The IEEE Summer Topicals Meeting Series serves as an international forum to facilitate information exchange between various technical communities interested in rapidly growing areas of research and technology or “Hot Topics” related to the general field of Photonics. Being a testing ground for the society’s annual meeting, the summer topicals are aimed at providing a chance of exploring research domains not yet represented at the IEEE Photonics Conference.
Historically, the conference hosts 4-7 individual topics and attracts 200 people with 30-50 participants attending each topic. This intimate environment of a small conference provides the opportunity to learn about emerging fields and to interact with the research and technology leaders. At the same time, the smaller meeting size provides the flexibility required for the organizers to pilot unique ideas to improve how the conference is run. In the past, these included workshops/discussion sections that boosted interaction between attendees, theme inspired social events to network individuals, ideas to involve local student chapters, and passive programming such as mentor match to engage students.