Saturday, June 13, 2015

DOC Riga 2015 in hindsight

It is almost time to start preparing for the next conference but we have yet to release a review in English. Sorry to keep you waiting this long; if you are still interested: here is how “Developments in Optics and Communications 2015” went.

Participants of DOC Riga 2015 during the closing session.

In the beginning of April 2015 the international conference “Developments in Optics and Communications 2015” (DOC Riga 2015) was held in Riga for the 11th time. It gathered many brilliant young scientists from 8 different countries – Latvia, Poland, Denmark, Russia, Armenia, Germany, Italy and Georgia – to share their scientific works, insights and experiences in various fields related to optics: vision science, biophotonics, laser physics and spectroscopy.

For every subsection represented the attendees had an opportunity to hear a speech by an experienced scientist in the field; invited speakers featured scientists from Latvia as well as abroad including Prof. Dr. Pablo Artal from Spain and Prof. Dr. Lise Lyngsnes Randeberg from Norway.
Prof. Dr. Pablo Artal explained the novelties of vision science (“The human eye as a robust optical system”) while Prof. Dr. Lise Lyngsnes Randeberg explained the current progress with non-invasive diagnostics of human skin (“How do optical properties affect light transport in tissue, and which parameters do you need to care about in the lab”).

Prof. Dr. Pablo Artal presenting his speech.

The scientific work and presentation of every participant was evaluated by our jury. The best speech and poster holder received a monetary reward for their work. This year the best poster was presented by Andris Bērziņš from the University of Latvia for his poster “Magnetic field imaging using nitrogen vacancy (NV) centres in a diamond lattice”. The best speech was given by Tatevik Chalyan on “Performance optimisation of biosensors based on SiON microring resonators”.

Vitali Ghoghoberidze – a student from the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University – admits that even though this was his 8th conference “DOC Riga 2015”  was a great experience. To put it in his own words: “The conference harmoniously combined both informative and entertaining programs. (Riga is) the most lovely city in the Europe that I have ever seen.” At the moment his field of research is investigation of nano-structures with an emphasis on optical lithography.

Poster session. From the left: Tatevik Chalyan and Vitali Ghoghoberidze.

Tatevik Chalyan (first year doctoral researcher at the University of Trento, Italy), too, told us about impressions during her stay in Riga. This was not Tateviks first experience with international conferences, she has not only participated in many but also has had the experience of an organizer. She complimented the organizing team by saying: “Usually in Armenia I am one of the organizers of local and international conferences. (..) I can say, that DOC was very well organized, (..) I liked your team-work.” When asked about the general atmosphere of the conference, Tatevik told us that she had met a lot of nice people and made new friends in Riga. We also wanted to know why she decided to pick optics as her field of research. To this Tatevik replied by saying that she started out studying nonlinear optics and it seemed very enticing. She went on to write her Master’s thesis on wave propagation in nonlinear and dispersive mediums. However, currently she works on topics related to bio-sensing.
As mentioned before, Tatevik received the award for the best speech. She is very thankful for this and admits that it has made her feel like her work is really appreciated: “I want to acknowledge my supervisor professor Lorenzo Pavesi, who gave me a chance to do my PhD in this very interesting and actually new scientific field, my colleagues from the UniTn Romain Guider and specially Davide Gandolfi, who teaches me to work in this field that is new for me and helps with integrated silicon photonics.”

As well as attending the many talks and poster sessions, participants had the opportunity to spend time with fellow scientists in an informal atmosphere – during the Welcome Party, orienteering in Old Riga and the Conference Afterparty.

We would like to thank members of the SPIE and OSA student chapters of the University of Latvia for all the hard work, “Young Minds” section and “OPTEK” for their financial support, “Latvian American Eye Center” and Jurita Kruma for providing interesting lectures.

We hope to see you in “DOC Riga 2016”!

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