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Optica Names Alexander L. Gaeta the 2023 Stephen D. Fantone Distinguished Service Award Recipient


Optica (formerly OSA), Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, is pleased to announce that Alexander L. Gaeta, Columbia University, USA, has been selected as the 2023 recipient of the Stephen D. Fantone Distinguished Service Award. Gaeta is recognized for his role as founding editor-in chief of Optica and his commitment to excellence in the optics and photonics community.

Gaeta received his Ph.D. in 1991 in Optics from the University of Rochester. He is the David M. Rickey Professor in the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at Columbia University. He was on the faculty of the School of Applied and Engineering at Cornell University from 1992-2015 and served as its Director from 2012-2014. He recently co-founded Xscape Photonics, Inc. and is currently the CEO.

Gaeta has made pioneering contributions to the fields of quantum and nonlinear photonics. These include key advances to nonlinear wave propagation that provided critical understanding to self-focusing and filamentation of ultrashort laser pulses, the generation of slow light via stimulated scattering, and nonlinear processes in photonic crystal fibers.  He and his group have also performed seminal research in nonlinear nanophotonics that enabled photonic-chip dispersion engineering, optical frequency combs, generation of quantum states of light, and all-optical signal processing.

He holds 10 patents, has published more than 300 papers in quantum and nonlinear optics, and is a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher. He served as the founding Editor-in-Chief of Optica and was the Chair of the Optica Publications Council from 2021-2022. He is a Fellow of Optica, the American Physical Society, and IEEE.  He also received the 2019 Charles H. Townes Medal.

Established in 1973, the Distinguished Service Award is presented to individuals who, over an extended period of time, have served the Society in an outstanding way, especially through volunteer participation in its management, operation, or planning in such ways as editorship of a periodical, organization of meetings, or other service to the Society. The award was created in memory of Stephen M. MacNeille and was named in honor of Stephen D. Fantone in 2013. It is endowed by the American Optical Corporation and contributions from individual members.

About Optica

Optica (formerly OSA), Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, is the society dedicated to promoting the generation, application, archiving and dissemination of knowledge in the field. Founded in 1916, it is the leading organization for scientists, engineers, business professionals, students and others interested in the science of light. Optica's renowned publications, meetings, online resources and in-person activities fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate scientific, technical and educational achievement. Discover more at:

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