LASER: A Project for Student Education and Professional Growth Beyond the Classroom

Jonathan S. Arney
Center for Imaging Science
Rochester Institute of Technology


You know a student project is making progress when the students involved are enthusiastic, dedicated, and have broad smiles on their faces. This has been the result for the LASER project, an emerging new initiative at the Center for Imaging Science. LASER is an acronym for Laboratory and Student Educational Resources and is an organization of paid undergraduate students who work with faculty to develop educational experiments, demonstrations, and projects involving imaging science. The experiments are meant to provide tools for teachers in grades K-12 to help them meet newly emerging standards for teaching science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET).

There are two strategic goals for the LASER project. The first is to increase enrollment in the Imaging Science program at RIT. By incorporating imaging science and technology as teaching tools in K-12, we hope to expand popular awareness of Imaging Science and Technology as a profession and an academic discipline. This in turn is expected to increase the number of high school seniors and teachers who consider Imaging Science as a potential career option.

The second strategic goal of the LASER program is to provide meaningful opportunities for professional learning outside the traditional classroom environment. In addition to providing learning experiences and opportunities to apply what is learned in the classroom, many of our students have demonstrated significant growth in their professionalism, improved performance in traditional classroom work, and a dedication to their department and their professional peers. Moreover, by paying students to serve with the LASER organization, many students are freed from time consuming service jobs elsewhere on campus.

About the Speaker

Jonathan Arney is an associate professor at the Center for Imaging Science at Rochester Institute of Technology. In 1968 he received his BS degree from Wake Forest College. After two years of military service, he entered the graduate program in chemistry at the University of North Carolina and was awarded the PhD in 1975. Following a year of postdoctoral study with Jerone Berson at Yale, he joined the Mellon Institute of Research at Carnage Mellon University. As a Research Fellow at Mellon, he worked in the Center for Art Materials and published original research on the chemical and physical mechanisms of aging in organic materials used by artists and art conservators. He became involved in imaging science when he joined the research staff of Mead Corporation in 1981 where he participated in a team developing a color copying process based on photopolymerization chemistry. While at Mead, he authored several papers and patents on photopolymer imaging. In 1991, he joined the Center for Imaging Science and is involved in research on image quality, image microstructure, and the interaction of light with paper and inks. He has published recent work on the optical theories of halftone color reproduction.

Jonathan serves as the faculty advisor for the RIT Amateur Radio Club, call sign K2GXT. He is also the faculty advisors to the RIT Student Chapter of Society for Imaging Science and technology (IS&T), an international professional organization for Imaging Science. Jonathan was given the IS&T Journal Award (Science) in 1990, the IS&T Service Award in 1995, and the Raymond C. Bowman Award in 1996 for contributions to education in the field of Photographic and Imaging Science.

Colloquia Series page.