Lasers and Optics in the Information Technology Revolution

EECS Joint Colloquium Distinguished Lecture Series

Professor Elsa Garmire
Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College

Wednesday, February 23, 2000
Hewlett Packard Auditorium, 306 Soda Hall
4:00-5:00 p.m.


Technology is rapidly reaching the "TERA ERA", consisting of terabit-per-second backbones for telecommunication systems, teraoperations-per-second computers, and terabyte data banks. Information technology is a teradollar enterprise. Lasers and optics are enabling hardware for this revolution. The talk will review the ways in which lasers and optics are used in communications, information processing and switching, data storage, and sensing. Some areas in which more research is needed will be outlined. This talk is based on the report of the National Research Council entitled "Harnessing Light: Optical Science and Engineering for the 21st Century", which was written by an NRC committee of which Prof. Garmire was a part.


Elsa Garmire, Professor of Engineering, received her A.B. at Harvard and her Ph.D. at M.I.T, both in physics. After post-doctoral work at Caltech, she joined the University of Southern California, where she was named William Hogue Professor of Electrical Engineering and director of the Center for Laser Studies. She came to Dartmouth in 1995, where she served 2 years as dean of Thayer School. Author of over 200 journal papers and holder of nine patents, she has been on the editorial board of five technical journals. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the American Physical Society, and the Optical Society of America, of which she was at one time president; she has served on the boards of three other professional societies. In 1994 she received the Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award. She has been a Fulbright senior lecturer and a visiting faculty member in Japan, Australia, Germany, and China. She has been chair of the NSF Advisory Committee on Emerging Technology, and a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and the NSF Advisory Committee on Engineering.