International Year of Light Celebration in Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico Photonics Institute (PRPI) from Universidad Metropolitana, in partnership with the Puerto Rico Science, Technology, and Research Trust and the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, invite you to commemorate the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015) in Puerto Rico with three days full of activities.


On 5 November, the PRPI organizes the Photonics, Medicine and Environment Symposium. The Symposium will be held in the Muñiz Souffront Auditorium on the UMET main campus in Cupey. It will start at 8am and finish at 5pm and is composed of a morning workshop and afternoon symposium. To celebrate IYL 2015, the participants will explore light and their applications through interactive activities.  Optics and photonics kits will be used and the participants will learn how to bend, divide and mix light and the basics of notions such as polarization.

In addition, the event will comprise keynote presentations by two prominent scientists in optics and photonics.

- Dr. Heidy Sierra is a Research Fellow at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, New York. Her specialty is in imaging and image processing for diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer using techniques of microscopy and laser ablation.

- Dr. Bahaa Saleh is the Dean of CREOL, the College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida. His areas of expertise are in optical coherence, nonlinear optics and quantum optics with applications to remote sensing & tomography, microscopy, and quantum communication.

On 6 November, the PRPI celebrates its Open House Day. At the PRPI Open House you will learn about photonics and the importance of this emerging technology in our lives, both now and into the future. You will see demonstrations and learn about educational opportunities through our soon-to-be-launched one-year certificate in “Photonics and Lasers Technical Specialist”, which was recently approved by the Puerto Rico Council of Education.

Universidad Metropolitana and the Musical Art Corporation presents Concert of Light (Concierto de la Luz) on Saturday 7 November  at 7pm at the Sala Sinfónica Pablo Casals at the Center for Performing Arts in San Juan (Centro de Bellas Artes Luis A. Ferré).  This presentation will be enhanced by the music of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra featuring the science photography and commentary by renowned Puerto Rican astronomer and science communicator, Dr. José Francisco Salgado, providing a multimedia experience in an innovative pairing of science and art. The visual representation of Dr. Salgado will be accompanied by the orchestral suite The Planets op. 32 by Gustav Holst. The program will also have the soloist Benito Díaz who will interpret Strauss’ second concert for trumpet and orchestra and the piece Borealis by the composer John Estacio, also with the visual representation of Dr. Salgado.

These concerts, combining science and symphony, have been presented in more than 100 concerts and have reached a combined audience of more than 250,000 people in concert halls and educational institutions spanning 45 cities in 15 countries. Some of the orchestras that have presented these works include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the San Francisco Symphony, the Orchestra Teatro Regio Torino and the Chicago Sinfonietta.

For more information about these events and more IYL 2015 events in Puerto Rico, please visit the PRPI website.

About IYL 2015

The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations (A/RES/68/221) to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.  With UNESCO as lead agency, IYL 2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015—from the first studies of optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power the Internet today.  The IYL Global Secretariat is located at the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

The Founding Partners of IYL 2015 are the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Physical Society (APS), the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG), the European Physical Society (EPS), the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), the Institute of Physics (IOP), Light: Science and Applications, the International Network, 1001 Inventions, The Optical Society (OSA) and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). 

Patron Sponsors include Bosca, the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), Royal Philips Lighting, Thorlabs and UL.


Andres Díaz
Puerto Rico Photonics Institute - Universidad Metropolitana

John Dudley
Steering Committee Chair
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015

Joe Niemela
Global Coordinator (IYL Secretariat)
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015