Weekly Memo

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

As we welcome back our students and kick off yet another academic year, I would like to take this opportunity to share some exciting news.

I extend my welcome to Xi-Cheng Zhang who has recently been named director of the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics. He will officially assume the position on January 1, 2012. Previously, Xi-Cheng served as the director of the Center for Terahertz and acting head of the Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy Research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has received some 30 honors and awards during his career and has been awarded 26 U.S. patents. He has authored or co-authored 19 books, and more than 350 scientific papers.

Xi-Cheng succeeds Wayne Knox, who has taken on new responsibilities as associate dean of education and new initiatives. Xi-Cheng is an internationally recognized scientist in the field of optics who appreciates the great tradition of our institute, and we very much look forward to the scientific and administrative leadership that he will bring. He will undoubtedly build upon the great work of Wayne Knox, who has been instrumental in numerous initiatives.

I would also like to congratulate David Williams, the William G. Allyn Professor of Medical Optics and director of the Center for Visual Science for his appointment as Dean for Research in Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. Dave is one of the world’s leading experts on human vision and has pioneered new technologies that are improving the eyesight of people around the globe. He holds 10 patents and has authored more than 100 papers. Dave is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and recipient of the Friedenwald Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, among other honors.

Dave succeeds Paul Slattery, professor of physics, who has overseen research programs in Arts, Sciences, and Engineering since 1998. As dean, Dave will be responsible for helping faculty discover new opportunities for research collaboration and for funding. He looks forward to helping departments improve their own infrastructure for research and scholarship, establish new partnerships, and identify new funding opportunities.

I would finally like to announce that Ching Tang, the Doris Johns Cherry Professor of Chemical Engineering was recently named chair of the Chemical Engineering Department. Ching is the inventor of the organic light-emitting diode for which he won the Wolfe Prize in Chemistry this past spring. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Society for Information Display. He holds more than 70 U.S. patents and has published more than 70 papers, one of which – his paper on OLED technology, published in 1987 in Applied Physics Letters – has been cited by more scientists than any other paper in the history of the journal.

I am looking forward to this coming year and all the exciting things we can expect.


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean