Saturday Science 2017

SPIE/OSA student chapter UW-Madison had a great time at Saturday Science at the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery on October 7th 2017. The theme was the buzz in your backyard, so there were quite a lot of microscopes in the building and quite a lot of bugs. Our members had fun with the kids and parents showing off images of creepy crawlies, flowers, and leaves. The kids were especially excited to look at the bugs and asked a lot of questions about the biology and imaging. Some parents showed interest in buying the handheld portable microscopes we were using on bouquets.

Thanks everyone for volunteering. Here are some photos!

Sam and Michael introducing families to bugs and pollen


New Officers!

The members of the SPIE/OSA student chapter has elected a new officer panel. Congratulation to the new committee

President: Michael Pinkert

Vice President: Samuel Alkmin

Treasurer and Outreach Director: Peyton Uhl

Secretary: Melissa Champer


Officer election for 2017-18

The officer elections for the student chapter are happening next week.  They will take place on Tuesday September 12th, at 6:00 PM, on the Union Terrace.  In the event of rain, we will retreat to the Rathskellar.  There will be a sign on the table for SPIE. 


Every member of the chapter is eligible to be an officer.  If you cannot make the elections, but want to run for an officer role, please send Michael Pinkert or Heidi Kletzien an email and we will put your name in the running.  The five positions are:


  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Outreach Director

SPIE officer's election

The start of the new school year is rapidly approaching, and with that comes the annual SPIE/OSA student officer elections.  We will be performing a blind vote on September 12th at 6 PM on the Union Terrace. 


The positions are open to any member of the chapter.  There are five officer positions for the chapter.

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Outreach Director

Professor Lihong Wang visit

Dr. Lihong Wang(Professor, Medical and Electrical Engineering, Caltech), one of the inventors of Photoacoustic Imaging was hosted SPIE/OSA student chapter. He gave a talk on Photoacoustic Tomography titled "“Photoacoustic Tomography: Ultrasonically Beating Optical Diffusion". It was a great talk with a huge turnout. Many students, staff and faculty member showed up for the talk.


Summary of the talk:

Photoacoustic tomography (PAT), combining optical and ultrasonic waves via the photoacoustic effect, provides in vivo functional, metabolic, molecular, and histologic imaging. PAT has the unique strength of high-resolution imaging across the length scales of organelles, cells, tissues, organs, and small-animal organisms with consistent contrast. PAT has the potential to empower holistic omniscale biology research and accelerate translation from microscopic laboratory discoveries to macroscopic clinical practice. Potential applications include imaging of the breast, brain, skin, esophagus, colon, vascular system, and lymphatic system in both animals and humans.


SPIE/OSA student chapter participated in Engineering Expo

SPIE/OSA student chapter participated in Engineering Expo on April 8. 

Engineering EXPO is a two-day event held annually at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's College of Engineering. EXPO is run entirely by students and has historically brought over 10,000 visitors to campus biennially. Participants at EXPO include Fortune 500 industry leaders, engineering student organizations on campus, individuals displaying their engineering projects and ideas, and thousands of students and members of the community. Over the two days of EXPO, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools are invited to explore what engineering involves.

Here you can see, Sam Alkmin explaining a wave box designed by Heidi Kletzien and Ben Cox.


SPIE at Engineering expo





Saturday Science at Morgridge

SPIE/OSA student chapter UW-Madison demonstrated cool microscopy to kids in Saturday Science in Wisconsin Institue of Discovery on March 4. The theme was Aldo Leopold day, so the focus was nature and conservation. The officers and the members had a great time showing the kids cool microscope images and the kids were very enthusiastic, had lots of question for everyone. Some parents showed interest in buying portable microscopes for their kids watching how interested the kids are.

Thanks everyone for volunteering.


interested kids



OSA Distinguished Guest Seminar - Prof. Changhuei Yang

The SPIE/OSA Student Chapter of UW-Madison is very proud to announce that we will have a very special guest visit us for what I am sure will be an awesome seminar. Prof. Changhuei Yang from CalTech will visit us on Tuesday, 11/11/16 and will give his talk titled "Focusing light into biological tissues with wavefront engineering" @ 4 PM in room 1025 in ECB. As always food and refreshments will be served. If you would like to meet with him while he is here, please let Kirby ( know soon because his schedule is filling up quickly!

EDIT: Prof. Yang's visit was a huge success! We had a great turnout for his lecture - thanks to all who came to his fascinating talk!

Prof. Yang with some of our student members