UMass Amherst Alumnus Eric A. Swanson to Deliver Tang Lecture Oct. 16

AMHERST, Mass. – Alumnus Eric A. Swanson will give the 14th annual Tang Lecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on Wednesday, Oct. 16 in 1009 Campus Center at 4 p.m. Titled, “Startup Stories: Personal Observations and Other Comments,” the talk will be followed by a reception at 5 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Each year, the Tang Lecture brings leaders of engineering-based companies to the UMass Amherst campus to meet with students and faculty members and deliver a major address.

Swanson, who earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at UMass Amherst in 1982, is the director of Acacia Communication, Curata Incorporated, and NinePoint Medical. He was a co-recipient of the 1992 Rank Prize for contributions to opto-electronics. In 2012 he was a co-recipient of the $1.3-million António Champalimaud Vision Award. It is one of the world’s largest scientific and humanitarian prizes and the largest in visual research. It was given to Swanson for the discovery of optical coherence tomography, which plays a key role in the diagnosis and treatment of the most important blinding diseases of the industrialized world including macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

Swanson is a research affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a consultant at Draper Laboratory and an advisor in the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. In addition, he does a variety of volunteer activities, and is editor of Optical Coherence Tomography, a not-for profit website. Swanson is a co-founder or founding board member of five companies and is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is the author of more than 200 technical papers and conference presentations and holds 35 U.S. patents and numerous foreign patents.

In addition to his degree from UMass Amherst, Swanson earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from MIT.

The Shirley and Ting-wei Tang Endowment Lecture Series presents a major talk each year. Shirley Tang is a retired academic advisor for the United Asia Learning Resource Center. Ting-wei Tang, an emeritus professor, recently finished a 38-year career at UMass Amherst. An internationally recognized expert in numerical modeling of semiconductor devices, Ting-wei Tang was elected as a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 1999. He received the 2009 Distinguished Faculty Award from UMass Amherst.