One of the student groups I’m involved in at the University of Texas is the Biomedical Optics Graduate Organization (BOGO). We’ve recently had some changes in the leadership and I’m now the Treasurer for the group. One of the tasks I decided to undertake was an updated website that keeps better track of our upcoming events as well as helping members announce their publications and achievements. Unfortunately the webspace we’re provided by UT is very limited and pretty much can only allow for static webpages (sadly cannot use WordPress). I spent a few hours throwing together the new design and making it as easy as possible for future updating of content. Fortunately PHP is available so some of the more frustrating things to update (i.e. the list of members displayed in a table) can be automatically generated from a list of the users. I’ve also opted to use Google Calendar and Google Drive to provide functionality on the website in the form of our future events list and contact form. We’ve had some trouble in the past with incoming emails getting lost in our mailing list, so hopefully the new contact options will help alleviate that.
I spent my entire Saturday helping out at Explore UT as part of a Biomedical Optics Graduate Organization (BOGO) outreach event. We held three forty-minute-long sessions with about thirty kids (8-11 years old) and taught them about optics and the properties of light. Thanks to some incredible funding from our backing organizations (OSA and SPIE), we were able to provide the kids with numerous hands-on, take-home demos including polarizers, diffraction gratings, UV color-changing beads, and a telescope. (more…)