SPIE Spotlights e-book series launches, offering short tutorials in optics and photonics

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SPIE Spotlights, a new peer-reviewed e-book series from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has launched with tutorials on image resolution, fiber optics, and logistics of setting up a laser lab. The new series fills a gap between longer works and single papers, and provides an accessible resource for professionals throughout the field.

It was hard for me to contain my excitement over this idea.

A new peer-reviewed e-book series launched this spring by not-for-profit publisher SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has its topic-expert editors excited.

SPIE, long-time publisher of refereed journals, conference proceedings, handbooks, tutorial texts, and reference books on topics in light-based technologies, had received several proposals from potential authors for projects that did not fit any of its existing models. The ideas were for tutorials of between approximately 20 and 50 pages, each summarizing a broad topic or highlighting a specific niche in optical science and technology, on subjects that did not seem to fit into a typical journal.

Robert Fiete, chief technologist and director of R&D at Exelis Geospatial Systems, was one of those authors. His idea was for a short tutorial on image resolution. When SPIE Press manager Tim Lamkins approached Fiete with the idea of a digitally published series called SPIE Spotlights ― and the opportunity to serve as Series Editor ― Fiete jumped at the chance. “It was hard for me to contain my excitement over this idea,” he said.

Fiete said the topic occurred to him when he realized how often he found himself correcting the misapprehension of devotees of TV crime procedural shows, explaining “that the incredible imaging technologies portrayed in Hollywood productions are simply the products of imaginative writers.”

A particular example, he said, is the zoom-and-enhance capability that ― only in Hollywood ― allows a crime lab technician to magnify a digital image on a computer to an incredible level of detail necessary to break the case.

Fiete’s book on image resolution is one of three now published. The others are a “how-to” by laser safety consultant Ken Barat on setting up a laser lab, and an overview on optical fiber sensing by Minghong Yang, Dongwen Lee, and Yu-Tang Dai of the Wuhan University of Technology.

The team of editorial board members identified by Fiete are actively soliciting books in six topical areas:

  •     Rick Kendrick (Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center): aerospace and defense technologies
  •     Paul Lane (U.S. Naval Research Lab): energy and the environment
  •     Stefan Preble (Rochester Institute of Technology): semiconductor technology
  •     Majid Rabbani (Eastman Kodak Co.): electronic imaging and signal processing
  •     Brian Sorg (U.S. National Cancer Institute): biomedical optics and medical imaging
  •     Rich Youngworth (Riyo LLC): optical design and engineering.

For readers, SPIE Spotlights provide a valuable new resource in a convenient format, Lamkins said.

For authors, the series provides a new way to share one’s expertise and enhance professional stature.

Spotlights tutorials are peer reviewed before publication and authors receive royalties, as with other books published by SPIE.

E-books in the Spotlights series are available for mobile devices and as downloadable PDFs. They are also accessible to institutional users via the SPIE Digital Library.

More information – including how to become a Spotlights author -- is at http://www.spie.org/spotlights.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided more than $4 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2014.http://www.spie.org

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Amy Nelson, Public Relations Manager
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