Chris Xu reappointed as director of Applied and Engineering Physics

Chris Xu, IBM Professor of Engineering, has been reappointed to a three-year term as director of the School of Applied and Engineering Physics, effective July 1, 2023.

“Chris has provided steady, thoughtful and strategic leadership of AEP since he was first appointed director in 2020,” said Lynden Archer, Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering. “He has consistently led by example. Informed by his deep personal history with the school, he has also been an effective advocate for AEP priorities and an able partner in defining a compelling vision for the school’s future.”

After completing a bachelor’s degree at Fudan University in Shanghai, Xu earned his graduate degrees in applied physics at Cornell. After about five years working as a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories, where he pioneered the development of differential phase-shift keying for long-haul fiber-optic communications, he returned to Cornell Engineering as an assistant professor in AEP in 2002. Today, he also serves as the Mong Family Foundation Director of Cornell Neurotech—Engineering.

Known for the development of temporal focusing and long-wavelength two- and three-photon microscopy for deep-tissue imaging, Xu’s work has found applications in fiber optics and optical imaging, with major thrusts in deep-tissue imaging, laser development, and smart and efficient optical imaging. He holds 26 patents on optical communications and imaging, and his work has been recognized with numerous awards. He is a fellow of both Optica (formerly the Optical Society of America) and the National Academy of Inventors.

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