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In Memoriam: Douglas S. Goodman,

May 14, 2012

In Memoriam: Douglas S. Goodman

GoodmanDouglas S. Goodman, an OSA Fellow Emeritus known for his contributions to optics education, died on 14 May 2012 in Memphis, TN, after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 65.

Goodman received a Ph.D. in Optics in 1979 from the University of Arizona Optical Sciences Center, where his advisor was Roland Shack. He then joined IBM Research in Yorktown Hts., New York. After leaving IBM in 1993, he began work in the Polaroid Optical Engineering department. In 2002, he joined Corning Tropel as a Senior Scientist. He also served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences, and as an Adjunct Faculty Member at the University of Rochester Institute of Optics.

Goodman worked in areas including image formation, illumination, photolithography, phaseshifting masks, alignment, metrology, optical inspection, machine vision, microscopy, optical testing, laser ablation, focus sensing, laser print heads, optomechanics, optical systems engineering, and the theory of classical optics. He was keenly interested in education and the organization of knowledge for more efficient learning, and in the power of demonstrations to arouse curiosity. He explored the use of overhead projectors in optics demonstrations and was the author of Optics Demonstrations with the Overhead Projector. He also wrote two book chapters: "Survey of Optical Instruments," in Geometrical and Instrumental Optics, and "Geometrical Optics," in Handbook of Optics, as well as various papers and talks. He also held many patents.

An OSA member since 1977, Goodman was named a Fellow in 1990. He received OSA’s Esther Hoffman Beller Medal in 2001 “for his passion and delight for learning and education, which spawn tutorial talks and lively demonstrations at all technical levels. These feats inspire others to both increase and share their knowledge of optics.” He was also a Fellow of SPIE.

Goodman is survived by his wife, Carolyn Wenk-Goodman, a concert violinist and a teacher at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and a daughter, Sarah.

If you would like to make a memorial donation to the OSA Foundation in honor of Douglas S. Goodman, please visit

Awards & Distinctions

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