An Ongoing Success - UMD OSA Student Chapter Hosts Annual Poster Competition

By UMD OSA Student Chapter

On April 8th, 2016 the University of Maryland hosted its sixth annual Poster Competition in Optics and Photonics. The event is sponsored by the UMD OSA Student Chapter, the National Capitol Section of OSA, IEEE-Baltimore, and IEEE-Washington/Northern Virginia. We were very excited to host Dr. John Gillaspy, program director from the National Science Foundation as our guest speaker. He gave a talk titled, From Farm to Foundation: A Personal Journey through Optical Research, which described his career in optics and journey to his position at NSF. The students found the talk so informative and interesting that it was requested the slides from the talk be distributed online. We invite students from UMD and surrounding universities, including John’s Hopkins and UMBC. Students present their research in all areas of optics and photonics. Some of this year’s poster topics include; “Solitons and Cnoidal Waves in Microresonators,” “Subterawatt Laser Plasma Acceleration of Electrons,” and “Real-Time Image Compression Based on All-Optical Haar Wavelet Transform.” Professionals from surrounding National Labs and local companies judge the competition, providing a great way for students to present their research to the local professional community. As this year is the 100th anniversary of OSA we wanted to make this year our best and most exciting competition to date. As always first place comes with a $300 cash prize and increased our 2nd and 3rd place prizes to $200 and $100, respectively. We had 17 submissions this year and the judges all said that it was very difficult to choose to the top posters as there were so many excellent presenters. Posters are judged on technical significance, quality of work, innovation/originality, poster design and composition, and oral presentation. This year’s winners are: 1st place, Fatholah Salehi (UMD); 2nd place, Nihal Jhajj (UMD); 3rd place, David Somers (UMD); and Honorable Mention, Brian Grubel (John’s Hopkins).

Including all presenters, judges, and attendees we had over 50 people at this event. The competition took place at the University of Maryland’s Jeoung H. Kim Engineering Building atrium and featured plenty of sandwiches and coffee to keep all well fed throughout the two hour poster session. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of OSA we ordered a cake with the 100th Anniversary logo inscribed on the cake. The success of this event is a result of the continued collaboration between the student chapter and the local sections of OSA and IEEE. This event is always a great way for students to network with local professionals and is a way for students to meet other students in the area. In the future we hope to bring in more students from more schools in the area. We expect this event will continue to grow and look forward to next year’s poster competition. We would like to thank OSA for providing the Centennial Special Events Grant for this event.


Posted: 20 May 2016 by UMD OSA Student Chapter | with 0 comments

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