Robert Boyd was born in Buffalo, New York. He received his bachelor’s degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds a PhD in physics from the University of California at Berkeley. His PhD thesis was supervised by Charles Townes and involved the use of nonlinear optical techniques in infrared detection for astronomy. In 1977, Professor Boyd joined the faculty of the University of Rochester and, in 2001, became the M. Parker Givens Professor of Optics and Professor of Physics.
In 2010, he became Canada Excellence Research Chair in Quantum Nonlinear Optics and Professor of Physics at the University of Ottawa. His research interests include studies of “slow” and “fast” light propagation, quantum imaging techniques, nonlinear optical interactions, studies of the nonlinear optical properties of materials, and the development of photonic devices including photonic biosensors.
Professor Boyd has written two books, co-edited two anthologies, published over 300 research papers, and been awarded eight patents. He is the 2009 recipient of the Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and of the Optical Society of America (OSA). He has also served as an APS representative and chair of the Joint Council on Quantum Electronics (joint among APS, OSA and IEEE/LEOS).
Professor Boyd has served as a member of the Board of Editors of Physical Review Letters and is currently a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science Magazine.