JOSA, JOSA A and JOSA B would not be among the field's most cited journals, if it were not for their stellar past and current Editors-in-Chief. We recognize their accomplishments and appreciate their service.
Born 20 July 1873, Hermann Kellner studied at the University of Berlin and University of Jena, Germany, receiving his doctorate from the latter in 1899. After several years in the optical industries of Germany, he moved to the United States in 1900 and soon began working at Spencer Lens Company in Buffalo. He later took a job at the Bausch and Lomb Optical Company (B & L) in Rochester as Director of its Scientific Bureau. After a short return to Germany, he again worked at B & L and remained until his death in 1926.
Kellner left an impact on American optical instruments especially the microscope. Of almost equal importance was his work on fire-control instruments. In later years, Kellner devoted his time to the development of motion picture projection apparatus and was a member of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers. He was a charter member of the Optical Society and served as the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of JOSA from 1917 to 1919.
Paul D. Foote was born 27 March 1888, in Andover, Ohio. While working at a law firm part time, Foote studied mathematics and physics at Adelbert College (now Case Western Reserve University). He received an M.S. degree from the University of Nebraska (now University of Nebraska-Lincoln) in 1912 and received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Minnesota in 1918.
In his early career, Foote worked at the National Bureau of Standards and Fisher Scientific Company. Later, he became the Director of Research and Executive Vice President of the Gulf Research and Development Company. In 1957, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Foote to Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. He served until 1960. He was secretary of the OSA, President of the American Physical Society, and Vice-President of the Washington Academy of Sciences. He was Editor-in-Chief of JOSA from 1920-1933. He also founded and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Review of Scientific Instruments. Foote died in 1971.
Floyd K. Richtmyer was born 12 October 1881 in Cobleskill, N.Y. He studied at Cornell University where he earned a Ph.D. in 1910. With the exception of two early years at Drexel University, Richtmyer remained at Cornell for the duration of his career, as Professor of Physics and later Dean of the Graduate school. In research, Richtmyer investigated x-rays. He went abroad to Germany and Sweden to further his research and consulted for the National Bureau of Standards and General Electric Co. During World War I, he served in the U.S. Signal Corps as a radio engineer and served after the war in the Officer Reserve Corps.
Richtmyer received the Franklin Institute's Levy Medal and was a member of the National Research Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He served in a number of leadership positions for professional societies including APS and Sigma Xi. In 1918 and 1919, he served as OSA's Vice President and then as President in 1920. In 1933, Richtmyer succeeded Paul Foote as Editor-in-Chief of JOSA, and he served until his death in 1939.
George R. Harrison was born on 14 July 1898 in San Diego, California. Harrison entered Stanford University in 1915, where he studied physics. Despite a brief interruption in his studies, associated with World War I, he received a bachelor's degree in 1919. In 1922, he received a graduate degree at Stanford University in spectroscopy. His promise as a research physicist led to the award of a National Research Council Fellowship for work with the renowned spectroscopist, Theodore Lyman of Harvard University. In 1930, Harrison accepted a professorship in experimental physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then became Dean of science at MIT in 1942 and oversaw the postwar development of the School of Science until his retirement in 1964. The most noteworthy of his many achievements were the development of a high-speed automatic comparator for the recording of intensities and wavelengths of spectral lines, the compilation of the MIT Wavelength Tables, and the invention of the echelle spectrograph.
During World War II Harrison was Chief of the Optics Division of the National Defense Research Committee, and later head of the Office of Scientific Research and Development's Office of Field Service in the Pacific Theater. He was awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom and the Presidential Medal of Merit. He received numerous awards, and honorary degrees for his scientific accomplishments, including the Rumford Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Cresson Medal of the Franklin Institute, the Ives and Mees Medals and the Meggers Award from OSA, and the Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award. He was a fellow of the American Philosophical Society, the APS, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Australian Academy of Science, and he held many high offices in these and other scholarly organizations. Harrison died in 1979.
