Tag Archives: outreach

Columbia Students Outreach at Manhattan School of Math and Science

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CIAN students Tingjun Chen, Craig Gutterman,  Yishen Huang, and Alex Loh, as well as organizers from the school.

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, Columbia University EE Ph.D. students participated in an outreach event with high school students from the Robotics and Engineering Group at the Manhattan School of Math and Science in East Harlem.
CIAN students Tingjun Chen, Craig Gutterman, and Alex Loh, from the Wireless and Mobile Networking Lab, talked about broad concepts of the Internet along with basic concepts of wireless communications. CIAN student Yishen Huang, from the Lightwave Research Lab, discussed lasers, and the principles of optical communications. The high school students showed great interest in the topics and interacted actively with CIAN students. We hope that the students may have realized how beautiful science can be, and that they walked away with an increased interest in studying science in college.
This event was hosted by Mr. Umit Kenis from the Manhattan School of Math and Science.

 

An Evening with Captain Jim Lovell

The Captain of Apollo 13 is not your typical dinner guest.

In 2014, I was honored to be named an Astronaut Scholar. The Astronaut Scholarship, which was established by the original Mercury 7 astronauts, aims to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing college scholarships for the very best and brightest students pursuing science, technology, engineering or math degrees. My colleague and friend here at Optical Sciences, Travis Sawyer, received an Astronaut Scholarship both in 2014 and 2015.

Earlier in December, Travis and I got an email about an amazing opportunity. The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, or ASF, was holding an event near Phoenix for a large group of potential donors, and they wanted to have a few Astronaut Scholars present for the event. I could barely contain my excitement when I realized who the speaker for the evening would be, Captain James Lovell, of Gemini 7 and 12, and Apollo 8 and 13!

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Left to Right: Myself, Captain James Lovell, and Travis Sawyer.

We arrived in Phoenix just before dinner time and drove out to the venue, a very nice country club in a gated neighborhood. We had the opportunity to talk with Captain Lovell a bit before the other folks started arriving, then we mingled until dinner time. We enjoyed a wonderful view of the sunset over the Phoenix Valley.

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Arizona sunsets are amazing.

After meeting and speaking with several retired folks, dinner commenced. We got to sit with the leadership of the ASF, plus a member of the board of Trustees for ASF and his family, and of course Captain Lovell.

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Travis, myself, Todd Hanson from ASF, and Captain Lovell at dinner

Most of the people at the table really didn’t know about optical sciences, so Travis and I took turns explaining the applications of optics, and our own individual backgrounds. I had a chance to pass around the hologram I had made as part of the Real Holography project I did as an undergraduate with CIAN. Travis talked about the role of optics in art, such as determining brush strokes, artist identification, and the hyperspectral imaging of art. I got to ask Captain Lovell several questions, such as about the Apollo 13 movie and his involvement. Turns out the captain of the aircraft carrier that retrieves the Apollo 13 crew in the film is the actual Captain Lovell!  I also asked him if there was a question that people always asked him at events like these, to which he replied “How do you go to the bathroom in space?”

He then gave a lecture to us and the potential donors present about his experiences in Space, mostly about Apollo 13.

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Captain Lovell showed us a video that was included in the report to Congress on the events of Apollo 13.

He had remarkable hindsight to say that the explosion was the best thing to happen to NASA at the time, because it exposed some of the complacency that had lead to the accident, and allowed the incredible people who were part of NASA to shine as they worked furiously to bring the team home. He was also quite funny and a gentlemen. What a privilege to spend time with him.

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SPIE Ben faceBENJAMIN CROMEY –GRADUATE STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

Benjamin Cromey is pursuing his PhD in Optical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Arizona. As a member of the Optics Ambassadors and the Vice President for the Student Optics Chapter, optics outreach is one of his passions. He participated in the 2012 IOU program with CIAN and worked with 3D Holographic Displays as an undergraduate. Currently, he works with Dr. Khanh Kieu on fiber lasers and Multiphoton Microscopy.

EASIS Summer Camp 2015

Once again, CIAN at the University of Arizona, hosted 16 Navajo and Hopi Native American High School students from Winslow Unified School District in Winslow, AZ. This year’s Expect Academic Success in STEM (EASIS) summer camp took place between June 22-26 and was five days of fast-paced optics and engineering activities! The summer camp would not have been possible without the huge amount of support from CIAN and UA College of Optical Science faculty, students, and staff. Additionally, we received exciting giveaways for the students from CIAN IAB partners VPIphotonics and Northrop Grumman.

