Apr 9, 2020

Zemax Global Academic Program Plays A Role in the New Virtual Optics Classroom

Category: Company News

As the world continues to adjust to the COVID-19 Pandemic, more than 63 million teachers across 188 countries are reinventing how they teach.  According to UNESCO monitoring, these countries have implemented nationwide closures, impacting over 91.3% of world’s student population. Teachers are now managing virtual classrooms and a whole new way of remote learning for over 1.5 billion students, including those in the optics field.

More than 2000 Optical Engineering students and professors worldwide who are members of Zemax’s Global Academic Program are facing a similar challenge. In-person classes have been moved to remote teaching and learning for the balance of the school year. With many of the students and professors returning home, having the right software and applications on their personal computer is the key to remote teaching and learning.

How Zemax Global Academic Program aids in remote learning 

Zemax has a long history of providing free software and online technical resources to prepare students and educators for a successful career in optics.  In August 2019, Zemax introduced a new Global Academic Program which provides free individual licenses of Zemax OpticStudio to students and teachers who are enrolled in an optics related course. The program is designed to provide the same optical design tool that professionals use.

Optical design tools improve the virtual classroom

Professor Julie Bentley who teaches optics at the University of Rochester in upstate New York, now delivers live lectures via Zoom (vs the classroom). Her courses are successful partly due to students having the software they need to learn:  “Having the Zemax individual student software licenses has been extremely helpful as the students no longer have physical access to our Hopkins center computer lab.”

In China where the virus has crippled the country since December, Dr. Yuechun Shi at Nanjing University said “The QQLive has the powerful function to share my computer display screen with 50 of my students in real time. They can follow me step-by-step at home. I have also written a textbook that incorporates Zemax into the geometrical optical theory for our students.”

OpticStudio’s intuitive user interface includes easy-to-learn tools and wizards which enable efficient simulation and design of any optical system.  At the Institut d'Optique, located in Palaiseau, France, Professor Thierry Lépine is teaching an introductory Optics course to 19 graduate students. “Thanks to Zemax's Academic program, each of my students was able to install OpticStudio on their personal computer. I am extremely indebted to Zemax for making this possible. Thanks to all of you at Zemax, our students will be very well trained in optical design, even during the pandemic.” said Professor Lepine.

Enhance your remote learning programs

For more information on how your school or university can be a member of the Zemax Global Academic Program: Learn More.