The registrations were from 9:30 to 10:00 am. The conference started at 10 am with the opening ceremony by the organizing chapter which included introduction to the OSA chapter and Armenia. Then it was the chapter management session which had talks by Terence Rooney – Students and early-career professional’s manager, OSA, USA on “A brief history of IONS and OSA” and Tatevik Chalyan – University of Trento, Italy on “Successful management of student grants”. Then there was a coffee break and after that the plenary session began. The first lecture was by Yaseera Ismail – Invited speaker from OSA, University of KwaZulu Nutal, South Africa on “Quantum Technology for the 4th Industrial Revolution”. She spoke about different aspects of Quantum technologies and how Quantum Computing was used for secure data transfer during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Followed by her was a lecture by Gregory Quarles – Invited speaker from OSA, OSA staff member, USA on “Transparent Polycristaline Materials: From Nanopowder Science to Next Generation Devices”, were he told about the use of ceramic to create crystals for Laser. Then Carlos Lopez-Mariscal – Invited speaker from OSA, Underwater Photonics, Mexico spoke on “Tailored vector polarization states of light” which was used by him to increase the efficiency of under-water communication. We had the lunch at YSU canteen and after that it was time for the student oral presentation. The presentation had many topics like graphene based biosensor, optical biosensor to detect Alfa-toxin etc. This ended at around 6pm after which we had dinner at a traditional Armenian restaurant which served various kinds of food from meat to bread, wine, juices etc. After that we went around the city. We visited the Republic Square which is the center of the Yerevan city. It had all the government buildings and the main center of attraction was the musical fountain. It was really a great experience. Then we walked through the Northern Avenue, which is the shopping district of Yerevan. Finally, we reached Cascade which is a public monument on the side of the hill. It had hell lot of stairs and when u reach the top, the view of the Yerevan city has no words to describe. We saw the Mother Armenia monument from there. The city has a great night life and is one of the safest cities to spend a wonderful evening with friends and family. I reached the guest house at 1:45 am. It was a really good day.
The plenary session of second day (WHICH I DIDN’T ATTEND) had lectures by Anna Qotanjyan – Yerevan State University, Armenia on “Surface electromagnetic waves: basic properties, generation” and Hrayr Azizbekyan – Institute for Physical Research, NAS of Armenia on “Optical Vector Magnetometry Based on Nonlinear Hanle Effect in Rubidium Vapor”. Then it was the professional development session which had Carlos Lopez-Mariscal – Invited speaker from OSA, Underwater Photonics, Mexico speaking on “Why professional networking matters” and Yaseera Ismail – Invited speaker from OSA, University of KwaZulu-Nutal, South Africa speaking on “Shaping your career: Be a leader”. After him Gregory Quarles – Invited speaker from OSA, OSA staff member, USA showed “Hot Topics in Optics and Photonics in 2018” where he tried to explain all the recent and future fields to work on and could be on in future. The conference also had Viktor Lysiuk – Invited speaker from OSA, V. Lashkaryov Institute of Semiconductor Physics, NAS of Ukraine speaking on “SPR sensor on plastic substrate: increasing sensitivity vs disc format”. As the conference was jointly organised by the YSU OSA and SPIE chapter, it had Juan Campos – Invited lecturer from SPIE, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain speaking on “Characterisation of Liquid Crystal Devices”. His lecture was divide into two parts with one part on second and the other part on third day. Then it was lunch and followed by that it was the poster session. They had around 12 to 13 posters including on chapter activity. After the poster session, we had dinner at the same Armenian restaurant but with a different main course.
This day conference started with the plenary talk by Juan Campos – Invited lecturer from SPIE, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain speaking on “Characterisation of Liquid Crystal Devices” which was the part two of his lecture. Then it was the time for the student oral presentation which has talk from ultrafast lasers to improving the ability of head mounted displays through optical design optimization. With this session, the lecture of the conference came to an end and after lunch, we headed to the Byurakan Observatory at the outskirts of Yerevan. It was one of the main observatory of USSR and had many credits for the discover of many astronomical phenomenon.Byurakan Observatory’s main telescope is a 2.6 m cassegrain reflector, along with a 1 and .5 m Schmidt camera as well as other smaller telescopes. We went inside the 2 meter telescope and saw the inside. Then we moved to see the Armenian Genocide memorial. The history behind the genocide was that during the Second World War, Turkey killed about a million of Armenian and never acknowledged the fact. So the memorial was built to pay homage to the victims. The entrance of the memorial had a garden where all the head of countries which this genocide, plants a tree. The tree never shades its leaf and signifies the continuous prosperity of Armenia. The memorial has two parts. The 44-meter stele symbolizes the national rebirth of Armenians and Armenia is attending new heights. The twelve slabs are positioned in a circle, representing the twelve provinces that suffered the maximum loss during the genocide. In the centre of the circle, at a depth of 1.5 meters, there is an eternal flame dedicated to the 1.5 million people killed during the Armenian Genocide.
It was the social day and we started early as 8 am. We reached Khor Virap in the Ararat plain oversees the Ararat Mountain. It is famous because Gregory “the illuminator” was kept as prisoner here. We went down to the dungeon where he was kept. Then we went to a red wine making factory. The guide explained about how red and rose wines are made and the entire process. He also told us about the history of that locality with wine making and about the relics of wine making found in the caves nearby. Then we went to a 14th century church and then we headed for lunch. At lunch we saw the making of Lavas, a traditional Armenian bread and had a great local Armenian lunch with fish and chicken. Then we returned back to city, took group picture and it ended the conference.