A UCF emeritus professor has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science because of his contributions to the fields of lasers and optics.

Michael Bass was elected to the list of AAAS fellows by his peers in the organization. It’s an honor reserved for those who have made scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

The AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, which has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education and public engagement.

Bass, who came to the University of Central Florida in 1987, is an emeritus professor of optics, physics and electrical engineering in the College of Optics & Photonics. From 1987-1992, he served as UCF’s vice president for research.

Bass specializes in lasers and the properties of optical materials. He specifically works on solid-state lasers and systems, which is a $1 billion industry with applications in everything from research to medicine. One of his inventions was to use fiber optics to deliver laser light inside the body to treat a variety of problems such as bleeding ulcers. Other inventions have been connected with fighting cancer-causing cells, improving displays and extracting light efficiently from diode lasers.  He holds 34 patents.

“Being elected a Fellow of AAAS is a special honor for me.  AAAS involves scientists and engineers from all different areas of specialization,” Bass said. “Joining the fellows of this society is recognition of my research and teaching of both graduate and undergraduate students.”

Bass and other newly inducted fellows will be formally honored in February at an AAAS meeting in Boston.

Being named an AAAS fellow is the latest in a long list of honors for Bass. He is a life fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Optical Society of America and the Laser Institute of America. He was elected a foreign member of the Russian National Academy of Engineering Science in 1994, is the 2014 recipient of the R. W. Wood Prize of the Optical Society of America and a 2013 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.