categorized at one of three levels - Introductory, Intermediate, or Advanced.

Introductory level courses provide a basic foundation in a subject, starting at a basic level and assuming little familiarity with the subject at hand. Introductory courses often present a broad overview of the topic. Few prerequisites are assumed but it is always a good idea to read the 'Intended Audience' section of the course description for more information.

Intermediate level courses go into greater depth than Introductory courses and assume basic familiarity with the topic. Prerequisites may include items such as college-level math education, other SPIE courses on related topics, or equivalent knowledge thereof. More math and a deeper examination of tools and techniques can be expected.

Advanced courses assume a high degree of familiarity with the overall subject and usually focus on more specific subtopics. University education at and above the graduate level, and/or work experience in the field, are expected prerequisites. Courses may feature intensive mathematics.

SPIE Foundation Courses

Foundation courses provide an introduction and overview of the technical area they address. They are an ideal entry point for understanding core concepts and tools if you're new to a field, looking to brush up your knowledge in a specific area, or want to take a closer look at a specialization you're considering pursuing. Courses are taught by instructors with deep knowledge and years of in-the-field experience, and offer the unique opportunity to learn from some of the most accomplished optics professionals in their respective industries.

SPIE Foundation courses are ideal for:

  • Technical sales professionals looking to increase their knowledge to better work with customers
  • Early career professionals who need an in-depth background in their specialization
  • Mid-career professionals interested in changing focus to a new field
  • Companies looking for training for their entry-level engineers
  • Professionals seeking to broaden their skills with interdisciplinary training
  • Anyone looking to gain a fundamental understanding of the subject

A "Green Lab" program supported by SPIE at the Pennsylvania State Univ. Electro-Optics Center gives high-school students lab experience in analyzing power consumption incandescent, compact fluorescent, and LED lighting sources.

"The lab inspires students to think about the environment and the economy," said Jim Einsporn of the Penn State project. "Students discover first-hand the amount of energy used in each source, and the long-term costs of each."

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