Wallace R. Brode was born 12 June 1900 in Walla Walla, Washington. He was one of a set of triplets. Brode received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1925. While working on his thesis in Illinois, Brode also worked as a junior chemist at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C. In 1926, Brode won a Guggenheim fellowship and studied under chemistry professors at Leipzig, Zurich, and Liverpool. He returned to the U.S. in 1928 and became an Assistant Professor of chemistry at Ohio State University, where he remained for 20 years. From 1945 to 1947 he headed the science department of the Naval Ordnance Test Station, Inyokern, California. He subsequently became a Science Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (and later to Christian Herter).
Brode designed and built one of the first recording spectrophotometers. He also authored more than 65 papers and served as Editor-in-Chief of JOSA from 1950-1960. His book Chemical Spectroscopy became a standard text in the field. Upon his retirement, he continued to publish papers in spectroscopy. Brode was active in OSA, the American Chemical Society, the Association for the Advancement of Science, and Sigma Xi, serving as president of all three organizations. Brode died in 1974.
Dean B. Judd was born 15 November 1900 in South Hadley Falls Massachusetts and received a Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University in 1926. Judd joined the National Bureau of Standards in 1927 where he remained until his retirement in 1969. From the outset, colorimetry was one of Judd's primary interests. He was the U.S.'s representative in colorimetry in eight meetings of the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) from 1931 to 1967 and thereby a key force in the development of the CIE standard system of colorimetry. Largely responsible for the coining of the term "psychophysics", Juddwrestled throughout his career with the relationship between color stimuli and color perception. He wrote books on color in science and industry and helped define the Munsell color system as well as the Lovibond color system. One of his most important contributions was a 1939 article in JOSA defining a Standard Observer and a coordinate system for colorimetry.
In addition to serving as President of OSA from 1953-1955, Judd also served as chair of the OSA committee on uniform color scales. He received OSA's Frederic Ives Medal and served as Editor-in-Chief of JOSA from 1961 to 1963. Upon retirement in 1969, he ended a 40 year span during which he was regarded as the foremost colorimetrist in the U.S. Judd died in 1972.
David L. MacAdam was born on 1 July 1910 in Philadelphia, PA. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1936 and in the same year joined Eastman Kodak's research laboratory. His specialty was color measurement and applications to color photography and television. After his retirement from Kodak in 1975, he spent the next 20 years as professor at the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester.
MacAdam was Editor-in-Chief of JOSA from 1961-1965 and a member of the Intersociety Color Council and AIP's Board of Governors. Along with Arthur C. Hardy, he wrote the Handbook of Colorimetry and the Science of Color. He was the first OSA Adolph Lomb Medalist and served as president of the society in 1962. He was a recipient of OSA's Ives Medal, AIP's Newton Medal, was the Mattiello Memorial Lecturer of the Federation of Societies for Paint Technology, Hurter and Driffield Memorial Lecturer, and Royal Photographic Society, London Lecturer. He was also an OSA fellow. MacAdam died in 1998.
Douglas C. Sinclair received a bachelor's degree from MIT, and a doctorate from the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester before becoming Manager of Product Development at Spectra-Physics. In 1970, he became Professor of Optics at the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, where he was interested in developing software that could help students learn computer-aided optical design. He founded Sinclair Optics in 1976 to develop a software package that evolved over time to become one of the best known and widely used optical design programs.
A professional member of OSA since 1960, Sinclair was recipient of the Adolph Lomb Medal in 1968, and became a Fellow in 1972. He was Editor-in-Chief of JOSA from 1976-1978, President of the Rochester Section in 1975, and Chair of the U.S. delegation to the International Commission for Optics in 1978. Sinclair died in 2015.
Joseph W. Goodman received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1960 and 1963, respectively. His early work focused on noise and nonlinearities in holography, electronic detection and digital reconstruction of holograms, and the statistical properties of optical speckle patterns. Goodman joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University in 1967. He chaired the department from 1989 to 1996 and then served as Senior Associate Dean of engineering until 2000. He retired from Stanford in 2001. He is the author of the Introduction to Fourier Optics (now in its 3rd edition), Statistical Optics (now in its 2nd edition), Speckle Phenomena in Optics, and co-author of Fourier Transforms: An Introduction for Engineers. Goodman has served in leadership roles for OSA, SPIE, and IEEE. His participation extended to international activities when he served as President of the International Commission for Optics in the late 1980s.
