Spring 2016 General Interest Meeting

On Feb. 5th, the SPIE student chapter hosted a general interest meeting in collaboration with the OSA UR chapter. The student turn out was great, representing a nice mix of undergraduate and graduate students in optics.

The main goal of this interest meeting, aside from providing free pizza, was to attract students for two new committees that we are setting up: the Undergraduate Committee and the Outreach Committee. We hope that with the generated interest in these two committees we can provide more services and opportunities to our members.

Fun fact: the University of Rochester SPIE Chapter is now the chapter with the largest number of students in the world!

Aside from being a great partner in setting up this meeting, the OSA Chapter also provided laser decorations around the room for some optics ambiance. Per brought in an entire optical setup – because Per is awesome – so that students can create their very own holograms.


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General interest meeting! 02/05, 1PM, G108, pizza

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IMPORTANT COMMUNICATION: Undergraduate and Outreach Committees

In an effort to provide the best experience possible to our members and more importantly as many opportunities as possible for personal growth we decided to form two committees with a focus on UNDERGRADUATE students and on OUTREACH.

Everybody interested in knowing more is invited to join an Interest Meeting (co-organized with the OSA student chapter) on Friday Feb 5th at 1pm. Location TBD. There will be pizza and drinks.

Here are few details of our initiative:



  • Involve the growing undergraduate committee in the chapter activities.
  • Promote collaborations with the OSA student chapter.
  • Promote activities targeted to undergraduate students.

Eligibility: you must be an undergraduate student member of the SPIE student chapter.

Budget: 500$ no string attached per calendar year. The committee will have complete autonomy on the money destination as long as within the law. The executive board will oversee the expenditures and veto them only in cases of law infringement.



  • Have a stable backbone group of students interested in promoting and organizing outreach activities.
  • Give opportunity to all our members to participate in at least one outreach activity every year.

Eligibility: you must be a member of the SPIE student chapter.

Budget: no separate budget. Expenditures can be petitioned to the Executive Board.





The committees are regulated in article 8 of our Bylaws. Here is a summary:
• Members of each committee must be members of the SPIE Student Chapter;
• Each committee will be coordinated by a Chair nominated by the President of the chapter;
• Other than the Chair, each committee will have between one and four members which will be nominated by the Chair and approved by the President of the chapter;

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Visit to George Eastman Museum

Spot the elephant trunk!

On Jan. 15th, last Friday, we visited the George Eastman Museum and enjoyed a guided tour of both the House and its underground vault that holds the Technology Collection.

Although the snow prevented us from enjoying the garden (typical Rochester), we toured the entire inside of the house and ran into a replica that is made entirely from gingerbread and candy. (See full picture in the gallery below)

In the vault

Todd Gustavson, the curator of the Technology Collection, gave us a tour of the underground vault that is lined with shelves holding hundreds of cameras, lenses, and various other photography / cinematography equipment. It was very interesting to bear witness to a slice of history through the many instruments that documents how far we’ve come in our journey to record our realities.

Please click on the thumbnails above for an immersive gallery view;
more pictures on the Galleries page

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Di Xu is the new Web Master Officer

Photo DX

We’d like to extend a big congratulations to Di Xu in being elected as the interim Web Administrator for the UR SPIE Student Chapter!

We also thank Zhayou for his willingness to participate actively in our chapter.

Of the 25 members who expressed their preference, 18 voted for Di and 7 for Zhayou.
Di will serve on the e-board with the other officers until our annual election this April.
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Elections for Web Master Officer (temporary appointment)

Photo DXzhaoyu

(Left: Di Xu; right: Zhayou Nie, second from left)

We have two members who would like volunteering to fill the position of Web Master Officer until the next elections to renew the executive board are held (April 2016).

They are: Di Xu and Zhayou Nie.

We really appreciate their spontaneous candidacy.

Now, as all officers positions are elective, it is up to all of you members to select one of them.

To read the statements of the candidates and express your preference please click here. Only members have the right to vote. Please express your preference only once.

We will officially close the vote at 23pm January 15th and announce the winner on January 18th.

Hope everybody had a pleasant break.


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Visit to George Eastman House: Sign up!


On Friday January 15th at 2pm we are going to visit George Eastman Museum: former mansion of George Eastman, the founder of Kodak, but also home of the international museum of photography.

We have booked guided tours of the house, and as a special treat Todd Gustavson, the curator of the technology collection, will open for us the vault of the museum (usually not open to the public), where all the technology collection is stored. To have an idea of what it looks like you can check this out.

We will cover the admission to the museum, but not the transportation. If you need a ride, we can always organize a car pool.

If you want to participate sign up here.

At this moment we have a limit of 20 for the participants, so the first 20 to sign up will go. However, in case of great demand we will try (I do not promise it though) to organize a second visit to the museum, therefore keep signing up even after the limit is reached.

For all questions e-mail us at urspie@gmail.com.


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Todd Gustavson’s Talk


Yesterday, the Optics Colloquium Speaker was Todd Gustavson, the curator of the Technology Collection at George Eastman Museum.

We were very happy for him to be invited by the department. In fact, we also had decided to invite Todd since the beginning of the fall semester, and when I called him he  replied that he has been already asked to give a talk by the Institute. Perfect! (Less work on our end)

In order to reward as much as possible our members, after the presentation we raffled three copies of Todd’s book “Camera, a history of photography from daguerreotype to digital“. The lucky winners were Daniel Brooks, Ashan Ariyawansa and James Feeks.

Now, stay tuned for the next event, which will be the visit of George Eastman Museum and Vaults guided by Todd himself. The vaults are where the Technology Collection is stored, and is not usually open to the public. We will cover the cost of the ticket, so you will also be able to visit the entire museum. This will be a member-only activity.

We have not finalized the date yet, but we will let you know as soon as possible.


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NEW Chapter Constitution and Bylaws


On December 4th, during the Christmas Party, we voted in order to change some articles in our Chapter Constitution and Bylaws, so to add the new position of “Communication Officer” to the Chapter’s Executive Board.

35 student members voted.

The amendments to the Constitution and the Bylaws passed with 33 votes pro and 2 votes against.

Therefore, starting from today we have a new seat available in the Executive Board and we will be accepting nomination to fill it. 

The text of the new Constitution and Bylaws is here (it is also permanently available in the website under the “About us” dropdown menu).

Thanks for participating to the vote.


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Christmas Party

thumb_IMG_5817_1024Last Friday we had our annual Christmas party. Check out the pictures here.

This year we decided to move out from Goergen (for a change) and we booked the beautiful Welles-Brown room in Rush-Rhees Library, which has more of a “Christmasy ” feeling with its fireplace, wood furniture and decorations.

I must admit we run out of food in 40 minutes, despite we thought we ordered plenty. So I apologize to those of you who had class and arrived late to find only little remaining on the table.

At the party, we also had our baked goods competition which saw a heart-breaking duel between our Ks, Katelynn and Kaitlin. At the end Katelynn’s “crunchy mint Oreo balls” (can I call them that Kate?) for few votes won the first the prize.


Ciao and Happy Christmas from the Student Chapter Officers!

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