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BISO Home > USAC/ICO Homepage > USAC/ICO Activities and Events 

The USAC/ICO serves as a catalyst for U.S. involvement in ICO and links U.S. researchers in all subfields of optics to international activities. The value of USAC/ICO activities to the optics community and its societies is reflected in the commitments and investments made by these societies. 

Major activities supported by the USAC/ICO include:

 Light Our Future: The National Photonics Initiative
The U.S. Advisory Committee for Optics, through its participating societies, is actively supporting the National Photonics Initiative, which grows out of the NRC report, Harnessing Light II, Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation. The goals of the Initiative are to: • raise awareness of photonics and the impact of photonics in our everyday lives • increase cooperation and coordination among US industry, government and academia to advance photonics-driven fields • drive US funding and investment in areas of photonics critical to maintaining US economic competitiveness and national security. Read more about the importance of this project.

International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015)
The United Nations' General Assembly has designated 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015). In proclaiming an International Year focusing on the topic of light science and its applications, the United Nations has recognized the importance of raising global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. The IYL Global Secretariat at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) will play a central role in coordinating the actions of the international scientific community and stakeholders with the UNESCO International Basic Sciences Programme. A selection of IYL 2015 resources, including press releases, can be found on the website of the European Physical Society.

The ICTP Winter College on Optics
The Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and the International Commission for Optics organize the annual Winter College on Optics in Trieste, Italy. The theme varies from year to year, but the format always features lectures by international experts, internal seminars and group discussions, and laboratory demonstrations. For more information about past Winter Colleges, visit the ICTP scientific calendar page.

Active Learning in Optics and Photonics (ALOP) Workshops
The USAC/ICO has joined UNESCO and the International Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE) in sponsoring Active Learning in Optics and Photonics (ALOP) workshops. These week-long teacher training events for physics teachers from universities and senior high schools are typically held in developing countries since optics and photonics are among the few experimental physics areas that have been found to be relevant and adaptable to research and educational conditions in those countries.

ICO Triennial Congresses
The ICO Congress is a triennial meeting where new officials are elected, new initiatives discussed, and the agenda set for the next three years.  The last Congress (ICO-23) was held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain on August 26-29, 2014.

USAC Annual Meetings
The USAC/ICO meets once a year.  These meetings focus on USAC/ICO's activities as a national and international liaison to ICO for the U.S. optics community, with the goal of raising the profile of optical sciences and technology.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number PHY-1318107. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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