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ICO Newsletter

October 2002 Number 53


ICO Prizes and Awards : call for nominations

ICO, the International Commission for Optics, has established three awards: the «ICO Prize», the ICO Galileo Galilei Award and the ICTP/ICO Award. The latter was established jointly with ICTP, the International Commission for Theoretical Physics. This announcement combines the three calls for nominations. The deadline for the ICTP/ICO Award is November 10, 2002, while for the two former awards it is March 15. Rules are reproduced from the ICO web site, hosted by SPIE - the International Society for Optical Engineering, at the address, where complete lists of previous recipients can also be found.

2003 ICO/ICTP Award, deadline November 10, 2002

(This call was first issued in the July issue of this Newsletter). ICO, the International Commission for Optics, and ICTP, the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, have agreed to establish a joint prize, called the ICO/ICTP Award. It is reserved for young researchers from developing countries (as defined by the United Nations), who conduct their research in a developing country. The award will be given to scientists less than 40 years old (on December 31 of the year for which the award is given), who are active in research in Optics and have contributed to the promotion of research activities in Optics in their own or another developing country. While the ICO web page has complete information, the following should be appropriate to prepare a nomination.

The award consists of the following:

  1. the ICO gives a cash amount of US$1000 and a diploma.
  2. The ICTP invites the winner to attend a three weeks College at Trieste at the next appropriate opportunity, and to give a seminar on his/her work when appropriate. ICTP will pay for travel and living expenses.

The award will be delivered to the winner at Trieste in the presence of representatives of ICO and ICTP. The award is given to one person every year. The winner is selected on the basis of nominations received by the Award Committee in response to a call published by both ICO and ICTP. The nominations must be documented by a complete curriculum vitae including a list of publications and selected reprints (no more than three) as well as a complete employment history and a description of the nominee's achievements for the promotion of research activity in developing countries.

The award winners to this date are :
2000 Dr Arbab Ali Khan
2001 Arashmid Nahal and Fernando Perez Quintian
2002 Alphan Sennaroglu

See nomination instructions at the end of this column.

ICO Prize 2003, deadline March 15, 2003:

Rules applicable to the ICO Prize:

sketch Sketch of the original coin for the Ernst Abbe medal, donated by the Carl Zeiss foundation.

ICO has established in 1982 the ICO Prize, to be given each year to an individual who has made a noteworthy contribution to optics, published or submitted for publication before he or she has reached the age of 40. (Specifically, the Prize winner must not have reached the age of 40 before December 31 of the year for which the Prize is awarded). The character of the work of successive Prize recipients should preferably alternate between predominantly experimental or technological and predominantly theoretical. The "noteworthy" contribution in optics is measured chiefly by its impact (past or possibly future) on the field of optics generally, opening a new subfield or significantly expanding an established subfield in research or technology.

The Prize includes:

  • a citation,
  • a cash award of an amount established in the triennial budget of the ICO,
  • and the invitation to present an invited paper and receive the award at the next ICO Congress or another ICO meeting mutually agreed to by the bureau and the award winner.

Every year, the ICO Prize Committee issues a call for nominations that is published in the ICO Newsletter, receives the nominations and selects the recipients for approval by the Bureau at its next meeting. The award needs not be made each year if the Prize Committee so chooses. The Prize is preferably given to an individual, but it can be shared by two persons. Eligibility for the Prize is not excluded by previous prizes awarded to the individual. The selected Prize winner is then announced in the ICO Newsletter and, as appropriate, in one or more optics journals. The prize will be presented at the next appropriate major ICO meeting and the Prize winner will be expected to deliver an invited talk at that Meeting.

Additional general information about the ICO Prize:

The cash award presently carries an amount of US$1000. In addition to the rules adopted by ICO, the Carl Zeiss foundation has generously agreed to donate an Ernst Abbe medal to the winner.

The last ten winners of the Prize are:
1991 David A.B. Miller, U.K and USA.
1992 Wolfgang Peter Schleich, Germany
1993 Aleksander K. Rebane, Estonia
1994 Emmanuel Desurvire, France and USA
1995 Tony F. Heinz, USA
1996 Vladimir Buzek, Slovakia
1997 Andrew M. Weiner, USA
1998 David Mendlovic, Israel, and Haldun Ozaktas, Turkey
1999 Hugo Thienpont, Belgium
2000 Stefan Hell, Germany
2001 Nabeel A. Riza, Pakistan and USA

The 2002 Prize winner has not been announced yet.

