Category Archives: Education

Final Summer of ROKET Research Experience for Teachers Program


The final summer of the CIAN Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program called ROKET (Research in Optics for K-14 Educators and Teachers) has come to a close. The summer was hot in Tucson, AZ but well worth the 6-weeks that CIAN’s final three teachers experienced.

The summer ended with a poster presentation and closing ceremonies celebrating the hard work of the three teachers.

Participant Mentor Project Title
Jorge Guarin Dr. Rolf Binder Predator-Prey Model Using Lotka-Volterra
Victor Camarena Dr. Palash Gangopadhyay and Bharati Neelamraju Polarized Microscopy of Petrified Wood: Sample Preparation and Imaging
Olivia Lansing Dr. Euan McLeod Designing and Building a Holographic Microscope

Interested in applying to a new CIAN Research Experience for Teachers!?

Summer 2017 we will be hosting up to 10 teachers for the RET Optics Research Experience for Teachers in Native American Schools. We invite anyone eligible interested to apply or contact us with questions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

CIAN Photonics Education & Leadership Webinar Series – Effective Communications & Personal Branding

Effective Communications & Personal Branding

Date: Friday, May 20, 2016
Time: 11am Pacific Time / Arizona Time / 2pm East Coast Time

Register now! 

This presentation is hosted by CIAN ERC & the Iranian American Women Foundation.


Roya Soleimani
Corporate Communications Manager, Social Impact


Roya Soleimani is a Corporate Communications Manager at Google where she focuses on the company’s People Operations, Diversity, Culture, Computer Science Education, and Philanthropic efforts. Roya is also a lead Google Trends analyst, highlighting trending topics across Google on radio and media across the country. Roya regularly speaks on personal branding and effective communications, and also serves as an advisor and operational partner at PejmanMar Ventures, helping early stage startups with their messaging and communications strategies.

She holds a Masters degree in Middle Eastern studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and her Bachelors in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. Roya is involved with several community organizations, including the iBridges, the Iranian American Women’s Foundation, the OMID Foundation Bay Area Committee, PAAIA NexGen’s National Organizing Committee, and more.

Before joining Google, Roya served as the Research Director and co-founder of the Internet freedom project, Weapons of Mouse Destruction. She spent five years in Washington, DC where she worked for the University of California Washington Center and Voice of America’s Persian News Network. During her time at Georgetown, Roya was as a graduate student researcher on a project assessing the condition of urban Iraqi refugees in Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, the Middle East Institute, and served as a Graduate Intern at the Albright Stonebridge Group, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s global strategy firm. Roya is passionate about Internet freedom, free expression, and the continued growth of women and under represented groups in technology.

This webinar was sponsored by Iran American Women Foundation with the help of Farbia Bolurieh

CIAN and IAWF - webinar flyer updated

CIAN International Travel Grant: Pallav Presents in India

I attended the 2nd International Conference on Microwave and Photonics (ICMAP) at Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad, India with the help of the CIAN International Travel grant. Since I am from India, I was very happy to hear that I was going to attend a conference in my country, in fact I felt emotional.

ISM Dhanbad organized the conference successfully. The conference was co-sponsored by IEEEIEEE-AP SocietyIEEE-Photonics Society and URSI. Papers presented in the conference were also hosted in IEEE Xplore Digital Library. It was a 3 day event in which people from different parts of the globe took part and shared their knowledge on Microwave and Photonics. There were all together about 80 presentations.

DSCN0062I gave my presentation on “Tunable MSM Photodetectors” on the 2nd day of the event, it was well received and appreciated. Also they were surprised to know about the cleanroom fabrication done at our university. Most of the students who attended the conference are from IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) which includes some of the most prestigious universities of India.

It was a great experience for me to visit my home country after 2 years and communicate with the people in my regional language about my research work. I appreciated the other attendees’ insights on the subject from all different levels of work.

I am truly thankful to CIAN for giving me this opportunity and supporting my research work and dissemination.

Learn more about travel grants and apply.

IMG_4059Pallav Kanukuntla – Graduate Student, Norfolk State University

Pallav is a graduate student studying for his Ph.D. out of Norfolk State University under Dr.Demetris Geddis.

CIAN Photonics Education Speaker Series Webinar – Dan Neugroschl

Pitch Reducing Optical Fiber Arrays

Date: Friday, April 1, 2016
Time: 2pm Pacific Time / 5pm East Coast Time

Register now!

This presentation will introduce Chiral Photonics’ Pitch Reducing Optical fiber Arrays, or PROFAs. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. View System Requirements


Dan Neugroschl
President and CEO
Chiral Photonics, Inc.

Dan Neugroschl received an MS in Materials Science from Columbia University in 1989. Dan was a researcher at IBM Research, Yorktown Heights from 1989-1991 in Advanced Packaging. He then served as VP of Operations and Advanced Development as a co-founder of Schick Technologies (currently Sirona Dental Systems), which develops and manufactures digital radiographic imaging systems for dentistry, from its inception in 1991 until 1998. He subsequently co-founded Chiral Photonics in 1999 and serves as its President and CEO. Chiral Photonics develops and manufactures fiber optic components in addition to offering photonic integrated circuit coupling and packaging services.


High density connections at optical interfaces are vital for photonic integrated circuits (PICs) with a large number of optical input and output channels and generally desirable to most optimally use valuable chip real estate and reduce waveguide propagation losses. This presentation will introduce Chiral Photonics’ Pitch Reducing Optical Fiber Arrays, or PROFAs, fiber optic couplers that enable low-loss input/output to PICs via both the die edge and surface. This presentation will focus on Chiral Photonics’ products and services related to PIC probing and packaging but will also touch on closely related PROFA offerings that enable multicore fiber fanouts, high power, pump-signal combiners and optical switches.

