AO Summer School 2011
Invited Speakers &
Administrator Biographies

(More Bios. coming soon)


S. Mark Ammons
S. Mark Ammons is a Lawrence Postdoctoral Fellow at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Mark researches novel techniques in astronomical adaptive optics that will enable diffraction-limited, wide-field imaging and spectroscopy at visible wavelengths on large telescopes. He has used laboratory testbeds and experimental AO systems on small telescopes to study gateway technologies in astronomical AO, including high-order Laser Tomography. He also uses the Hubble Space Telescope and other instrumentation to study the energetics of supermassive black hole accretion and feedback in distant galaxies. Mark has been the recent recipient of several research fellowships, including the NASA Hubble Fellowship.


baumanBrian Bauman
Brian Bauman is an Optical Engineer for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and is affiliated with the Center for Adaptive Optics and the Laboratory for Adaptive Optics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His interests include astronomical and vision science adaptive optics instruments, lenslet-based pyramid wavefront sensors, and dynamic refocusing in laser guide star wavefront sensors. He is currently working on AO systems for the Thirty Meter Telescope; the Gemini Planet Imager, and ViLLaGEs, the advanced AO concept demonstrator on the Nickel 1-meter telescope at Lick Observatory. Projects have included the Keck Next Generation Adaptive Optics System, the Lick AO System on the Shane 3-meter telescope; and various vision science AO systems. He earned his Ph.D. in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona.


Matthew Britton
Dr. Matthew Britton is a Senior Research Scientist at the Optical Sciences Company in Anaheim, CA. His interests include modeling and simulation of astronomical adaptive optics systems, and he is the author of Arroyo adaptive optics simulation library. He has conducted experiments in the use of adaptive optics for wide-field astronomical measurements using supplemental information from turbulence monitors. He has also participated in design studies of adaptive optics systems for TMT, Keck, the Hale 5m, and for small-aperture, robotic telescopes. Most recently he has been developing real-time control systems for use in adaptive optics. He received his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1997.


dawsonJay Dawson
Dr. Jay W. Dawson performs R&D in fiber lasers for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). He got his Ph.D. in single frequency fiber lasers at California Institute of Technology in 1993. He has worked in industry at 3M Co. and Cidra Corporation on products that included fiber sensors, fiber lasers and amplifiers and fiber Bragg gratings. Dr. Dawson has been with LLNL since 2002 working in fiber laser front ends for large, high energy glass lasers, fiber lasers for laser guided adaptive optics for astronomical telescopes and fiber laser power scaling and limits.


FitzgeraldMichael Fitzgerald
Michael Fitzgerald is an Assistant Professor in the Infrared Laboratory of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCLA.  His interests range from astronomical instrumentation, including coronagraphy and adaptive optics, to  observational study of planet formation.  In particular, he is interested in the application of high-contrast techniques to the direct imaging of extrasolar planets and circumstellar debris disks. In conjunction, he is also interested in the application of signal  processing techniques to both adaptive optics systems and analysis of high-contrast imaging data.


Donald Gavel
Donald Gavel is Director of the Laboratory for Adaptive Optics at UCO/Lick Observatory, UC Santa Cruz and is an Associate Director of the Center for Adaptive Optics, leading the theme area for development of adaptive optics on large astronomical telescopes. He is actively involved on design teams for the Gemini Planet Imager, Thirty Meter Telescope, and Keck Next Generation Adaptive Optics projects.  Dr. Gavel spent a number of years developing the Lick Observatory Laser Guidestar Adaptive Optics system and participated in the development of the Keck Laser Guidestar System. Prior to his appointment at UCO/Lick, he worked in the adaptive optics group at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory developing AO systems for horizontal path coherent imaging and communications and on various AO systems for vision science application.


Olivier Guyon
Olivier Guyon graduated from University of Paris 6 in 2002 (PhD research topic: wide field interferometry), and then joined Subaru Telescope's Adaptive Optics group. He now shares his time between Subaru Telescope and the University of Arizona, where he is associate professor in the Center for Astronomical Adaptive Optics. His research interests include quasar host galaxies and exoplanets.  Guyon has been developing new concepts for wavefront control and coronagraphy to enable direct imaging of exoplanets and disks from ground-based and space telescopes. He is now leading a small team to build a coronagraphic extreme-AO system for the Subaru Telescope, and also works with NASA scientists and engineers to plan a future space-based exoplanet imaging mission.


kubbyJoel Kubby
Joel Kubby is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering in the Baskin School of Engineering at the University of California at Santa Cruz. His research is in the area of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) with applications in Optics, Fluidics and Bio-MEMS. Prior to joining the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2005, he was an Area Manager with Xerox Wilson Center for Research and Technology and a Member of Technical Staff in the Xerox Webster Research Center in Rochester New York (1987-2005). Prior to Xerox he was at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill New Jersey working in the area of Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM). He has over 60 patents 40 journal publications and a very cute niece named Marley. He is the co-chair of the SPIE Silicon Photonics conference and the SPIE conference on Adaptive Optics.