ICO Galileo Galilei Award 2003, deadline March 15, 2003:

Rules applicable to the Galileo Galilei Award:

photo Photograph of the Galileo Galilei medal, donated by the Società Italiana di Ottica e Fotonica.

1 - The Galileo Galilei medal of ICO is awarded for outstanding contributions to the field of optics which are achieved under comparatively unfavorable circumstances.

2.1 - The outstanding contributions in the field of optics should refer to :
- fundamental scientific questions or problems, or
- research or development of optical methods or devices, or
- scientific or technical leadership in the establishment of regional optical centers.

2.2 - "Comparatively unfavorable circumstances" refers to difficult economic or social conditions or lack of access to scientific or technical facilities or sources of information.

2.3 - The outstanding contributions must be documented, if applicable, by internationally acknowledged publications. Exceptionally, reports can be considered, provided that they are made available to the Award Committee.

3 - The award is normally given to one person. Exceptionally, however, if a collective contribution is judged to be worthy of the award a team of several persons may be selected.

4 - Every year, the ICO Committee for the Regional Development of Optics issues a call for nominations that is published in the ICO Newsletter, receives the nominations and selects the winner for approval by the Bureau at its next meeting. The award need not be given every year if the Bureau so chooses.

5 - The award consists of :
a) the Galileo Galilei Medal,
b) assistance in travel to present an invited paper and receive the award at the next ICO Congress or another ICO meeting mutually agreed to by the Bureau and the award winner,
c) special attention and appropriate measures of ICO to support the future activities of the award winner.

Additional general information about the Galileo Galilei Award:

The Italian Society of Optics and Photonics, SIOF (Società Italiana di Ottica e Fotonica) has agreed to support ICO's initiative and donate the silver medal with the portrait of Galileo Galilei to be given to the recipient.

The Award contributes to one of the essential missions of the International Commission for Optics: recognize the promotion of Optics under difficult circumstances. The award was established by the 1993 General Assembly of ICO and has be awarded annually since 1994. The previous winners are

1994 Ion Mihailescu, Romania
1995 Rajpal Singh Sirohi, India
1996 Daniel Malacara, Mexico
1997 Natalyia D. Kundikova, Russia
1998 Ajoy K. Ghatak, India
1999 Mario Garavaglia, Argentina
2000 Vladimir Lukin, Russia
2001 Kehar Singh, India
The 2002 Award winner has not been announced yet.

The prize will be presented at the next appropriate major ICO meeting and the Prize winner will be expected to deliver an invited talk at that Meeting. Applications should follow the instructions below and nominators are encouraged to clearly documents all aspects of the nomination, including

  • the characterisation of the scientific work,
  • the activities in management and organisation in the applicant's homeland,
  • the cooperation with and support of organisations outside the homeland,
  • the nature of the organisation that the candidate is working for in his/her homeland,
  • the characterisation of the "unfavourable circumstances" under which the work was performed.

Joint nomination instructions for the three ICO awards.

International Commission for Optics (ICO)

ICO Prize 2003 and ICO Galileo Galilei Award 2003 and ICTP/ICO Award 2003

Nominations should document all sections listed below

Full name of nominee

Nominator's name and address

Nominator's signature, date

Date of birth of nominee

Business address

Academic background, education (college or university, location, major field, degree, year awarded)

Academic honors

Employment history (position, organization, duties,dates)

Publications, patents, unpublished reports, papers presented at meetings, etc. (attach a list of those you deem pertinent)

Honors and awards.

Scientific achievements for which the candidate is nominated for this award: attach a separate sheet).


  • the formal Rules of the ICO Awards are available on the ICO web
  • Nominators are encouraged to generate supporting letters; each supporting letter must come from a different country or ICO Territory and bring an additional information on the case. The number of supporting letters will not be a selection criterion.
  • The recipient will be expected to give a presentation based upon his/her achievements at the next appropriate ICO Meeting.

ICO/ICTP Award nominations should be sent to Prof. Asher A. Friesem, the Weizmann Institute of Science, P.O. Box 26, Rehovot 76100 Israel, , with a copy to Prof. Gallieno Denardo, Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, PO Box 586, I 34100 Trieste, Italie,

Instructions for directing the applications of ICO Prize and Galileo Galilei Award will be posted on the ICO website before October 1st, 2002.

From the ICO-XIX General Assembly

A major event on the international scene in optics, the ICO Congress meets every three years. It is really composed of two parts : The ICO General Business Meeting and an International Scientific Conference. The XIX General assembly met at Florence, Italy, August 25-31, 2002.

The general business meeting consists of delegates from each ICO member, i.e., the 43 ICO territorial committees and the four international organizations. The decisions approved at ICO-XIX include admission of several new members and the election of the new ICO Bureau. This meeting will be detailed in the January 2003 issue of the ICO newsletter.

Forthcoming events with ICO participation

30 October - 1 November 2002
Third Int'l Conference on Optics-Photonics Design & Fabrication (ODF2002)
Tokyo, Japan
Dr. Kohtaro Hayashi, Optical System Operations, Minolta Co.,
6-300, Imakuma, Osakasayama, Osaka 589-0021, Japan
fax. +81 723 67 3540

11-17 December 2002
6th Int'l Workshop on Laser Physics and Its Applications
Tunis, Tunisia
Prof. Zohra Ben Lakhdar, Faculté des sciences de Tunis, Campus universitaire
Tunis 1060, Tunisie
fax. +216 718 85073,

10-21 February 2003
ICTP/ICO/OSA/SPIE Winter College on Biophotonics, Optical Manipulation
of Molecules and Cells
Miramare - Trieste, Italy
Prof. G. Denardo, Abdus Salam Int'l Centre for Theoretical Physics,
Strada Costiera 11,
I-34014 Trieste, Italy
fax. +39 040 2240 443,"

21-26 August 2005
ICO-20 : "Challenging Optics in Science & Technology"
Changchun, China

6th Int'l Workshop on Laser Physics and Its Applications

11-17 December 2002
Tunis (Tunisia)

An event in the African lasers, atomic and molecular physics and optics (LAM) workshop series, the Tunis meeting has been given the status of an ICO-cosponsored event. It welcomes participant from all countries and will be a special opportunity for African scientists in the field to interact and meet with colleagues from all parts of the world.

The purpose of the activity is to introduce fundamental phenomenona and new applications of lasers which can be useful for the knowledge progress of laser physics, lasers in medicine, environment and telecommunications.

All useful information about the LAM2002 meeting is found from the website, and about the LAM network itself from website" .

2003 Winter College at ICTP to focus on Biophotonics

The new developments of optics and photonics in the realm of the life sciences will be the focus of the 2003 in the series of optics "Winter Colleges" hosted by ICTP, the UNESCO funded Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics at Trieste, Italy and jointly organized by ICTP, ICO, the Optical Society of America (OSA) and SPIE - the International Society for Optical Engineering. The College Directors will be Professors G. von Bally (Lab. for Biophysics, Medical Centre, University of Münster, Germany), P. French (Dept. of Physics, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, U.K.) and S.Pavone (LENS, Univ. of Florence and Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Florence, Italy). Prof. G.Denardo (ICTP & University of Trieste) will be the Local Organizer.

ICTP events are open to scientists from all countries without registration fees; the number of participants being limited , the College Directors select the attendees based on the applications received. UNESCO provides financial assistance for covering the travel and accommodation expenses of a number of applicants from developing countries.

The College will expose the participants to the basic and recent achievements in the theory and applications of laser based techniques for the study of biomolecules and biological objects. The programme consists of lectures by international experts, group discussions and laboratory demonstrations. The aim is to provide the background needed to follow the most advanced literature.

Main Topics :

  • Introduction to cell and molecular biophysics
  • Optical manipulation of biological samples
  • Advances in microscopy and endoscopy
  • Imaging Optical Tissue
  • Optical metrology
  • Biomedical spectroscopy

All useful information about the Winter college can be found on the website".

