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F. Dow Smith

Dow Smith graduated from Vaughan Road Collegiate Institute in 1939. After six years in the R.C.A.F. as an airplane mechanic during World War II he studied Physics at Queen’s University.

His interest in optics took him to the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester where he completed his Ph.D. in 1951. He then joined the physics department at Boston University to teach and to work at a laboratory there that specialized in aerial photography. In 1958 this lab, of which he was then Director, affiliated with a new company, Itek Corporation, where he supervised the design of the optical system for the super secret Corona system, the highly successful first U.S. spy satellite. In his role as Vice-President and Corporate Scientist at Itek his interest shifted from high precision optics to ophthalmic optics. He became President of the New England College of Optometry in Boston, a position from which he retired in 1986. He has served as Chairperson of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Vision and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Optometry, and the Optical Society of America, of which he served as President in 1975.

His research has included work in optics of the human eye, colorimetry, properties of optical films, the formation of images in precision optical systems, and ophthalmic optics.
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