Another Wavelength: Maryam Tanbal

    Date Posted: 
    Tuesday, October 25, 2016

    OSC Student Spotlight - Maryam Tanbal - Another Wavelength

    After a brief hiatus, we're happy to bring back our student spotlight series, Another Wavelength. This month, we meet Maryam Tanbal, a first-year graduate student in the Optical Sciences M.S. program, and one of the recipients of a NSF Bridge to the Doctorate Program fellowship.

    Where are you from?

    Tucson born and raised! 

    What brought you to study optics?

    I selected Optical Engineering as an undergrad because I was curious as to what the field even entailed. I didn't have too much exposure to optics in high school and wanted to learn more about this engineering field I'd never heard of, so I took the chance. Thankfully, it was a good match.  

    Who is your hero in science?

    My hero in science in Maria Goeppert-Mayer, not only for her work but for the attitude she had towards her research. There's a photo of her in the hallway near the undergrad labs which has a quote regarding winning a Nobel Prize. It says "Winning the prize wasn't half as exciting as doing the work itself." I greatly admire her mindset regarding her work and that, in research, attitude is most of the battle. (Knowledge helps too, I guess.) 

    Describe your research in 20 words or fewer.

    I'm currently working with Dr. Sasian to learn the art of Lens Design.

    Describe your research in 200 words or fewer.

    My lens design research is currently in its early stages. However, during undergrad I did research on using water as an optical limiter during laser pulse measurements. The goal was to attenuate the input beam power by placing a cuvette of water in front of the detector. The hypothesis was that the incident power would ionize the water to generate a plasma which would scatter/reflect/absorb the incident energy and attenuate the amount of light that hit the detector. Below is a picture of the setup. 

    Maryam Tanbal - Lens Design Research

    Name three neat facts about you.

    1. I used to barrel race and compete in rodeos when I was in middle school.
    2. I'm a big fan of old school jazz (Artie Shaw, Stan Kenton, Horace Silver, and Charlie Parker usually get me through late homework nights).
    3. I'm a low key flower/bug enthusiast.