Professor Aydogan Ozcan’s grad students, Yichen Wu and Zach Ballard, have both been awarded scholarships by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

Yichen Wu has been awarded the 2018 John Kiel Scholarship for his potential contributions to the field of optics and optical engineering.

Wu is a PhD candidate at the Bio-Photonics Lab led by Prof. Aydogan Ozcan in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department here at UCLA. His research focuses on combining computational algorithms with optics to build novel imaging and sensing tools, and their applications in biomedical diagnosis and air quality monitoring. He has authored/co-authored over 10 journal articles and over 10 conference proceedings. He is a winner of the 2016 Wireless Innovation Project Competition by Vodafone Americas Foundation. Wu is also the president of the OSA and SPIE student chapter at UCLA. He has organized and/or participated in over 20 outreach and volunteering events, sharing knowledge and attracting the public’s interest in optics.

Zach Ballard has been awarded a 2018 Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship for his potential contributions to the field of optics, photonics or related field.

Ballard is a PhD candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering at UCLA, working under the guidance of Prof. Aydogan Ozcan and Prof. Asad Madni.  His work focuses on computational sensing and optical sensing for creating practical point-of-care systems for global health applications. “I am passionate about outreach, working with the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) Outreach Program and serving as an HHMI mentor in the HHMI Undergraduate Research Program,” said Ballard.

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2017, SPIE provided more than $4 million in support of education and outreach programs.

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