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SPIE Professional July 2015

SPIE Educator Award 2015

 SPIE Fellow Virendra Mahajan, winner the 2015 SPIE Educator AwardSPIE Fellow Virendra Mahajan has been selected as recipient of the 2015 SPIE Educator Award for sharing knowledge in the area of optical imaging, aberrations, and wavefront analysis through his voluntary teaching of students and professionals and the writing of five books.

The award will be presented to Mahajan at SPIE Optics+Photonics in August.

The annual SPIE Educator Award recognizes outstanding contributions to optics education by an SPIE instructor or an educator in the field.

Mahajan has been an adjunct professor in the College of Optical Sciences at University of Arizona (USA) since 2004. During his first three years of teaching there, he would fly from Los Angeles to Tucson to teach a three-hour class and then fly back to California.

Mahajan’s unique talent and knowledge in the area of optical aberrations is reflected in authorship of five books on optical imaging and aberrations, all published by SPIE. Widely used by students and professionals, his book, Aberration Theory Made Simple, has been translated into Spanish and Russian and will be translated into Chinese.

Inspired by Mahajan’s lectures, SPIE Senior Member José Antonio Díaz Navas, of University of Granada, (Spain) did the Spanish translation of the second edition.

“Dr. Mahajan has educated hundreds of professionals and students through teaching short courses,” said Navas. “This for me is what a true educator does: disseminate, discuss, and share with anyone anywhere what he or she has learned.”

Mahajan, a retired Distinguished Scientist/Engineer at the Aerospace Corp., has also been an adjunct or visiting professor at National Central University in Taiwan; National Institute for Astrophysics, Optics, and Electronics in Mexico; the College of Optics and Photonics at University of Central Florida; and University of Southern California.

Mahajan serves as a conference chair, teaches courses at SPIE events, and volunteers in the Society’s visiting lecturer program. He has served on several committees and was the 2006 recipient of the SPIE A.E. Conrady Award.


Image for SPIE annual awardsSPIE presents several annual awards that recognize individual and team technical accomplishments in optics and photonics and service to the Society.

Nominations for 2016 may be submitted to SPIE through 1 July 2015 for the Britton Chance Biomedical Optics Award and the Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award and by 1 October 2015 for all other SPIE awards.

Nominations remain active for three years from the submission date, except for the SPIE Early Career Achievement Award and the Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award.

Nomination forms must be accompanied by a citation stating the accomplishments of the nominee; a description of the significant aspects of nominee’s career; the nominee's CV; and at least two letters of reference, not from the nominator.

Learn more about SPIE awards.

DOI: 10.1117/2.4201507.10

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