Dr. Wolf received his B.Sc. in Mathematics and Physics (1945), and his Ph.D. in Physics (1948), both from from the University of Bristol (England). He received a D.Sc. degree in Optics from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) in 1955. After research positions at Cambridge University (1948-51), the University of Edinburgh (1951-53), and the University of Manchester (1954-58), Prof. Wolf joined the University of Rochester as Associate Professor of Optics in 1959. He was appointed Professor of Physics in 1961, Professor of Optics in 1978, and has been the Wilson Professor of Optical Physics since 1987.
Dr. Wolf is the co-author, with Nobel Laureate Max Born, of the well-known book, Principles of Optics, first published in 1959 and now in its seventh edition. He is the co-author, with Leonard Mandel, of Optical Coherence and Quantum Optics, published in 1995. Dr. Wolf has been the Editor of an ongoing series Progress in Optics since its inception in 1961. Forty-three volumes have now been published, the first one in 1961.
Dr. Wolf is the recipient of the Frederic Ives Medal of the Optical Society of America (OSA) (1978), the Michelson Medal of the Franklin Institute (1980), the Max Born Award of the OSA (1987), the Marconi Medal of the Italian National Research Council (1987), the Gold Medal of the Czechoslovak Academy of Science (1991), the Medal of the Union of Czechoslovak Mathematicians and Physicists (1991), and the Gold Medal of Palacky University, Olomouc, Czechoslovakia (1991). He is an honorary member of the Optical Society of America, of which he was the President in 1978. He is also an honorary member of the Optical Societies of India and Australia and is the recipient of honorary degrees from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands (1989), the University of Edinburgh (1990), Palacky University (1992), the University of Bristol (1997), Laval University, Quebec (1997), the University of Franche Comté, France (1999) and Aalborg University, Denmark (1999).