Optical Data Associates was established in 1991 by Dr. Simone Ellen Jacobson and her husband, Dr. Michael Ray Jacobson.

Simone Ellen Jacobson grew up in Chicago, IL where she was born in 1946. She completed her A.B. in Chemistry at the University of Chicago in 1968; she earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry at Cornell University in 1971 and 1973, respectively.

Michael Ray Jacobson grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, where he was born in 1950. He was Class Valedictorian at Taylor Allderdice High School in 1967. He graduated with his A.B. in Physics from Harvard College in 1971; he earned his M.S. and Ph.D in Astronomy at Cornell University in 1975 and 1977, respectively.

Simone and Michael met at Cornell in 1972, and married in 1973. They moved to Tucson, AZ in 1975 where Michael was pursuing observational work at the University of Arizona toward his doctorate at Cornell. Once settled in Tucson, Tivon Elan was born in 1976, Shira Lisa in 1978, and Natan Haim in 1984.

Simone served as a Lecturer and Research Associate at the University of Arizona in the Departments of Cell & Developmental Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics between 1975 and 1993. After 1993, Simone taught Calculus and Statistics part-time in the Tucson Unified School District, notably at University High School.

Shortly after graduation in 1977, Michael became a Research Associate at the Optical Sciences Center at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he worked on 27 research projects sponsored by government laboratories and agencies, universities, and major companies. During this period, he was a frequent instructor of short courses for SPIE - The International Society of Optical Engineering. After his departure from active service at the University, Michael remains an adjunct associate research professor in the Departments of Optical Sciences and Material Science & Engineering.

In 1991, Michael and Simone established Optical Data Associates, an Arizona partnership dedicated to spectrophotometry, microtopography, and other optical measurements with state-of-the-art equipment, rapid turnaround, and highly personalized service as a completely independent test laboratory. When appropriate, ODA also engages in consulting, usually with government or university sponsors.

In 1998, Simone tragically died of complications from chemotherapy for breast cancer. Michael continues to operate ODA, now a limited-liability company [LLC], alone. Since its inception, ODA has successfully supported the work of about one thousand clients, from Fortune 100 companies to enterprises as small in size as ODA. His son, Natan, supports this website.

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