See the slideshow below for a sample of the many activities students participated in to learn about optical engineering.

Interested in participating in EASIS 2016? We’re accepting applications for all students!

Interested in supporting EASIS 2016? Contact us!

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My RET Experience @ Tuskegee

Why a summer at Tuskegee?

I am a 6th grade middle school science teacher from Greenville, South Carolina, at Greenville Early College, “Home of the Eagles”.  I wanted to be here at Tuskegee University; to observe and learn from Dr. Korivi and Dr. Jiang’s Microelectronics’ lab, in hopes of engaging my students this year.  My goal is to infuse aspects of the lab’s research in my projects planned for this school year.  What an experience thus far!

This lab has been full of invigorating activities and I have been absorbing ideas from the professors and engineering lab students.  One might conclude that 6th grade is too young to benefit from such an experience.  To the contrary…

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Designing wave guides to control an optical path, which will result in my students’ use of diodes for their projects this year.

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New materials for capacitors, where my students can look to the future for outerwear to charge their cellphones and iPods.

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UCLA’s Explore Your Universe

Every year at the University of California, Los Angeles a gigantic event is hosted by all the science departments and student clubs. And the CIAN students at UCLA have a big hand in making this day a reality.

This year, the Explore Your Universe event was a great success. Over 5,000 attendees explored different science booths from UCLA featuring a variety of exhibits ranging from flash freezing objects using liquid nitrogen (chemistry), launching model rockets, to using new robots on different planets (astronomy). Talks were given by guest lecturers, and near the end of the event, the planetarium was open for viewing the night sky.

The booth set up by CIAN students and OSA/SPIE Student Chapter members at UCLA was a premier location to see and one of the booths that required a visit to win a prize. CIAN students and OSA/SPIE Student Chapter members at UCLA kept themselves busy for 6-hours straight teaching children and adults alike about optics. They had a blast using the optics demonstrations provided in the CIAN duffle bag. The tools were so effective that even parents and teachers asked where they could purchase some of the demonstrations to teach their kids!  People of all ages were present with most of the kids from 5-16 years.

cejo.pngCEJO LONAPPAN – PHD STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES

Cejo Konuparamban Lonappan is a Ph.D.student at the University of California, Los Angeles, working under the guidance of professors, Dr. Bahram Jalali and Dr. Asad M. Madni. His research interests include the design and development of real-time high throughput instruments, high speed and RF circuits and systems, integrated photonics, and optical communication networks. He developed the real-time time-stretch (TiSER) technology which was used at the CIAN Testbed for Optical Aggregate Networks (TOAN) test-bed to demonstrate rapid optical performance measurement to enable agility in optical transport networks. He received the 2014 IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society Graduate Fellowship Award. He is an active member of the OSA and SPIE student chapters in UCLA and various IEEE societies.

DANIEL LAM – ALUMNI, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES

Daniel Lam received his PhD degree from UCLA in Electrical Engineering under the guidance of Professors Bahram Jalali and Asad M. Madni.  He is currently working at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.  His current interests are high speed measurements, fiber optic telecommunication networks, radar, and laser optics.  While with CIAN he worked on the Testbed for Optical Aggregate Networks and time-stretch technology. He is an active member in spreading optics awareness through CIAN outreach and the OSA/SPIE Student Chapter at UCLA.

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CTY Engineering and Applied Science Day @Columbia University

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On September 20, 2014 gifted students from the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth attended Engineering and Applied Science Day at Columbia University. In sessions taught throughout the day, students and their parents learned about the inner workings of the internet and learned about the … Continue reading

Engineering Explorations Day @Columbia University

On March 29, 2014, in collaboration with the Columbia University chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, students at Columbia University participated in a workshop for middle school age girls as part of the spring semester’s program “Engineering Explorations Experience.”

We adjusted our Jell-O waveguide demo to include in the lesson more information on the science of fluorescence and the Bohr model of an atom. The students’ teachers also attended the talk and came to ask us after how to make the demo for their other classes. Overall I’d say it was a successful day for Jell-O ing!

CIAN students Cathy Chen and Lee Zhu gave the lectures, select pictures can be seen in the gallery below: