Alexandra Boltasseva, Assistant Professor

Group Outreach Activities

To get a sense of what we are doing you could watch a short video made up by P. West - a member of our research group.

I also recommend a video made by L. Alekseev - a former Purdue student who worked with my colleague Prof. E. Narimanov.

NanoDays: NanoDays is a nationwide festival of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering and its potential impact on the future. NanoDays engages people of all ages in learning about this emerging field of science, which holds the promise of developing revolutionary materials and technologies. Students in our group have volunteered, coordinated, and participated in NanoDays every year (since 2009). This year (2012), our group hosted a special "optics" table, on which we demonstrated polarization, liquid crystals, and diffraction patterns to K-12 students and teachers.

Nanotechnology Student Advisory Council (NSAC): NSAC is a graduate student council at Purdue, which promotes collaboration, enhances research awareness, and facilitates communication among faculty, staff, and students. Members plan regular social events, host lab open houses, and collaborate with the staff to organize the Equipment & Processes in The Birck Nanotechnology Center. This group also has student volunteers that serve on the Policies and Procedures Committee for Birck Nanotechnology Center. One of our students (Paul West) serves on the NSAC Professional Development Committee, and as a student correspondent.

Birck Nanotechnology Ambassador: Ten of the top Purdue University Graduate students at the Birck Nanotechnology Center are selected as "Ambassadors". These student researchers assist with Birck and Discovery Park outreach and engagements efforts, including tours, special events, presentations, and research conferences. One of our students (Gururaj Naik) currently serves as a Birck Nanotechnology Ambassador.

Optical Society of America (OSA) Student Chapter: The OSA Chapter at Purdue University is a student organization, which promotes Optics and related technologies to various groups at Purdue University. Activities involve meetings with OSA members, team-building activities, seminars, and lecture series by renowned scientists in the field of optics. Members of our group founded this student chapter, and our students currently hold the chairs of Treasurer, and two officer positions.

K-12 Science Talk (future): One new activity our OSA student chapter plans on initiating in the Fall of 2012 is visiting K-12 schools to give a brief lecture and demonstration for the students. This science talk will focus on themes related to optics, and will include topics such as waves and polarization.

YouTube Video: In order to introduce our research to an audience with little-to-no experience with optics or nanotechnology, one of our students has made a "YouTube" video explaining some of our research topics. Topics explained in the video include metamaterials with a negative refractive index, super-resolution microscopes, invisibility cloaks, and optical black holes. The video can be found here.

Outreach Articles: Our group has participated in a variety of outreach journal articles written for an audience without a strong background in optics. These articles include: "Plasmonics and Metamaterials: Looking Beyond Gold & Silver", SPIE Newsroom, 2012 "Transformation Optics Bends all the Rules", Photonics Spectra, 2011 "Putting More Than Glass in the Toolbox" Photonics Spectra, 2012.

These oureach activities involve not only the members of the group led by Prof. A. Boltasseva, but, more widely, the members of the Photonics and Spectroscopy Group at Birck Nanotechnology Center.

Research Goes to School
The Research Goes to School Program (Purdue Discovery Learning Research Center) is a five-year program funded by the National Science Foundation. Each year-long cycle includes the participation of in-service teachers with Noyce Scholars and Woodrow Wilson Fellows (Stem Goes Rural students) at a two-week summer workshop to provide education about advanced research in areas such as nanotechnology. Prof. A. Boltasseva participated in this Program as a lecturer in 2014.