News from ICO Members : France

During its biennial meeting, the French Optical Society elected its new Board, which is also the French Territorial Committee for Optics for ICO. The new Board has now started activity on a two years term (2001-2003). Its members are D.Dolfi (Thomson CSF LCR), President; J.M.Jonathan (Institut d'Optique/CNRS), Past- President; P. Réfrégier (ENSPM), President-elect; J.J. Aubert (CEA/LETI), Vice- President; G. Le Saux (Essilor), Treasurer; J.L.Coutaz (Université de Savoie), Secretary; R.Frey (Ecole Polytechnique/CNRS), C.Puech (Angénieux), M.J.J.Contet (Optique Fichou) is the representative of the Groupement des Industries Françaises de l'Optique and M.J.M.Nunzi (Université du Maine) is the representative of the French Physical Society.

SPIE announces reduced pricing to developing nations for educational material.

SPIE, an ICO International Society Member, has decided to support access to educational material to individuals living in countries with developing and low-income economies (as defined by the World Bank). Specifically, reduced pricing for educational videos and CDs can be found on the SPIE web and is included in the SPIE Distance Education Catalog.

RIAO/Optilas held in Argentina : record attendance at joint Latin American Optics event

The IV Iberoamerican Meeting of Optics (IV RIAO) and the VII Latin American Meeting of Optics, Lasers and their Applications (VII OPTILAS) were simultaneously held at the campus of the Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, in Tandil, Argentina, on 3-7 September 2001. The joint event was organized by the Argentine Territorial Committee to the International Commission for Optics and Professor Guillermo H. Kaufmann of Universidad Nacional de Rosario chaired them.


IV RIAO and VII OPTILAS were sponsored by Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (National Agency of Scientific and Technological Promotion of Argentina), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (National Council of Scientific and Technological Research of Argentina), Latin American Centre of Physics, International Commission for Optics, Optical Society of America, SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering, The Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics, Filial Buenos Aires de la Asociación Física Argentina, Laseroptics SA (Argentina) and Spectra-Physics GmbH (Germany).

A 35% increase from the 1998 edition of the event, approximately 230 participants came from different countries including Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico, Peru, Spain, the United States, Venezuela and Argentina. Thanks to the generosity of the sponsors, it was possible to offer financial help to 65 PhD students and young researchers from different Latin American countries.

The technical program included approximately 65 oral and 250 poster presentations in the following topics: industrial and biomedical applications, lasers and quantum optics, optical metrology, optical instruments, optoelectronic devices, optical spectroscopy, physical optics, atmospheric optics, optical materials, nonlinear optics, color, vision and radiometry, optical and image processing, diffractive optics, ultrafast optics, education in optics, condensed matter and thin film optics and scattering at surfaces. A significant part of these presentations, nearly 200, were published in an SPIE Proceedings volume.

In addition to the oral and poster presentations, invited lectures were also presented by Prof. J. E. Greivenkamp of the Optical Sciences Center, Prof. C. Gu of the University of California at Santa Cruz, Prof. J.-M. Caussignac of the Laboratoire Central de Ponts et Chaussées at Paris, Prof. L. G. Neto of University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, Dr. F. S. Cataliotti of the University of Florence in Italy, Prof. M. W. Sigrist of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Zurich, Dr. D. Malacara of the Centro de Investigaciones Optica in México, Prof. P. Andres of University of Valencia in Spain and Prof. O. Martínez of the University of Buenos Aires. The technical program also included a round table on the social impact of optics and photonics where five Latin American researchers presented successful application of their research of interest to the general community.

Guillermo H. Kaufman


International Commission for Optics

Bureau members:

President: A. H. Guenther;

Past-President: T. Asakura; Treasurer: G. T. Sincerbox;

Secretary: P. Chavel, Institut d'Optique, B.P. 147, 91403 Orsay cedex, France, fax +33 1 69 35 87 00, e-mail

Associate Secretary, in charge of Meetings: A. T. Friberg, Royal Institute of Technology, Optics, Electrum 229, SE-164 40 Kista, Sweden,

Vice-Presidents, elected: M. L. Calvo, R. Dändliker, A. A. Friesem, J. Ojeda-Castañeda, U. Kim (+), G. C. Righini, C. Sheppard, L. Wang

Vice-Presidents, appointed: H. H. Arsenault (SPIE), D. A. B. Miller (IEEE/LEOS), B. E. A. Saleh (OSA), T. Tschudi (EOS)