The New England Section of the Optical Society of America (NES/OSA) is a regional optical society affiliated with the Optical Society of America. Its membership is composed of technical professionals interested in the advancement of optics and related fields, and is drawn from industries, universities, medical facilities and other groups involved in the design, manufacture and use of optical products, and in research on optical topics. The aim of the society is to disseminate knowledge of optics and to promote the mutual interest of workers, researchers, teachers and students in the field. It also promotes social interchange between workers in the field through its monthly dinner meetings. Affiliation with the Optical Society of America opens additional channels for information flow, and gives access to national speakers.
Meetings are generally held on the third Thursday evening of each month from September through May, excluding December. The meeting consists of a social hour and dinner, for which there is a nominal fee, and a technical presentation, which may be attended free of charge. At least one of the meetings is held jointly with other local or national technical societies. At least once every other year, one meeting, usually in April or May, is expanded into a mini-symposium on a special topic. This "Conversazione" starts after lunch and features a series of invited local and national speakers culminating with a banquet and product exhibit.
The regular monthly meetings are usually held at the Best Western TLC Hotel on Totten Pond Road in Waltham, Massachusetts. The location of the Conversazione varies from year to year. We occasionally organize plant tours in place of the usual speaker, and we occasionally hold our meetings away from the Boston metropolitan area.
In addition to meetings, the NES/OSA provides grants to local high school science teachers each year for the purpose of funding optics projects in the classroom. This program is intended to promote education in the field of optics as well as to support our local high schools. This is a part of our effort to promote interest in optics among high school and college students in New England. We also maintain an optics demonstration kit which is available for use in presentations by members to local high school and elementary school science groups. We encourage members to participate in this program as a means of making students aware of optics at a younger age.
The NES/OSA is governed by an executive council consisting of a President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Immediate Past President, and four councilors. New members of the executive council are elected each May to serve the following year. By tradition, our chief officer is elected a full year in advance, serving in successive years as President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President to insure continuity.
The NES/OSA executive council meets frequently, usually on the first Thursday of the month to review current programs and to explore other ways of promoting optics. We welcome suggestions from members for changes or additions to currently planned activities.
Other officers of the society are appointed by the president and approved by the executive council. These include members of the program committee, membership committee, scholarship committee, Conversazione committee, and nomination committee.
The NES/OSA has four levels of membership: Corporate Sponsors, Professional Sponsors, Individual Members, and Student Members. The current annual membership dues for these membership categories are given below:
Current members are billed each fall. New members are billed upon joining the society. New members joining in the last three months of the membership year may be billed at a reduced rate, at the discretion of the executive council.
Dues paid by members go to pay mailing costs for the monthly notices, to subsidize dinners for members, to support the lecture kit, and to defray costs associated with the speakers and equipment for each meeting. Our science teacher grants are funded by corporate and professional sponsorships.