Claire Max
Dr. Claire Max is a Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she directs the Center for Adaptive Optics. She is Project Scientist for the Keck Observatory’s Next Generation Adaptive Optics system, and was Principal Investigator for the Observatory’s laser guide star system. Dr. Max graduated from Radcliffe College and Princeton University.  She was a Physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for many years, where she was founding director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at LLNL. Dr. Max's research interests include adaptive optics, laser guide stars, and their use for studies of active galactic nuclei – galaxies that have accreting black holes in their cores. Dr. Max was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2008. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was awarded the Ernest O. Lawrence Award in Physics by the US Department of Energy in 2004 and the Madison Medal by Princeton University in 2009.


millerDon Miller
Donald Miller received his Bachelor of Science degree in applied physics from Xavier University in 1988. He pursued his doctorate at The Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester, where much of his thesis was conducted in the Center for Visual Science. He continued on at the Center for Visual Science as a postdoctorate and explored the use of adaptive optics (AO) for correction of ocular aberrations for retinal imaging and vision applications. From 1996 to 1998 he was a National Research Council Research Associate in the Electro-Optics Sensor Technology Branch at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio where he worked on laser radar systems. He joined the faculty at Indiana University School of Optometry in 1998 and is currently at the rand of Associate Professor.


andrewAndrew Norton
Andrew Norton is a Ph.D. graduate student in Electrical Engineering at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is working at the Laboratory for Adaptive Optics (LAO) investigating the potential use of a Micro-Electrical-Mechanical System (MEMS) Deformable Mirrors (DM) to pre-correct a laser guidestar for laser-uplink AO applications. Andrew has worked on characterizing MEMS DMs for the Gemini Planet Imager system and NASA’s exoplanet imaging missions. Other research interests include the MEMS-based Villages AO system, the real-time controller for the Shane 3-meter AO upgrade, and designing an AO system for a segmented space-based telescope. Andrew has taught the laboratory course for the CfAO's Summer School for the past 2 years. He has also designed and built adaptive optics demonstrators for educating college and graduate students in engineering and AO applications.


Lisa Poyneer
Dr. Lisa Poyneer is an engineer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, specializing in signal processing for adaptive optics (AO). She has developed several new techniques that enable high-performance AO, including the spatially filtered wavefront sensor, Fourier transform wavefront reconstruction and optimized-gain and predictive Fourier wavefront control algorithms. Lisa earned the SB and M.Eng in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT and is a Rhodes Scholar. She completed the Ph.D. at UC Davis concurrently with her research position at Livermore Lab, winning the 2008 Marr Prize for the most distinguished doctoral dissertation at the university.


roordaAustin Roorda
Austin Roorda received his Ph.D. in Vision Science/Physics from the University of Waterloo, Canada in 1996. In a following postdoctoral appointment at the University of Rochester, he used the world's first adaptive optics ophthalmoscope to measure the properties of human photoreceptors, which included mapping the trichromatic cone mosaic. From 1998 to 2004, he was at the University of Houston College of Optometry, where he designed and built the Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope (AOSLO). AOSLO systems have since been replicated in many labs and he’s licensed his patent to a company that is currently developing a commercial version of the AOSLO. He is on the executive committee of the CfAO and holds grants from NIH and Foundation Fighting Blindness. He is the recipient of two major awards: the Borish Outstanding Young Researcher Award (American Academy of Optometry) and the Excellence in Research and Scholarship Award (University of Houston). Since January 2005, he’s been at the UC Berkeley School of Optometry where he is the current chair of the Vision Science Graduate Group. His research involves clinical applications for microscopic retinal imaging as well as basic investigations of structure and function of the visual system.


Robert Zawadzki
Robert J. Zawadzki is an assistant professional researcher at the department of Ophthalmology & Vision Science, UC Davis. His main research interests have been on development of new instrumentation for high-resolution in vivo retina imaging (allowing visualization of individual cellular structures). This includes, but is not limited to, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Scanning Laser Opthalmoscopy (SLO), Adaptive Optics (AO) and combinations of all the above. Currently, Dr. Zawadzki is also involved in studying eye aging process as well as various types of retinal diseases by using these novel instruments to enhance the understanding of its mechanisms.