Goodman has received numerous awards from IEEE, ASEE, OSA, and SPIE, including the highest awards given by the latter two societies. He served as Editor-in-Chief of JOSA from 1979-1983. Additionally, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Goodman was a co-founder of Optivision, Inc., ONI Systems, Nanoprecision Products, Inc., and Roberts & Company Publishers, and served as a member of the Board of Directors of Optivision, ONI Systems, E-TEK Dynamics, and Ondax Inc.
Robert W. Terhune was born in 1926 in Detroit, Michigan. He received his B.S degree in 1947 and his Ph.D. in 1957 from the University of Michigan and continued basic and applied research at the Ford Research Laboratory in Dearborn, where he stayed until retirement in 1988. Through his work, he was able to demonstrate that ruby made an excellent MASER (microwave laser), and as a result, by 1960, many laboratories were experimenting with ruby masers. Hughes Laboratories was one of them, and Ted Maiman used a ruby maser crystal to demonstrate the first ruby laser.
Terhune was an OSA Fellow and recipient of the Frederic Ives Medal in 1992. He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of both OSA's Optics Letters and JOSA B and served on the OSA Board of Directors from 1980-1986. During his career, Robert also served on OSA's Board of Editors, Adolph Lomb Medal Committee, Joint Council on Quantum Electronics, Charles Townes Award Committee, Nominating Committee, and Publications Council. In 1967, he was recipient of the University of Michigan Sesquicentennial Award given to the top 150 graduates in University of Michigan's 150-year history. Terhune died in 2014.
Harrison H. Barrett received a master's degree in physics from MIT in 1962 and a Ph.D. in applied physics from Harvard University in 1969. In 1971, he accepted a position as a Project Leader in the Medical Electronics Unit of the Research Division of Raytheon Corporation. This move initiated his research efforts in medical imaging science which have continued for 30 years (and counting). In 1974, he moved to the University of Arizona as an Associate Professor in the Optical Sciences Center and Department of Radiology. Two years later, he was promoted to full Professor and later honored with the title of Regents Professor. Barrett has been a creative innovator of the theory and technology of imaging science for over 30 years. His research results are significant, extensive, and fundamental (he has over 250 publications and over 20 patents); the impact of his research has been immediate and lasting.
Barrett received the 2005 C. E. K. Mees Medal from OSA, and in 2006, he and Kyle J. Myers were awarded the First Biennial J. W. Goodman Book Writing Award from OSA and SPIE for their book entitled Foundations of Image Science. His many other awards include a Humboldt Prize, the IEEE Medical Imaging Scientist Award, an E. T. S. Walton Award from Science Foundation Ireland, and the SPIE Gold Medal of the Society. Barrett is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, The Optical Society, and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. He served as Editor-in-Chief of JOSA A from 1986 to 1991.
Bahaa E. A. Saleh received a Ph.D. degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1971 in electrical engineering. He worked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1977 to 1994 and served as Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering from 1990 to 1994. He was a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Boston University in 1994-2008, and he served as Chair of that Department in 1994-2007. He also served as Deputy Director of the Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems, an NSF Engineering Research Center in 2000-2008. He has been Dean of CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida since January 2009.
His research contributions cover a broad spectrum of topics in optics and photonics including statistical and quantum optics, optical communication and signal processing, nonlinear optics, photodetectors, image processing, and vision. He is the author of two books, Photoelectron Statistics and Fundamentals of Photonics, and more than 500 papers in technical journals and conference proceedings. He served as Editor-in-Chief of JOSA A from 1992 to 1997, and also of Advances in Optics and Photonics from 2008 to 2013. Additionally, he has served as Chair of OSA's Board of Editors from 1997 to 2001. He was Vice President of the International Commission of Optics (ICO) from 2000 to 2002.
