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'Siposium' Celebration for John Sipe

Celebrating 50 years at U of T!

This story was originally published on the Physics website

Photo of Prof. John Sipe

On February 21, 2023, we celebrated 50 years of Prof. John Sipe’s presence in U of T’s Department of Physics; John came as a graduate student in the 1971-2 academic year, and after completing his PhD in 1975, remained in the Department as a postdoc and research associate until 1980-81, during which year he tried to continue his career outside of Toronto but then thought better of it, rejoining U of T as a professor in 1981. He has been and remains one of the stars of the Department ever since, known globally for his innumerable significant contributions to research, ranging from the philosophical to the applied. John is a Fellow of Optica, the Royal Society of Canada, and the American Physical Society, and is among other things a technical advisor at Xanadu, a company whose leadership includes a number of his former students. Locally, he is routinely held up by the Quantum Optics group as the exemplar of what it means to be a helpful colleague, and valuable collaborator, as well as a dedicated teacher, supervisor, and mentor. His students and postdocs have gone on to be leaders and pioneers around the world.

picture of sipiosium

For this celebration, organized by Marco Liscidini (Pavia) and Marc Dignam (Queen’s), with some help from Aephraim Steinberg, 21 of John's mentees and past & present collaborators came to fête him with short scientific talks and warm reminiscences. The program offers a glimpse into the remarkable breadth of John’s interests and the talents he has fostered and encouraged.