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Travel Report: International Congress on Optics and Optoelectronics, Warsaw, Poland

By Sigang Yang, President, Tsinghua University SPIE Student Chapter, China

My vice-supervisor and I arrived in Warsaw, Poland on 27 August after a long flight from Beijing on Royal Dutch Airlines and an interchange at the Amsterdam airport. In the morning, we registered in the main hall of the Warsaw University of Technology. The Warsaw students were the main service people and I saw that they worked very professionally. What surprised me greatly about the day was that, unlike Beijing, there were very few people or cars on the street for a weekend.

On Sunday night, I attended the welcome reception. I met some students from European countries and talked with them. We exchanged ideas about our study, life, and about the cultural differences we have experienced. On Monday, the congress was held in the main hall of the Warsaw Univ. of Technology. First the Polish SPIE Chapter president conducted the opening ceremony and then some of the congress chairs and honorary committee members gave their lectures. Then Professor Russell, a leader of photonic crystal fibers research from Bath University, gave a splendid speech on photonic crystal fibers. I gave special attention to his lecture because my research field is photonic crystal fibers as well. And so the congress went along for a whole day.

During the following days, I mainly attended the sessions on photonic crystals and fibers, where there were many wonderful invited papers. Most famous groups in this field had members that attended the session, and so by session- end I had a very comprehensive view of progress in this field all around the world. On Thursday morning, my vice- supervisor gave the presentation on our optical fiber design.

At one coffee break, a Chinese researcher from Rutherford Laboratory in the United Kingdom sent me his banquet ticket, so I had the chance to attend the conference banquet held in the main hall of the University. During the banquet, Dr. Malgorzata Kujawinska, the SPIE president, gave a lecture on the 50-year history of SPIE. This was the first time that I learned about the history of SPIE in detail. The SPIE committee also awarded several students prizes during the banquet.

This trip and conference were a useful and memorable experience for me. I found the Polish students had done an excellent job during the whole congress and operated the events very successfully. I think our chapter can learn much from them.

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