Born 25 March 1936, Caulfield received his BA in Physics from Rice
University, and his PhD in Physics from Iowa State University. His
ensuing career in holography, metrology, and coherent optics took him
to Texas Instruments, Raytheon, Fisk University, and the University of
Alabama in Huntsville, among others.
Caulfield authored 14 books, 41 book chapters, 252 refereed journal
papers, and numerous popular articles, including the most popular of
them all: the 1984 National Geographic cover story on holography in
1984, "The Wonder of Holography," read by more than 25 million people.
Caulfield served SPIE in numerous ways; becoming an SPIE Fellow in
1977, and Secretary of the Society 1978-1979. He chaired many SPIE
conferences and served on committees, edited five SPIE press books, and
authored over 100 papers. He most recently co-chaired the conference,
"Tribute to Joseph W. Goodman," along with Henri Arsenault, at 2011
SPIE Optics + Photonics.
He won the Gold Medal of the Society, the highest honor the Society
bestows, in 2005, in recognition of his numerous contributions to
holography, imaging, optical computing, optical logic and his
numerous inventions including, but not limited to local reference beam
holography, coherence gated imaging, generalized matched filters,
optical linear algebra, fuzzy optical metrology, artificial color, and
passive conservative interferometric logic gates.
In addition to the Gold Medal, Caulfield received many awards from SPIE
including the Dennis Gabor Award, President's Award, and Governors'
Award. He was editor of SPIE's flagship journal, Optical Engineering,
from July/August 1979 through May/June 1985.
"Not only shall I remember John as a distinguished and experienced
member of the holography and optical information processing community,
but in over 30 years of interaction with him I have always been
fascinated by his capacity to generate excitement through daring new
associations of scientific concepts," said Pierre Chavel, Laboratoire
Charles Fabry, Institut d'Optique. "He did this in particular through
his activity as a book editor and even more as conference organizer.
Wise crosslinking of apparently disjoint concepts is what research is
all about, after all!"