IOU-NA Student Presents at NGWA Conference

FullSizeRenderDuring my attendance at the National Ground Water Association conference I had the opportunity to present my research to the attendees. My research presented was from an internship conducted at the University of Arizona during the summer of 2015. In addition, the research presented was from a combination of two Hydrology graduate students and a professors work. The NGWA conference was primarily focused on ground water quality in the Southwestern area of the United States. Also, the conference included water discharge/recharge in urban areas, climate change, private well inspections, water toxins, public awareness, water conservation, and local water rights. Throughout the conference I gained valuable information about the ground water quality in the surrounding area that I may be able to use for future research. This opportunity  could not have occurred without the assistance and funding from CIAN’s REU IOU-NA program, UROC, and NSF.

Learn more about the IOU-NA Program and how to apply!

Galveston Begaye - Fort Lewis College, Summer 2015 Participant

Galveston Begaye – IOU-NA 2015 Participant, Fort Lewis College

Galveston attends Fort Lewis College as an undergraduate student studying Engineering. Over the 2015 Summer IOU-NA REU program he researched “Changes in DOM Quantity and Quality in a Southern Rockies Forested Catchment Introduction” with Professor Tom Meixner.  He hails from the Navajo Nation and the Táchii’nii – Red-Running-Into-The-Water Clan and Ashiihi – Salt Clan.

RET Followup: Lemon’s Lab

Microelectronics & Lemon’s Lab – A place to Imagine, Inquire, and Innovate!

The theme for science lab this year has been “Microelectronics in the Lab”.  This theme is evident in several projects, originally planned at the Tuskegee University Microelectronics Lab, under Dr. Korivi, and executed at Greenville Early College (GEC) with my sixth-graders in Greenville, SC.  Grow lights, Little Bits, and Weather Tools were all designed with microelectronics components intended to make life easier and safer in class during our experiments.  This theme has been infused in the projects this year!  Here’s more…More

We launched the Smarter House Project, in which kids were excited to share the results of their home electrical surveys as an entry event.  They discovered how series and parallel circuits work using trial and error computer simulations, followed by more virtual simulations on making connections between different forms of energy to generate power:  wind, water, corn (ethanol plants), solar, and nuclear.  Guest-speakers, from the Oconee Nuclear Power Station, provided an opportunity for responses to some “Need to Knows” not yet answered, or discovered, through student research and inquiry-based scaffolding activities I had assigned. Continue reading

SLC Scholarship Recipients 2016

Every year CIAN recognizes students showing exceptional leadership and involvement in all aspects of CIAN in pursuit of the Engineer of 2020 attributes.

Everything a CIAN student does throughout the year is considered in his or her application for this scholarship, from outreach to publications and much more. Each student selected for the scholarship receives $500. Every student in CIAN is highly encouraged to apply whether he or she is more active in research, outreach, or both–the application recognizes many activities.

CIAN recognizes the follow students for their participation, leadership, and dedication to in Year 8.


Feibien Cheah

Undergraduate, University of Arizona

To be a CIAN student, it means that one cares about the development of STEM in the community and is passionate about making the internet faster and cheaper for the future. Being a CIAN student made me a better engineer by teaching me the skills to problem solve in lab and to have the people and presentation skills while doing outreach. CIAN has been a big part of my college experience as I have gained many valuable experiences from being active in the CIAN community.

jilianJilian Nguyen

Undergraduate, University of Arizona

Being a CIAN student means being a part of cutting-edge research in exciting projects that I would usually not have the chance to participate in. I am helping to engineer something useful that people will actually benefit from. The program has given me knowledge and skills that put me ahead of the curve and have helped me understand the rigors of research. Being in CIAN is helping me become a great engineer because I am gaining research experience early in my educational career, which has made it easier for me to have more opportunities to participate in other stimulating and innovative research projects in the future.

hannahHannah Grant

PhD Student, University of California San Diego

CIAN has given me plenty of opportunities to become a better engineer. Whether it being getting real lab experience doing the CIAN REU at UCSD during my undergrad or being able to collaborate with other graduate students not only in my university but as well as other top universities. Additionally, being involved in the outreach amongst CIAN has really allowed me to become better at conveying knowledge to others, which is a skill that is sometimes lacked in the STEM fields. Overall, a CIAN student is resourceful with their research and the tools they are given, helpful in their communities and willing to go the extra mile.

soha-profileSoha Namnabat

PhD Student, University of Arizona

I enjoyed being a CIAN student during my PhD program. CIAN not only gave me the opportunity to learn about telecommunications on a broader scale, but leveraged my skills in networking with colleagues, faculty and industry, collaboration with different groups of people, and entrepreneurship. I learned more about different topics than other students who didn’t have the opportunity. Also the importance of outreach in our society and the way to give back. I really enjoyed my time with CIAN, especially the outreach and times we were with other CIAN students and learning from each other. This has developed some friendships that may not have happened without the ERC.

morteza ziyadiMorteza Ziyadi

PhD Student, University of Southern California

For the last five years, I’ve been a CIAN student at USC and I’ve learnt a lot from this center. Getting the chance to meet and collaborate with different research groups toward a unique goal, gaining experience by different outreach activities, being awarded by the center, and achieving the leadership opportunities for the students are the instances of different opportunities, experiences and benefits that CIAN has provided to me. I’ve learnt a lot from the center program and I’ve enjoyed my time as a CIAN student.