Saleh is Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), The Optical Society, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is the recipient of the 1999 Optical Society Esther Hoffman Beller Award for outstanding contributions to optical science and engineering education, the 2004 SPIE BACUS award for his contribution to photomask technology, the 2006 Kuwait Prize for his contributions to optical science, and the 2008 Distinguished Service Award of The Optical Society. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and Tau Beta Pi.
James R. Fienup received a Ph.D. in 1975 in applied physics from Stanford University, where he was a National Science Foundation graduate fellow. He performed research for many years at the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan and Veridian Systems, where he was a senior scientist. He joined the faculty of the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester in 2002 as the Robert E. Hopkins Professor of Optics. Fienup is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of The Optical Society and of the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), and a senior member of IEEE. He was awarded SPIE's Rudolf Kingslake Medal and Prize , the the International Commission for Optics's International Prize in Optics , and OSA's Emmett N. Leith Medal. He was a distinguished visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2009. He was Editor-in-Chief of JOSA A from 1997 to 2003. He previously served as Division Editor of Applied Optics-Information Processing and Associate Editor of Optics Letters.
Fienup's research interests center around imaging science. His work includes unconventional imaging, phase retrieval, wavefront sensing, and image reconstruction and restoration. These techniques are applied to passive and active optical imaging systems, synthetic-aperture radar, and biomedical imaging modalities. His past work has also included diffractive optics and image quality assessment. He has over 230 publications and 5 patents.
Stephen Burns received a B.S. in Engineering from Lehigh University and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Ohio State University. He is currently a Professor of Optometry at Indiana University. Dr. Burns is a fellow of three societies—The Optical Society, The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and the American Academy of Optometry—and is the 2010 awardee of OSA's Tillyer Award for contributions to vision science. He was the Chair of OSA's Medical Optics Division in 1991, is a former Editor-in-Chief of JOSA A, and is currently on the Editorial Board of Vision Research. Burns has served on numerous panels including the NIH BDPE Study Section and the FDA's Panel on Ophthalmic Devices as well as on OSA's Board of Directors and as Chair of the ARVO VI program panel and as Vice Chair of AAO's Visual Science membership committee.
Burns' research involves the effects of aging and disease on the human retina. To pursue these research interests, he develops state of the art retinal imaging technology using adaptive optics. This technology, derived from astronomy, allows the optical imperfections of the eye (optical aberrations) to be bypassed using modern optical techniques, and his lab is able to image individual cells in the living human retina in real-time. He uses the technology developed in his lab to investigate the effect of disease on the visual system.
Franco Gori received a degree in Physics at the University "La Sapienza" of Rome in 1964. Since then, he has taught at "La Sapienza", at the University of L'Aquila, and at the University "Roma Tre". Full professor of Quantum Electronics since 1980, he served as Dean of the Engineering Faculty of the University "Roma Tre" from 1998 to 2008. He is presently Professor Emeritus. He is a Fellow of The Optical Society and the European Optical Society. He served JOSA A, first as Topical Editor of Propagation and Scattering articles and then as Editor-in-Chief. Gori is currently serving as a member of the Editorial Board of Optics Communications and as a member of the Advisory Board of Progress in Optics.
Gori's research is both theoretical and experimental and includes coherence theory, optical processing, light field propagation, and inverse problems. He first proposed (then realized) a holographic method for painting diagnostics that gave rise to several applications. Several results were obtained on the connection between directionality and spatial coherence including the first experiment on Gaussian Schell-model sources and the first modal expansion of the corresponding cross-spectral density. Gori also explained the Lau effect by means of coherence theory, predicting new features that were confirmed by experiment. He introduced several new types of optical fields, the most popular being the family of Bessel-Gauss beams and Flattened Gaussian beams. In recent years, he introduced the Beam Coherence-Polarization Matrix for treating with a single tool both coherence and polarization properties of an optical beam.
