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ICO Newsletter

October 2001, No. 49


Last minute information: ICO Galileo Galilei award for 2001 goes to Kehar Singh

The 2001 ICO Galileo Galilei award recipient will be Prof. Kehar Singh, from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi, India. The award will recognize his outstanding scientific contributions developed under comparatively unfavorable circumstances in the areas of statistical and information optics. The next issue of this Newsletter will provide more detail.

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, first announced as October 1st, is November 10, 2001, 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.

2002 ICO/ICTP Award, deadline November 10, 2001

(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 Committee consists of Prof. A.A. Friesem of Weizmann Institute, Israel, Chair; Prof. G. Denardo of ICTP, Trieste, Italy, Prof. A. Consortini of University of Florence, Italy and Dr M. Danailov of Syncrotrone Trieste, Italy. Return the nomination form, together with supporting information, no later than November 10, 2001 (instead of October 1st, 2001 as previously announced), to the Award Committee Chair, 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,

See nomination instructions at the end of this column.

ICO Prize 2002, deadline March 15, 2002:

Rules applicable to the ICO Prize:

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
The 2001 Prize winner has not been announced yet.

The ICO Prize Committee, chaired by Prof. R. Dändliker and comprizing Profs. H.H. Arsenault, K. Chalasinska-Macukow, A. Consortini and G.C. Righini, is now seeking nominations for the 2002 Prize. Nominators are asked to follow the instructions given below. Nominations should be sent by March 15, 2002 to Prof. R. Dändliker, Chair of the Committee, Institute of Microtechnology, University of Neuchâtel rue A.L. Bréguet 2, CH 2000 NEUCHATEL, Switzerland, fax +41 32 718 3201, e-mail

See nominations instructions at the end of this column.

ICO Galileo Galilei Award 2002, deadline March 15, 2002:

Rules applicable to the Galileo Galilei Award:

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 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.

The Galileo Galilei Award Committee of ICO, chaired by Prof. M.L. Calvo and comprizing Profs. A. Consortini, J. Ojeda-Castañeda, Y. Ichioka and M.J. Yzuel herewith invites readers of this Newsletter to nominate candidates for the 2002 award. Nominations should be sent by March 15, 2002 to Prof. M.L. Calvo, Chair of the Committee, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Departamento de Optica, Facultad de Ciencias Fisicas, Ciudad Universitaria, E 28040 Madrid, fax +34 91 394 4683, e-mail

Joint nomination instructions for the three ICO awards. International Commission for Optics (ICO) ICO Prize 2002 and ICO Galileo Galilei Award 2002 and ICTP/ICO Award 2002 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).

Notes :

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.

News from ICO Members

New Bureau for Academia Mexicana de Optica The Mexican Academy for Optics, AMO, has elected her Bureau for the term 2001-2003. The President is Prof. Alfonso Lastras-Martinez, the President-Elect is Prof. Oracio Barbosa-García, and the Secretary is Prof. Salvador Guel-Sandoval. Dr. Miguel Torres-Cisneros just left the office of President and will therefore serve as Past-President. According to AMO rules, the President-Elect serves as contact person for ICO in the country. Coordinates for the ICO Territorial Committee in Mexico are therefore as follows:

Prof. Oracio Barbosa-García
Centro de Investigaciones en Optica
Loma del Bosque # 115, Col. Lomas del Campestre, P.O. Box 1-948
Leon Guanajuato, 37150 Mexico
Phone: +52-47-7310-17, Fax: +52-47-1750-00

Forthcoming events with ICO participation

27-30 November 2001
7th Conf. on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics (ETOP 2001)
Dr. Tuan-Kay Lim,
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering,
Nanyang Technological University,
Nanyang Ave., Singapore 639798
fax. +65 791 2687/792 0415

28 January - 2 February 2002
Photosciences 2002
Havana, Cuba
Dr. Elena Vigil, Physics Faculty, University of Havana, Havana 10 400, Cuba
fax. +537 79 46 51,

18 February - 1 March 2002
ICTP/ICO Winter College on Optics
(ultrafast pulses: sources and applications)
Miramare - Trieste, Italy
Prof. G. Denardo, ICTP, Strada Costiera 11,
I-34014 Trieste, Italy
fax. +39 040 2240 443,

8-11 April 2002
Optics in Computing 2002
Taipei, Taiwan
Prof. Chung J. Kuo, Graduate Institute of
Communication Engineering,
National Chung Cheng University,
Chaiyi, Taiwan 62107
fax. +886 5 272 2702

8-12 July 2002
Int'l Laser Radar Conference (ILRC21)
Quebec City, Canada
Dr. Luc R. Bissonnette, Defence Research Establishment Valcartier (DREV),
2459 Pie-XI Blvd. North, Val-Belair, QC
G3J 1X5, Canada
fax. +1 418 844 4511

25-31 August 2002
ICO-19, Triennial Congress of the
International Commission for Optics
"Optics for the Quality of Life"
Florence, Italy
Dr. Giancarlo C. Righini,
IROE "N. Carrara" - CNR, Via Panciatichi 64,
I-50127 Firenze, Italy
fax. +39 055 412878

The ICO XIXth General Meeting

Optics for the Quality of Life


The General Congress of the International Commission for Optics (ICO) - Commission Internationale d'Optique (CIO) - is held every three years. The 19th Congress will be held in Firenze (Florence, Italy) 25-30 August 2002, at the Palazzo dei Congressi (Conference Center).

