Margherita Firenze awarded SPIE Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship

June 13, 2022

Margherita Adriana Firenze has been awarded a 2022 Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, for her potential contributions to the field of optics, photonics or related field.

Firenze is an incoming senior Electrical Engineering student at Columbia University (USA) and a member of the Structure Function Imaging Laboratory led by Professor Christine Hendon. Her research interests include developing image processing and deep learning tools for medical imaging. She is part of a project that aims to use optical coherence tomography (OCT) for rapid breast cancer biopsy evaluation. She has presented at the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting and coauthored a presentation at SPIE BiOS. “I am passionate about using optics and photonics to reduce healthcare costs and expand access. I plan to pursue graduate studies in medical imaging,” said Firenze.

In 2022, the Society is awarding $293,000 in education scholarships to 78 outstanding SPIE Student Members, based on their potential contribution to optics and photonics, or a related discipline. Award winning applicants were evaluated, selected and approved by the SPIE Scholarship Committee, Chaired by SPIE volunteer Kate Medicus.

Through 2021, SPIE has distributed over $6 million dollars in individual scholarships. This ambitious effort reflects the Society's commitment to education and to the next generation of optical scientists and engineers around the world.

To view other 2022 press releases as they become available go to the 2022 Scholarship Winners page or learn more about SPIE scholarships on

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, brings engineers, scientists, students, and business professionals together to advance light-based science and technology. The Society, founded in 1955, connects and engages with our global constituency through industry-leading conferences and exhibitions; publications of conference proceedings, books, and journals in the SPIE Digital Library; and career-building opportunities. Over the past five years, SPIE has contributed more than $22 million to the international optics community through our advocacy and support, including scholarships,
educational resources, travel grants, endowed gifts, and public-policy development.