P. Scott Carney is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois where he has been since 2001. He received a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Rochester in 1999. He is a theorist with research interests in inverse problems, imaging, coherence theory and other branches of optical physics. He was a 2003 recipient of an NSF CAREER award and a 2009 Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands. He won the 2012 Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies Innovation Award, and the 2014 Society for Applied Spectroscopy William F. Meggers Award. He is co-organizer of the Saturday Engineering for Everyone lectures, a popular lecture series for all ages at the University of Illinois. He won the 2012 William Everitt Teaching Award and is currently an Engineering Education Innovation Fellow at UIUC. His work in medical imaging is being brought to market by Diagnostic Photonics, Inc., a company he cofounded and for which he serves as Chief Scientific Officer. Diagnostic Photonics has developed a hand-held, nondestructive, 3-D microscope with cellular-scale resolution. Carney participates in a number of activities supporting entrepreneurship on campus and has created and teaches a course on innovation and engineering design with an emphasis on entrepreneurial thinking.
Carney was elected a Fellow of The Optical Society in 2015. He is the current Editor-in-Chief of JOSA A having started his term in January 2016. He was Program Chair for the 2014 Frontiers in Optics conference and is General Chair for 2016 along with Urs Utzinger.
Willes H. (Bill) Weber received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1968 before joining the Research Staff at the Ford Motor Company. He spent the next 35 years as a practicing research scientist, publishing over 140 scientific papers and 18 patents in the fields of surface, optical, and condensed matter physics. Beginning in 1978, he held adjunct or visiting professorships in the Physics Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He was a Visiting Industrial Fellow at JILA, University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1997, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at JPL/Caltech in 2001. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of The Optical Society and has held a variety of leadership positions with both organizations.
Weber's long association with the OSA began in 1977 when he helped his colleague at Ford, Bob Terhune, launch Optics Letters, for which he served as an Associate Editor. In 1983, he served as a JOSA B Topical Editor for Surface and Interface Physics and later co-edited a JOSA B feature issue on Stark and Zeeman Techniques in Laser Spectroscopy. In 1987, he became Editor-in-Chief of JOSA B, where he served until 1988. In 2004, Weber retired from active research, moved to Santa Barbara, CA, and started a new career as an Associate Editor for Physical Review B, one of the oldest and largest physics journals. He retired from that position in 2013 but remains active in science by attending lectures offered by the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UCSB and by organizing biannual scientific talks for Caltech alumni in the Santa Barbara area.
Between 1989 and 1994, Paul F. Liao served as JOSA B's third Editor-in-Chief. Having received degrees in Physics at M.I.T. and Columbia University, Liao pursued a career in industrial research, first as a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey. Subsequently, he held research and technology management positions at Bell Laboratories (Department Head), Bellcore (Division Manager, Assistant Vice President, General Manager), Panasonic (President, Panasonic Technologies and CTO of Panasonic North America), and CableLabs (CEO).
A fellow of the IEEE, the American Physical Society, and The Optical Society, Liao is also a recipient of the IEEE Millennium Medal and a past President of the IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (now known as the IEEE Photonics Society). In addition to being a former Editor-in-Chief of JOSA B, he was Co-Editor for the Academic Press Series entitled Quantum Electronics. Liao also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Brookdale Community College located in Lincroft, New Jersey and was part of the Leadership New Jersey Class of 1989.
Tony F. Heinz is a Professor of Applied Physics and Photon Science at Stanford University and the Director of the Chemical Sciences Division at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Heinz received a Ph.D. in Physics, from the University of California at Berkeley in 1982. He was subsequently at the IBM Research Division in Yorktown Heights, NY until he joined Columbia University in 1995 as a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics, where he worked until 2015. At Columbia, he served as the Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering from 2003 until 2007 and was recognized by the Great Teacher Award. He served as a Scientific Director of the Columbia Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center and of the Energy Frontier Research Center.
Heinz's research has centered on the elucidation of the properties and dynamics of nanoscale materials through the application of a wide range of optical spectroscopies. His research on surfaces, interfaces, and nanoscale materials, such as carbon nanotubes, graphene and other 2D materials, has been recognized by Optics Prize of the International Commission for Optics, a Research Award of the von Humboldt Foundation, the Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics, and the Isakson Prize of the American Physical Society. Heinz has been involved in many activities of the OSA over the years. He served first as a Topical Editor (1987-1993) and then as the Editor-in-Chief (1994-2000) of JOSA B. He was later the Chair of the OSA Board of Editors (2005-2009), and participated in many program committees for the CLEO and Frontiers in Optics Meetings, as well as for several topical meetings. Heinz has served three terms on the OSA Board of Directors: once as an elected Director at Large (2002-2004) and twice in ex-officio capacities (2006-2009). In 2012, he was the President of The Optical Society.
