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Why are you planning this retreat?

The photonics community at Stanford is incredibly diverse, spanning many different academic departments. However, we all share a common interest: the study and application of light. This circumstance creates the possibility for phenomenal cross-disciplinary collaboration at Stanford. We hope that this retreat will bring together different parts of this community to build those professional and social interactions, hopefully leading to fruitful collaborations and lifelong relationships.

What will I eat at SUPR?

All food will be catered by Asilomar conference grounds and their kitchens, but we will be certain to take into account any dietary restrictions.

Where will I stay?

SUPR 2023 will take place at Asilomar Conference Grounds, lodging there is included in the price of your ticket

How will transportation/carpools be arranged?

We are organizing carpools for everyone who signs up! Anyone who has a car can volunteer to drive. We will pair drivers with other students to ensure everyone has a means of transportation.

What kinds of activities can I expect?

In addition to a keynote address by Dr. Omar Hurricane on Friday night, we will have a number of talks from Stanford faculty, as well as student poster sessions. In between the academic sessions, we will have free time and social activities. In the pasts, students have gone on hikes, visited the area and even toured the local aquarium.

How is the retreat funded?

The retreat is funded primarily by external fundraising completed by the Stanford Optica/SPIE Student Chapter, generously supplemented by the department of Electrical Engineering, the department of Physics, the department of Applied Physics, and the department of Material Science.

What is the refund policy?

Please request a refund via eventbrite AND email the following contacts by April 7th: Anirudh Vijay ( Gabriel Moreau ( We cannot guarantee a refund after April 7th.

I don't want to share a room. Can I get my own?

We're sorry, but student/postdoc rooms at the Conference Center must be shared so that we can accommodate the maximum number of attendees.

My husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/partner/etc. wants to come too, but they are not a photonics student. Can they attend?

We unfortunately cannot provide lodging for people who will not participating in the retreat.

I can't stay the the entire weekend. Can I just come for one or two days?

We believe that there are distinct benefits to staying the entire weekend, not only because the agenda is full of exciting events, but also since the extended "away time" provides a fun and relaxed atmosphere.  There are also the very practical logistics of arranging carpooled transportation! That being said, we understand that unique circumstances can arise, and we ask that you contact us before registration to explain.  Because of the highly subsidized registration, we will not be able to adjust the registration fee.

I need to arrive late on Friday, or leave early on Sunday. What should I do?

Please see the answer to the previous question.

I'm not a Stanford student, but I'm a member of Optica and/or SPIE. Can I attend?

Unfortunately, not at this time.  This retreat is for the Stanford community and invited speakers at this time due the first two items in this FAQ (purpose and fundraising).  We DO plan events for the San Francisco Bay Area optics students, such as Photonics@Stanford and Photonics@Berkeley, which traditionally have been 1-day programs.  Other events are broadcast and open to as many students as possible.  If you are interested in collaborating with our student chapter for multi-university programming, please contact us!

What if my question wasn't answered anywhere on this site?

Please don't hesitate to contact us!