Invited

Silica nanowires: manipulating light at the nanoscale, at Photonics West 2006 (San Jose, CA), Thursday, January 26, 2006:
Can light be guided by a fiber whose diameter is much smaller than the wavelength of the light? Can we mold the flow of light on the micrometer scale so it wraps, say, around a hair? Until recently the answer to these questions was ‘no’. We developed a technique for drawing long, free-standing silica wires with diameters down to 50 nm that have a surface smoothness at the atomic level and a high uniformity of diameter. Light can be launched into these silica nanowires by optical evanescent coupling and the wires allow low-loss single-mode operation. They can be bent sharply, making it... Read more about Silica nanowires: manipulating light at the nanoscale
Femtosecond laser micromachining, at Photonics West 2006 (San Jose, CA), Tuesday, January 24, 2006:
When femtosecond laser pulses are focused tightly into a transparent material, the intensity in the focal volume can become high enough to cause nonlinear absorption of laser energy. The absorption, in turn, can lead to permanent structural or chemical changes. Such changes can be used for micromachining bulk transparent materials. Applications include data storage and the writing of waveguides and waveguide splitters in bulk glass, fabrication of micromechanical devices in polymers, and subcellular photodisruption inside single cells.
Subcellular surgery and nanoneurosurgery, at 36th Winter Colloquium on The Physics of Quantum Electronics (Snowbird, UT), Wednesday, January 4, 2006:
We use femtosecond laser pulses to manipulate sub-cellular structures inside live and fixed cells. Using only a few nanojoules of laser pulse energy, we are able to selectively disrupt individual mitochondria in live bovine capillary epithelial cells, and cleave single actin fibers in the cell cytoskeleton network of fixed human fibro-blast cells. We have also used the technique to micromanipulate the neural network of C. Elegans, a small nematode. Our laser scalpel can snip individual axons without causing any damage to surrounding tissue, allowing us to study the function of individual... Read more about Subcellular surgery and nanoneurosurgery
Active lectures and interactive teaching, at AAPT New Faculty Workshop, American Center for Physics (College Park, MD), Saturday, November 12, 2005:
I thought I was a good teacher until I discovered my students were just memorizing information rather than learning to understand the material. Who was to blame? The students? The material? I will explain how I came to the agonizing conclusion that the culprit was neither of these. It was my teaching that caused students to fail! I will show how I have adjusted my approach to teaching and how it has improved my students' performance significantly.
Active lectures and interactive teaching, at AAPT New Faculty Workshop (College Park, MD), Friday, November 11, 2005:
I thought I was a good teacher until I discovered my students were just memorizing information rather than learning to understand the material. Who was to blame? The students? The material? I will explain how I came to the agonizing conclusion that the culprit was neither of these. It was my teaching that caused students to fail! I will show how I have adjusted my approach to teaching and how it has improved my students' performance significantly.
Materials Processing Using Ultrashort Laser Pulses, at OSA Frontiers in Optics Meeting (Tucson, AZ), Wednesday, October 19, 2005:
Ultrashort laser pulses are an important new tool in materials processing. We will discuss the physics of short-pulse laser interactions with materials and applications in micromachining and biotechnology.
Nonlinear optics at the nanoscale, at OSA Frontiers in Optics Meeting (Tucson, AZ), Wednesday, October 19, 2005:
Silica nanowires allow the guiding and manipulation of light at the nanoscale. The linear optical properties of these wires can be easily modeled because they are a step-index, all-core cylindrical waveguides. The nonlinear optical properties wires open the door to novel applications in nanoscale photonics.

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