University of Rochester

Rochester Scientist Elected a Director of Optical Society

January 26, 1996

David Williams, director of the Center for Visual Science at the University of Rochester, has been elected to the board of directors of the Optical Society of America (OSA). Williams will serve for three years.

Williams, professor of brain and cognitive sciences as well as optics, is known around the world for his studies of the human visual system. He and his students recently developed a unique system to snap the best photos yet of the living human retina, work that may one day lead to better diagnosis and treatment of eye disease.

Williams graduated from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and completed his graduate work at the University of California at San Diego. There his measurements showed that a person can see a flash of light when as few as 10 photons, or particles of light, stimulate a single photoreceptor in the retina. After post-doctoral research at Bell Laboratories, Williams joined the University in 1981. He has lectured widely on human vision and has helped organize an OSA Educator's Day for children in the Rochester area.

Williams' colleagues on the OSA board include Susan Houde- Walter, associate professor at the University's Institute of Optics. Duncan Moore, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, is the current OSA president. tr Note to editors: Williams lives in Fairport.