This is the joint student chapter of OSA - The Optical Society and SPIE - the international society for optics and photonics at Columbia University. Our chapter, composed of students working at the forefront of optics research, aims to build and promote the awareness optical technology.

Recent Events:


Welcome Bronx PS 279 to have an educational lab tour at Columbia Lightwave Research Lab.


Our chapter's optical demos, The School at Columbia, was presented at Imagine the Future 2016 Science and Engineering Expo.


Our chapter attended United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum for International Year of Light at United Nations.


Our Student Chapter host regular social activities that provide food and beverages for student members get together and extend their social networks.

09/2015 New York Maker Faire

Our project is an interactive laser maze experience, targeted for all ages, but young people will especially enjoy it. The idea is for the participants to enter a darkened area, and make their way through the area, retrieving several lions, and only hitting the laser beams a said number of times. We have tuned the game to have certain levels, and the difficulty level can be adjusted based on the participant. What we will bring to the exhibit are the lasers (low grade), prototype platforms programmed to move said lasers, the boards to create the enclosure, the stuffed lion animals for the participants to retrieve, and the personal computer with necessary interface connections to power the prototype boards. We will have explanation sheets about the science behind the exhibit, as well as information about optics at Columbia University. The purpose of this project is to elicit excitement for people in science, especially in optics.


Our student chapter participated in Engineering Explorations in collaboration with the University’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. We taught 2 sessions of the Lasers and JELLO demo to girls from in and around New York City, ages 7th-­‐9th grade.


We hosted Dr. Philip Stahl for a lecture entitled: “James Webb Space Telescope: The First Light Machine.” We have over 40 people attended this lecture.


The student chapter participated in Girls Science Day at Columbia University – collaborating with the Columbia chapter of Women in Science(WiSc) to present a demo/experiment called “JellO and Lasers”


We hosted Dr. Michael Larson for a lecture entitled: "Starting your Own technologγ Company: Dos, Don'ts and Doubts." More than 30 people attended with a raffle for a Khet game after the lecture.