Frank Wise

Frank Wise

Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Engineering
Director of CCMR; Interim Director of Undergraduate Studies; Interim Director of M.Eng. and M.S Programs


Frank Wise was a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories before coming to Cornell. He joined the Cornell faculty in 1988, and was named an NSF Presidential Young Investigator in 1989. From 2007 to 2011 he was director of the School of Applied and Engineering Physics. Since 2017 he has been director of the Cornell Center for Materials research.

Research Interests

Our main research projects are listed below.

Development of femtosecond-pulse lasers and amplifiers We are working to develop sources of ultrashort optical pulses that could be used in applications outside of basic research laboratories. Currently we are focused on fiber lasers and amplifiers. Our activities range from theoretical studies of new mechanisms for shaping pulses in lasers to laser engineering and commercial development.

Spatiotemporal aspects of nonlinear optical waves We study the propagation of ultrashort light pulses in systems that support multiple transverse modes, such as multimode optical fibers.  The evolution is complex and depends on all three spatial dimensions plus time. This work includes investigation of amplifiers and lasers based on spatiotemporal wave propagation.

Selected Publications

  • L. G. Wright, D. N. Christodoulides, and F. W. Wise, "Spatiotemporal mode-locking in multimode fiber lasers," Science 358, 94 (2017).
  • L. G. Wright, P. Sidorenko, H. Pourbeyram, Z. M. Ziegler, A. Isichenko, B. A. Malomed, C. R. Menyuk, D. N. Christodoulides, and F. W. Wise, “Mechanisms of spatiotemporal mode-locking,” Nature Physics16, 565 (2020).
  • H. Pourbeyram, P. Sidorenko, F. Wu, L. Wright, D. Christodoulides, and F. Wise, “Direct observations of thermalization to a Rayleigh-Jeans distribution in multimode optical fiber,” Nature Physics18, 685 (2022).
  • H. Haig, P. Sidorenko, R. E. Thorne, and F. W. Wise, “Megawatt peak power from an all-fiber Mamyshev oscillator,” Optics Letters 47, 762 (2022).
  • L. Wright, F. O. Wu, D. Christodoulides, and F. Wise, “Physics of highly multimode nonlinear optical systems,” Nature Physics August 2022.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Fellow of the Optical Society of America
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Award (1992, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2005) (College of Engineering, Cornell University)
  • Optical Society Of America Distinguished Traveling Lecturer 2016
  • NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award (National Science Foundation) 1989


  • BS (Engineering Physics), Princeton University, 1980
  • MS (Electrical Engineering), University of California, Berkeley, 1982
  • MS (Applied Physics), Cornell University, 1986
  • Ph D (Applied Physics), Cornell University, 1988


In the News