Expansion: The 1980s
The stage was set for a rapid expansion of the
research and education programs of the Institute in the 1980s. The new building as well as the explosion of
applications of laser optics into all sorts of new industries – medicine,
telecommunications, manufacturing, inspection, defense, and even super-market
checkout – gave rise to increased expectations, and increased
accomplishment. The number of students,
both undergraduate and graduate, rose quickly.
The quality of the credentials of entering graduate students caused the
faculty to often comment that it was a good thing that they already had their
degrees because they could never get into the program as students now. A number of different research centers were
established that greatly increased funding for equipment and student support.