Musings on optics, physics, astronomy, technology and life

Pat’s Clip File

Last edited April 1, 2019. (No fooling!)

My Most Recent Work

Here are my most recent feature articles for Optics & Photonics News (OPN) and its publisher, OSA – The Optical Society:

More of My Latest Work

During 2018, I did some archival-photo research for independent scholar Jeff Hecht in support of his book Lasers, Death Rays, and the Long, Strange Quest for the Ultimate Weapon (Prometheus Books, 2019).

I’ve served as moderator for eight C&EN BrandLab webinars conducted by the American Chemical Society:

Also for the American Chemical Society, I wrote an article, “Plumbing the Cell’s Depths with Fluorescence Nanoscopy,” for the Expo Insider, a guidebook distributed to all attendees of the Pittcon 2018 conference.

In 2017, for OSA – the Optical Society, I wrote several profiles of recently elevated OSA Fellows to highlight their diversity of experience.

Goodbye, Willie Gillis” — posted May 20, 2014

Q?rius at the Smithsonian

During 2013, I spent several months working in the Education and Outreach Department at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. The department was hard at work in the final stages of developing Q?rius, a new interactive learning space for ages 10 and up.

I wrote the explanatory materials for the geology collection within Q?rius. Here’s how it works: One area of the Q?rius laboratory is called the “collections wall,” filled with wide drawers. Inside the drawers are thousands of interesting-looking specimens, each inside a bar-coded box. Visitors can browse the collections, pick out specimens and scan the labels into a dedicated computer to reveal the identity of the object and more information about it. The specimens represent all seven research departments of the NMNH; I wrote about the rocks and minerals and the scientists who study them.

My brief essays don’t have my byline, but I can still tell you where to find them. Go to the Q?rius website and click on “EXPLORE collections” in the black strip at the bottom of the home page. Then click on “Rocks and Minerals.” There’s my stuff. Go ahead, explore!

Alternatively, you can just surf over to my handy-dandy summary of my Smithsonian experience.

Optics & Photonics News (OPN)

Feature articles (2005 to 2017)

Shorter articles and departments

  • Marketing Your Photonics Company in the 21st Century (February 2011; Optics Innovations department)
  • Finding the Right Graduate-Level Internship (December 2010; Career Focus department)
  • Venture Capital and Angel Funding: Making It Work in 2010 (September 2010; Optics Innovations department)
  • The Laser’s First Light: Trends and Highlights from May 1960 (May 2010 special issue)
  • Training Photonics Technicians (November 2009; Optics Innovations department)
  • Santec Corp.: One Niche at a Time (June 2008; Optics Innovations department)
  • OSA Past President Brings Lasers to Summer Camp (October 2005; OSA Today department)
  • OPN’s First Light: A Look Back at the Year OPN Was Born (July/August 2005)

In addition, I have written dozens of short news articles for the Newsroom (formerly known as Scatterings) column in just about every issue of OPN. For my most recent contributions — which are still in open-access mode — check out OPN’s home page.

For articles without links, I can provide PDF or paper clips to potential employers and editors.

NOW OFFLINE: From 2007 to 2011, I wrote most, though not all, of the posts in the OPN Blog. I sought a more casual tone in the blog posts than in my articles. I also contributed to the OPN “Bright Futures” career blog: Finding the Right Internship as a Grad Student (September 2010) and For Women Scientists, Career Advice from a Certified Genius (October 2010).

Government Computer News (GCN)

GCN is a newspaper-type publication covering how the U.S. federal government uses information technology. Hundreds of my GCN articles still exist on the Web, both in the publication’s deep archive and on various other websites. I’m in the process of grouping them according to several broad categories here. My apologies for any repetitiousness among the headlines.

Supercomputing (A.K.A. High-Performance Computing) and Its Scientific Applications

Other Applications of Information Technology and IT-Related Issues

Computers in Physics (CIP)

Computers in Physics, a bimonthly hybrid of magazine and journal, was once published by the American Institute of Physics. Its legacy home page now exists only in the Internet Archive. Look here (and scroll down for a bit) to see a listing of the articles I wrote for this hybrid magazine/journal. (I did quite a bit of behind-the-scenes editorial work, too.)

A Few Other Pieces Published Online

State of the Penguin (Linux Journal, April 2005)

SC98 Treats the Past as Prologue to Computing’s Future (Computing in Science & Engineering, March/April 1999 — abstract only)

Atomic Steps in Motion (Physical Review Focus, April 1999)


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