The theme for the 19th Congress is Optics for the Quality of Life and therefore wishes to embrace every fundamental phenomenon and every application of optics which can be useful for the progress of the knowledge and of the welfare of the humanity. Optical scientists, engineers, and optical industrialists from more than 40 countries are expected to meet together to present and discuss the latest scientific and technical developments in all areas of optics. Organizers' aim is to provide an unique forum in the field of optical sciences to all participants. Manuscript submission deadline will be February 15, 2002. More information will be provided in the next issue of this Newsletter and can be found on the ICO web (or directly under

ICO Endorsed Conference

POTOCIENCIAS 2002 (PHOTO -Biology - Chemistry -Physics)

La Habana, Cuba, January 28-February 2, 2002.


The Symposium Potociencias 2002 was conceived in the Workshop that took place in the University of La Habana in February 1999. Internationally well-known specialists, some of them now in the Advisory Committee, supported this workshop. Potociencias 2002 is devoted to Photobiology, Photochemistry, Photophysics and their different aspects. The emphasis will be in the studies oriented toward the areas of environment, solar energy use, food and health. Basic scientific work, theoretical or experimental, as well as, development and application research will be included. Potociencias 2002 will promote discussion and interchange through lectures of internationally well-known specialists and posters presentation. Additionally, during January 31 and February 1, short courses will take place with the participation of some of the invited speakers as lecturers.

This scientific meeting is endorsed by the International Commission for Optics (ICO) and it is sponsored by: University of La Habana (UH), International Union of Photobiology (IUPB), European Photobiology Society (EPS), Inter American Photochemistry Society (I-APS), European Photochemistry Association (EPA), Cubasolar, Physics Society of Cuba.


  • Dr. Silvia E. Braslavsky, Germany, Advisory Committee Chair
  • Dr. Carlos Rodríguez-Castellanos, Univ. of Havana, Local Sponsoring Committee Chair
  • Dr. Elena Vigil, Univ. of Havana, Symposium Chair
  • Deadlines
  • Financial support request: October 31, 2001
  • Pre-registration: November 20, 2001
  • Submitting abstracts: November 20, 2001
  • Participation acceptance: December 30, 2001


ICO Endorsed Conference

Twenty-First International Laser Radar Conference (ILRC21)
Québec City, Canada, 8-12 July 2002


The twenty-first International Laser Radar Conference (ILRC21) will be held in Québec City, Québec, Canada on 8-12 July 2002. This conference series brings together an interdisciplinary group of scientists, engineers and students to exchange ideas and results on technical developments and applications in the field of laser remote sensing of the atmosphere, earth, oceans and other planets. The ILRCs are held biannually under the auspices of the International Committee for Laser Atmospheric Studies (ICLAS). The last conference took place in Vichy, France in July 2000. The International Commission for Optics (ICO) has granted ILRC21 the status of 'ICO endorsed conference'.

The ILRC conferences are the recognized forum for discussing all aspects of laser remote sensing. The program committee invites the traditional participants and all others from related fields to submit papers on advancements in lidar technologies and methods, and on applications for the understanding and modeling of the atmosphere, oceans and earth issues. Although ILRC21 will make ample room for reporting the latest innovations in the lidar science, the program committee wishes to emphasize the benefits that we can now reap from applications.

Long-term and wide-area lidar measurement projects have begun to produce results of increasing relevance for modeling the natural atmosphere and the influence of human activities on our environment. To foster future developments in this direction, ILRC21 wants to hear about those projects, their achievements to date and the promises of the on-going research. Another important initiative of recent years has been the formation of national and international lidar networks to enhance our knowledge of transport processes and seasonal evolution of many atmospheric parameters. ILRC21 wishes to be the forum for discussing the results obtained thus far and for planning or coordinating future cooperation. Furthermore, space-borne global lidar observations are becoming a reality and, interestingly, this is accomplished with a high degree of international collaboration. The ILRC21 program committee solicits papers that will expose the scientific aspects of these programs to encourage sharing by the entire community of the challenges and the search for solutions. Finally, all these coordinated long-term applications are the result of numerous past contributions by individual groups. The ILRCs have played a unique role in disseminating their work. This ILRC remains committed to this goal and is, therefore, inviting papers on innovative lidar technologies and methods, on new retrieval techniques and applications, and on the development of turnkey friendly miniature systems.