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The Optics Institute of Southern California (OISC) was founded by Donn Silberman in 2003 with an aim to offer high quality optics education & outreach programs to students and the general public from varied backgrounds. The OISC offers students with good track records, ability and desire the opportunity to learn about optics and related sciences and they impact our daily lives. The OISC does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, physical disability, financial background, etc. On the other hand, The OISC offers some opportunities to deserving students from the underprivileged and financially challenged backgrounds. 

The OISC offers college level courses for technicians and beginning engineering students in introductory optics, lasers and fiber optics sciences. Staffed with highly-qualified and experienced faculty. The OISC enables and encourages active interaction between students and their teachers.

The OISC also cooperates closely with the Optical Society of Southern California (OSSC) and their Outreach Committee to provide K-12 and public optics demonstrations and presentations.

For more information about 
The OISC, please contact us.

The Optics Institute of Southern California was established in 2003 by Donn Silberman, an optical engineer with a passion and vision of providing integrated optics education & outreach programs to students in Southern California. His goal was and still is to build a pipeline of optics education that spans from K-12 through post graduate work and into industry.  With the help of a few like-minded people, Silberman setup The OISC, which gradually grew to become the focus of optics education and outreach it is today.

Initially, The OISC offered programs through the UC Irvine Center for Educational Partnership's Gifted Student Network and Think Together - an after school program based in Santa Ana. With continued interest among students and educators, however, The OISC grew to offer more and more areas of education and outreach.
Prior to founding the OISC, Silberman and other optics friends served on the Advisory Board for Irvine Valley College's Laser Electro-Optics Technology Program in the early to late 1990s.  Then, in the early 2000's there was a transition of those courses to the new Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) program that included optics fabrication courses.  It was during this time period and at this location that the OISC began growing and by the fall of 2007, when CACT and the OISC moved to a new campus called ATEP - Advanced Technology and Education Park, the OISC and CACT programs were in full swing.  However, in early 2008, more changes at ATEP and CACT lead to slow down of this growth and the OISC began the next transition of its newest optical engineering and instrument design programs to UC Irvine Extension.     
Other projects and programs along the way included the Annual Optricks Day Events at the Discovery Science Center, an Exhibit of the famous Michelson Speed of Light Experiment in October 2004 at the Irvine Civic Center and the Family Day Events at the UC Irvine Beall Center for Art + Technology.
You can visit our on-line photo gallery and see lots of photos of many of our past programs.

The OISC is today counted among some of the best-known centers of optics education and outreach in California and is geared to grow more areas with every passing year.

Mission  The Optics Institute of Southern California is dedicated to bringing a wide variety of optics education & outreach programs, together with the Optical Society of Southern California, to Southern California communities.  

The OISC, through its K-12 and public outreach activities, technician and engineering training and senior level optical design education programs:

  • Leads to new awareness of how optics affects peoples’ everyday lives;
  • Provides avenues of artistic expression using optics and related technologies;
  • Builds an optics educational pipeline from the youngest to the professional to support the community

 Optics is revolutionizing society from the arts and astronomy to energy to telecommunications.  New applications in medicine, entertainment, homeland security and food production use optics and related technologies to improve lives around the world.  Support of the OISC provides a leadership role in promoting and growing Southern California’s reputation for excellence in optical science and engineering.

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