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This year’s annual meeting of the LEOS society will be held for the first time in Canada. While the precedence of holding the meeting outside the US has been recently set, there still is an opportunity to be seized by holding the meeting in Canada. There is an opportunity to increase the participation of the relevant Canadian community in LEOS society activities. My first task as the Associate Editor-Canada for this newsletter has been to review the status of the Canadian contribution to the LEOS membership. The most recent statistics show that Canada’s members constitute less than 0.5% of the total LEOS membership as opposed to a little over 50% for the US as can be seen in Fig. 1. This percentage is not consistent with the magnitude of activity in the field of electro-optics in Canada, where Canadian groups’ contribution to the LEOS publications has hovered around 6% in 2005 as shown in Fig. 2. In addition, people at Canadian institutions contributed between 2% to 4% of the papers compared with 50% or more from the US in LEOS meetings held in 2005. Within Canada, the majority of the activities in the field of electro-optics originate from eastern Canada in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Equally interesting work is contributed by people in western Canada in the regions located around British Columbia and Alberta.

 

Figure 1. Break up of LEOS membership in 2005


The LEOS annual meeting in Montreal to be held later in 2006 is therefore an excellent vehicle to further engage the Canadian community in the IEEE LEOS society. Numerous routes can be exploited to achieve this goal. One route, which I view as most practical, is to target some of the timely research topics in the symposia planned for LEOS 2006, which would also be of particular interest to researchers within the relevant Canadian community. This will encourage groups working in such topics to contribute papers in the meeting.

 

Figure 2. Break up of contribution in LEOS publications in 2005


In addition, the attendance from the US should potentially be larger than the corresponding attendance in Sydney. As the meeting is held in North America, funding for travel is likely to be less of an issue for people in the groups working in the US, where funding to attend conferences located outside of North America can be tricky. This provides hope to set a new record attendance of the annual meeting which has maintained reasonably stable attendance numbers particularly when it was held in Sydney, where the attendance exceeded 550 delegates.



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