AC.1. International Commission for Optics - Reports 2001

Report to the IUPAP Council and Commission Chairs Meeting
Mexico City
September 28-29, 2001

Officers 1996-1999:

President: T. Asakura Japan
Past President: A. Consortini Italy
Secretary General: P. Chavel France
Treasurer: R.R. Shannon USA
IUPAP Delegate B. Stoicheff Canada

Activities of the International Commission for Optics

AC1, the International Commission for Optics, is unique in that as an affiliated commission of a union, it has it's own set of member territories that pay dues to the Commission.

We currently have 45 territories and international professional societies (such as OSA, SPIE, IEEE/LEOS, EOS) as members. OWLS (Optics Within Life Sciences) is an associate member. We operate on an annual budget of slightly more than $32,000 derived totally from dues.

At the recent Bureau meeting in Florence, Italy on Sept 9 we admitted Tunisia as an associate member territory - they will become full members when ratified by the General Assembly meeting next year. We are also having active discussion with several other territories about joining ICO and are into discussion with the Optical Society of Japan.

Since the October 2000 meeting of IUPAP in Beijing, we have:

  • Sponsored or co-sponsored (or have approved sponsorship) of 12 international conferences in places like; Japan, Taiwan, USA, Ukraine, Iran, Argentina, Israel, Singapore, Cuba, Canada and Italy. At the recent Bureau meeting we approved support for 4 additional conferences in Trieste, Czechoslovakia, Hawaii and Switzerland.
  • We have provided support for 3 traveling lecturers going to developing countries. The ICO will be collaborating with the USAC/ICO in promoting and administering an expanded traveling lecturer program that, hopefully, will increase the visibility and participation in the program.
  • The 2001 ICO Galileo Galilei Award for outstanding contributions to optics achieved under comparatively unfavorable conditions was presented to Kehar Singh from the Indian Institute of Technology,
  • The 2001 ICO/ICTP Prize, established to recognize researchers under 40 from developing countries, was presented jointly to Arashmid Nahal of the Institue for Advanced Studies in Basic Science in Iran and Fernando Perez Quintian at the University of Buenos Arias.
  • The 2001 ICO Prize for noteworthy contributions to optics before the age of 40 goes to Nabeel Riza from the University of Central Florida.
  • We continue to support the Winter College in Optics at the ICTP in Trieste, Italy and recently completed our support of the International Summer College on Optics and Photonics in Tabriz, Iran
  • We are starting a dialog with the Third World Academy of Sciences about possible areas of collaboration.
  • Our next General Assembly will be held in Florence, Italy in late August 2002. The general theme of the conference will be: Optics and Photonics for the quality of Life. We expect about 500-600 attendees. A satellite meeting on Biomedical optics will be held by OWLS in Luzern, Switzerland immediately after.
  • Finally, plans are moving forward for the next ICO trends in optics book, the fifth in a series edited by the ICO President during his or her 3-year term. The current editor is Art Guenther.

As you can see from the scope of our activity, the ICO considers it as one of its major objectives to promote the development of optics in less favored regions of the world and create an awareness of the scientific and economic promises offered by optical activity. As you are aware, the recent COSE Report on optical science and engineering clearly concluded that optics is pervasive - an enabling technology that not only has its roots in physics but has had an impact in many diverse fields such as medicine, communication, information technology, lighting, energy, manufacturing and so on. It is difficult to envision life without light and its manipulation.

Finally, I would also like to note our appreciation to Yves Petroff for participating in the recent Bureau meeting as a representative of IUPAP. We sincerely appreciate the participation of IUPAP in our bureau meeting and hope that they will continue.

Glenn Sincerbox
Treasurer, ICO