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Malvin Carl Teich



Malvin Carl Teich, an American physicist, electrical engineer, and computational neuroscientist, is Professor Emeritus in Columbia University and Boston University. He is also a consultant to government, academia, and private industry, where he serves as an advisor in intellectual-property conflicts. He has authored or coauthored more than 400 peer-reviewed journal articles/book chapters, presented some 500 conference talks/lectures, and holds 6 patents. He is the coauthor of Fundamentals of Photonics (Wiley, 3rd Ed. 2019, with B. E. A. Saleh), which has been translated into German, Japanese, Chinese, and Czech; and of Fractal-Based Point Processes (Wiley, 2005, with S. B. Lowen). Many of his articles and book chapters have been reprinted and translated; a tabulation of his publications and citations is available at Google Scholar. Over the course of his career, he has spent sabbatical leaves at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of California at San Diego, and the University of Central Florida at Orlando. He was born and brought up in the New York City area.


Teich's interest in science began at an early age. His favorite hobby as a boy was amateur radio; he became a licensed radio operator at the age of 13 and constructed his own station equipment under the tutelage of his father, Sidney. His academic credentials include an S.B. degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. degree from Cornell University. During his undergraduate years, he served as a summer intern at the Philips Natuurkundig Laboratorium in Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Motorola Corporation in Chicago (subsequently part of Google and now part of Lenovo); the Mitre Corporation in Bedford, Massachusetts; and the North American Aviation Space & Information Systems Division in Downey, California (subsequently part of Rockwell International and now part of Boeing). His bachelor's thesis, written jointly with Paul J. Schweitzer and supervised by Professor Theos J. Thompson, investigated the total neutron cross section of palladium using the fast chopper at the MIT Nuclear Reactor Laboratory, and identified a new resonance at 3 eV. His studies at Stanford included a course on Lasers and Masers taught by Professor Anthony E. Siegman, which galvanized his interest in quantum photonics. In carrying out his doctoral dissertation at Cornell, supervised by Professor George J. Wolga, he made use of the then-new gallium-arsenide laser diode developed at M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory to observe the nonlinear two-photon photoelectric effect in metallic sodium, and determined the two-quantum yield for the process. Two of the publications that followed from his doctoral dissertation are particularly noteworthy: The findings reported in his 1964 paper on the two-photon photoelectric effect in Physical Review Letters were unique in that the optical nonlinearity occurred within the detector itself; this paper also provided an early contribution to the nonlinear-optics literature. His 1966 publication, also in Physical Review Letters, established the linkage between multiphoton absorption rates and Roy Glauber's newly formulated higher-order quantum-field correlation functions, thereby demonstrating that absorption rates were dependent on the statistical properties of the incident radiation; this paper was an early contribution to the nascent literature in quantum optics.


Teich assumed his first professional affiliation in January 1966 at M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory, as a member of the research group directed by Robert J. Keyes and Robert H. Kingston. In September 1967, he was recruited by Jacob_Millman to join the faculty of Columbia University, where he served as a member of the Electrical Engineering Department (as Chairman from 1978 to 1980), the Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics Department, the Columbia Radiation Laboratory (founded and directed by I. I. Rabi) in the Department of Physics, and the Fowler Memorial Laboratory (directed by Shyam M. Khanna) in the Department of Otolaryngology at the Columbia University Medical Center. In 1996, he was appointed Professor Emeritus of Engineering Science and Applied Physics. In 1995, concurrently with his Emeritus Status at Columbia, he was urged by Dean Charles deLisi to join Boston University as a faculty member in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (as Director of the Quantum Photonics Laboratory and as a member of the Boston University Photonics Center), the Department of Biomedical Engineering (as a member of the Graduate Program for Neuroscience and the Hearing Research Center), and the Department of Physics. In 2011, he was appointed Professor Emeritus of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Physics in Boston University. Over the course of his career, his efforts in quantum photonics have been directed toward exploring the properties, behavior, and applications of classical and nonclassical light, including its generation, characterization, modulation, transmission, propagation, amplification, detection, and frequency-conversion. In computational neuroscience, he established the role of fractal stochastic processes in neural information processing. He has also concentrated on codifying the detection laws of audition and vision, an enterprise that lies at the interface of quantum photonics and computational neuroscience. He has mentored more than 30 doctoral students and a collection of postdoctoral fellows at Columbia University and Boston University.

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Last Updated: 14 July 2022
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"Malvin Carl Teich" (accessed January 2, 2022).