George I. Stegeman (1942-2015) received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and was the first recipient of the Cobb Family Chair in Optical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The principal interest of Stegeman's research group was the experimental study of nonlinear optics in waveguide structures, especially the properties of spatial solitons in various regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Stegeman was an icon in the area of nonlinear optics and published more than 700 papers during his career. He was Emeritus Professor of Optics, Physics & ECE at CREOL, College of Optics and Photonics, UCF. He was an active OSA volunteer having served on the OSA Board of Directors (1986-89) and as Editor-in-Chief of JOSA B from 2001 to 2006.
He received many awards and honors during his career including APS Fellow status, 2013 Honorary Doctorate from INRS University, Canada, and 2001 Teacher of the Year Award from the CREOL Association of Optics Students (CAOS). He also received the Herzberg Medal for achievement in Physics of the Canadian Association of Physicists and served on various Editorial Boards including Wave Electronics, Optics Communications, and Journal of Nonlinear Optics. He was an OSA Fellow and 2003 recipient of OSA R.W. Wood Prize.
Henry (Hendrik) van Driel was born in Breda, the Netherlands, but has lived in Canada for most of his life. Since 1976, he has been a faculty member in the Department of Physics at the University of Toronto where he established a research program in experimental nonlinear optics and ultrafast phenomena in semiconductors and metals. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the American Physical Society, and The Optical Society. Van Driel has worked on numerous conference program committees for the Canadian Association of Physicists, the American Physical Society, and The Optical Society, becoming a Program Chair for QELS 98 and a General Chair of ICQE 2000. He served as a Divisional Associate Editor for Physical Review Letters and as a Topical Editor for JOSA B, before becoming Editor-in-Chief of JOSA B.
As Editor-in-Chief, van Driel oversaw an increase in annual submissions of 65% during which JOSA B increased its impact factor to 2.21. Notable feature issues that were published during his tenure were related to the 50th anniversary of the Laser and the 50th anniversary of Nonlinear Optics. van Driel initiated a pilot Assistant Topical Editors program whereby some of the Young Professionals of the OSA gained experience in the Editorial Process by helping Topical Editors.
Grover Swartzlander is an Associate Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with a joint appointment in the Center of Imaging Science and the Department of Physics. He received a B.S. in Physics from Drexel University where he first learned optics from the inspiring professor and Editor, Lorenzo Narducci. Internships at the Naval Air Development Center provided experiences on the ring laser gyro, nuclear magnetic resonance, harmonic generation, and spectroscopy. His graduate work started at Purdue University. After attending a brilliant colloquium given by Arthur Ashkin on optical molasses, he switched from Physics to Electrical and Computer Engineering to work with Prof. Alexander Kaplan on nonlinear optical experiments in sodium vapor. Following his trailblazing advisor, Swartzlander completed his Ph.D. at the Johns Hopkins University on the topic of spatial dark solitons. As a postdoctoral fellow, he joined Anthony Campillo's branch at the Naval Research Laboratory where he experimentally discovered the optical vortex soliton in self-defocusing materials. His current research broadly extends over three topics: optical vortices, radiation pressure, and imaging systems. He is pioneering the use of "optical wings" for space applications, "glitter"-based imaging systems, and high contrast coronagraphs for exoplanet imaging. He is also exploring the fascinating appearance of "nodal areas" and discontinuous integrals in optical waves.
Swartzlander has served OSA as a Topical Editor for Optics Letters and member of OSA's Publications Council, as well as various other committees and subcommittees. Additionally, he was a co-organizer for Education and Training in Optics and Photonics (ETOP) in 2005. He is currently serving as Editor-in-Chief of JOSA B. He is also a NASA-NIAC Fellow, a Cottrell Scholar, and a Fellow of OSA.