My First meeting with Karl


Contribution from Nancy Cao


 I came to Iowa State University in 2009 to start my Ph.D. study with Charlie Hurburgh, and attended IDRC 2010, where I met Karl for the first time. As a graduate student researching on NIRS, I was so excited to meet “the Father of NIRS”, about whom I had learned for a long time from books and literature. I still remember clearly that he asked about the research I did in China and was very happy to discuss his work on the fourth-derivative with me. 

My first-time meeting Karl at IDRC 2010 with Phil Calvi

He had such a sharp mind and his passion of spending all his lifetime on NIR research really inspired me at that young age. Karl also showed up in the following IDRCs. He even told me one time while we were waiting in line for lunch that he drove to Chambersburg himself in his 90s. After those years, I’ve graduated from my Ph.D. and came back to IDRC as a young professional. Then, every time I saw those graduate students that were taking pictures with Karl for the first time, I felt that I saw myself in 2010. Karl was a legend and the technique he invented is applied in all kinds of industries. He will never be forgotten by all of us that he had a great impact on.


As the president-elect of CNIRS 2020, it is my privilege to continue what Karl has started to the new era. Deep in my heart, he will always be my mentor in science.