Rick Trebino Receives Optical Society’s Esther Hoffman Beller Medal

Physics professor is recognized for pioneering educational optics practices

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A. Maureen Rouhi, Ph.D.
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Physics professor is recognized for pioneering educational optics practices, including the only textbook on ultrashort-pulse measurement.

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The Optical Society (OSA) has named Rick Trebino the recipient of the 2019 Esther Hoffman Beller Medal. Trebino is a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Physics. He is recognized for pioneering educational optics practices, including the only textbook on ultrashort-pulse measurement, innovative short courses, and the creation of high-quality graduate and undergraduate optics lectures that are shared freely with students and instructors worldwide.

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Editor's Note: This story is a slightly revised version of the March 26, 2019, press release from The Optical Society 

The Optical Society (OSA) has named Rick Trebino the recipient of the 2019 Esther Hoffman Beller Medal. Trebino is a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Physics. He is recognized for pioneering educational optics practices, including the only textbook on ultrashort-pulse measurement, innovative short courses, and the creation of high-quality graduate and undergraduate optics lectures that are shared freely with students and instructors worldwide.

“The ability to truly engage students in the study of optical sciences requires a creative mind like Rick Trebino’s,” says 2019 OSA President Ursula Gibson. “That his lectures are often translated into other languages demonstrates the global reach of his pioneering teaching methods and is further proof that he is rightly bestowed the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal.”

“The ability to truly engage students in the study of optical sciences requires a creative mind like Rick Trebino’s.”

Trebino received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1977 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University, in 1983. After spending 12 years at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California, he accepted a chair in Ultrafast Optical Physics at Georgia Tech, where he studies ultrafast optics, specifically pulse measurement and optics education. Trebino has received numerous prizes for his research. He is a Fellow of OSA, American Physical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). 

His award-winning research involves developing techniques to measure light with ever shorter and more complex ultrafast temporal and microscopic spatial variations. He is best known for frequency-resolved optical gating, the first technique—and still the gold standard—for measuring arbitrary ultrashort pulses in time. Trebino’s recent inventions measure the complete spatiotemporal pulse electric field.

Frustrated by “chalk-and-talk”- style lectures when he was a student, Trebino utilizes PowerPoint to create lecture materials with detailed drawings, pictures, animations, and movies to make complex ideas easier to understand. His colorful and informative lectures have been shared with professors, teachers, and students all over the world. They have also been translated into several languages including Spanish, French, and Chinese.

Established in 1993, the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal is presented for outstanding contributions to education in optical science and engineering. It is endowed by a bequest from the estate of Esther Hoffman Beller.

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College of Sciences, School of Physics

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Education
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Keywords
Optical society, optical science, Rick Trebino
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  • Created By: A. Maureen Rouhi
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Mar 27, 2019 - 11:48am
  • Last Updated: Mar 27, 2019 - 11:51am