President's Letter

People all over the planet are celebrating the International Year of Light.

01 January 2015

I am deeply honored to serve as President of the Society in 2015 — the year that the United Nations has declared as the International Year of Light (IYL). Throughout this year, I look forward to connecting with colleagues through SPIE and our IYL activities.

We all celebrated last year when we learned that the Nobel Prizes for physics and chemistry had been won by scientists who achieved breakthroughs in the development of blue LEDs and super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.

Now in 2015, we are entering a new era of light-based technologies that will break fresh ground and change all our lifestyles. I am pleased that our Society can contribute to this new era.

IYL in Japan

In Japan, we have been busy planning our involvement in this once-only international event. Tokyo will participate by promoting the economical impact of optical engineering within the community. In light of this initiative, all 634 meters of the Tokyo Skytree, the tallest structure in Japan, will be lit with a celebratory design in honor of International Year of Light! (See photo below.)

Conferences in Japan promoting the International Year of Light include the Optics & Photonics International Exhibition (OPIE2015) and Optics & Photonics International Congress (OPIC2015), which will feature a plenary talk by Nobel Laureate Hiroshi Amano, both 22-24 April in Yokohama. The Micro-optics Conference takes place 25-28 October in Fukuoka. SPIE and the Optical Society of Japan (OSJ) joint conference takes place 2-3 November in Tokyo; and the OSJ Annual Meeting is 4-6 November, also in Tokyo. A symposium at the Center for Optical Research and Education (CORE) at Utsunomiya University in Miné-machi will highlight IYL. The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) in Tokyo is planning a special program for IYL. Several companies related to optics and photonics have various events planned for IYL, including a photo contest for children and various outreach programs.

Tokyo Skytree

Tokyo Skytree will be part of the celebration of the International Year of Light.

IYL around the world

People all over the planet will be celebrating the International Year of Light, and I will be joining them at such events as the Opening Ceremonies in Paris, 19-20 January; the Stuttgart scientific symposium “Light for the Future” 25 February; the Taiwan Lantern Festival in Taichung in March; a special session on “Future of Light Technologies” at the Optical Society of Korea’s 25th anniversary conference in Gyeongju in July; and many other events around the globe.

At SPIE Photonics West 2015, 7-12 February in San Francisco, the Welcome Reception will feature “Creatures of the Light,” a creative look at how humans use light. Our IYL photo contest shows the vital role that light and light-based technologies play in our daily lives.

The world is becoming aware of how light technologies are important and vital in our daily lives and this year offers several opportunities to celebrate this knowledge and share it with others. I hope to see you at some of these events.

Signature of Toyohiko Yatagai

Toyohiko Yatagai

2015 SPIE President

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