The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

Optical Communications Pioneer Tingye Li to be Honored at OFC/NFOEC 2013


31 January 2013

Lyndsay Meyer

Optical Communications Pioneer Tingye Li to be Honored at OFC/NFOEC 2013

Tingye LiWASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2013—The organizers of the 2013 Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) have announced a special symposium in honor of Tingye Li to take place March 18 at the conference in Anaheim, Calif. The symposium, titled “A Brief History of Optical Communications: A Symposium in Memory of Tingye Li,” will feature presentations from Li’s professional colleagues, as well as tributes to his illustrious life and career.
Li, who passed away late last year, worked at AT&T Bell Labs for more than four decades before his retirement in 1998 and is renowned for his contributions to lightwave technology and optical fiber communications. He and his team at Bell Labs developed the world’s first (sparse channel) wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) system. The use of WDM and optical amplifiers changed the paradigm of network economics and is considered to be of revolutionary significance in the history of lightwave communications.  The memorial symposium will summarize the history of modern optical telecommunications with special reference to Li’s contributions in celebration of his life.  Speakers, who will be introduced by presider Alan Willner of the University of Southern California, will include:

  • Rod Alferness, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Joe Campbell, University of Virginia
  • Tom Koch, University of Arizona
  • Herwig Kogelnik, Bell Labs, Alcatel Lucent

“Tingye’s career spanned the entire history of modern optical telecommunications,” said symposium organizer Bob Jopson of Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent. “This symposium will give his colleagues, industry peers and all those who have learned from his incredible achievements an opportunity to come together and revisit history through the lens of Tingye’s work.”

In addition to Jopson, the symposium is being organized by Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent staff Andy Chraplyvy and Bob Tkach, and will be held Monday, March 18 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. in Ballroom C of the Anaheim Convention Center. 


For more than 35 years, the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) has been the premier destination for converging breakthrough research and innovation in telecommunications, optical networking, fiber optics and, recently, datacom and computing. Consistently ranked in the top 200 tradeshows in the United States, and named one of the Fastest Growing Trade Shows in 2012 by TSNN, OFC/NFOEC unites service providers, systems companies, enterprise customers, IT businesses, and component manufacturers, with researchers, engineers, and development teams from around the world. OFC/NFOEC includes dynamic business programming, an exposition of more than 550 companies, and cutting-edge peer-reviewed research that, combined, showcase the trends and pulse of the entire optical communications industry.
OFC/NFOEC is managed by the Optical Society (OSA) and co-sponsored by OSA, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/Communications Society (IEEE/ComSoc), and the IEEE Photonics Society. OFC/NFOEC 2013 takes place March 17 – 21 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. For more information, visit

Sponsored by: