Student Perspectives on Physics Meetings
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Zone & Regional Meetings

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) chapters are divided into 18 geographic zones, and many zones hold meetings each year. SPS offers support at a level of $500 for SPS chapters hosting a zone meeting. Learn more on the “Host a Zone Meeting” page. SPS also administers the SPS Meeting Enhancement Award, the purpose of which is to connect Nobel Prize winners and students from Minority Serving Institutions (MSI’s).

Featured Articles

Midwest Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics

Midwest Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics   Undergraduate Women Gather at Purdue University
By Mary Mills, SPS Reporter, Miami University
These conferences are always the highlight of my winter and, in my opinion, one of the best ways to start a semester. They are encouraging and make me want to get out and change the world of physics for women.

SPS Zone Meetings

2009 ICPS   The Society of Physics Students (SPS) chapters are divided into 18 geographic zones, and many zones hold meetings each year. SPS offers support at a level of $500 for SPS chapters hosting a zone meeting. Learn more on the “Host a Zone Meeting” page.

Zone 1: UMASS Dartmouth, April 2011
There was a significant interest in student talks—ten students in total gave talks on a range of subjects, from ionospheric physics to science education in the classroom to brown dwarfs to gas hydrates.

Zone 2: Ithaca, NY, February 2011
Ithaca College and Cornell University Society of Physics Students invited students to learn about a NASA physicist’s research, tour a particle accelerator facility, and meet other students who love physics.

Zone 2: Rochester, NY, April 2011
University of Rochester hosted another Zone 2 meeting in conjunction with the Thirtieth Rochester Symposium for Physics (Astronomy and Optics) Students (RSPS) as well as The Astronomical Society of New York (ASNY) Conference.

Zone 5: Asheville, NC, November 2011
The University of North Carolina at Asheville hosted a Zone 5 meeting in conjunction with the North Carolina NCS-American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and SACS-AAPT. There were several student presentations, as well as a rousing game of Physpardy.

Zone 9: University Wisconsin Platteville, WI, November 2011
University of Wisconsin Platteville hosted the 2011 Zone 9 meeting, attendded by students from Michigan Tech and UW-Platteville. There were introductions, chapter reports, presentations of projects & research, and some stargaing. Students, faculty, alumni, and guest lecturer enjoyed a Thanksgiving banquet to close off the event.

Zone 10: Centenary College, LA, February 2011
Centenary College of louisiana hosted the Zone 10 meeting February 18-19, 2011. There were two poster presentations and four oral presentations of student research. Part of the meeting was held at a local science discovery center, SciPort Science Center and included activities as well as the chance to explore the exhibits.

Zone 12: William Jewell College, MO, April 2011
William Jewell College hosted students to learn about an alumnus' research, to dine together, to watch demonstrations and research presentations, and to participate in a rocket launch.

Zone 14: Colorado Mesa University, CO, September, 2011
Over the weekend of September 30th-October 1st, Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, CO, hosted a Zone 14 Fall Regional Meeting.

Zone 16: Arizona State University, AZ, April 2011
The goal of hosting this meeting was to promote the interaction, in a professionally relevant context, between physics students from the universities that attended.

Zone 17: Central Washington University, WA, April 2011
A poster session, an edible car competition, and a tour of the Wild Horse wind farm.

Zone 18: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA, May 2011
Cal Poly Pomona hosted students to a meeting focused on outreach, and invited students from California, Nevada, Hawaii, and the Philippines.


Nobel Laureate Lectures

Hampton University   Dr. Sidney Altman: The discovery of Ribonuclease and the properties of Ribonucleic acid (RNA)
Hampton University's Honors College joined with the Department of Chemistry to host the distinguished molecular biologist and 1989 Nobel Prize recipient, Dr. Sidney Altman.
by the Hampton University SPS Chapter

Moorehouse College   Dr. Eric Cornell: Superman and the Superfluid
Through resilience and focus, Dr. Cornell is a Nobel Prize awarded physicist who ironically conducted his Nobel research in the area that plagued him the most, thermodynamics.
by Ronald Stubblefield and De’Andre Cherry, SPS Reporters, Moorehouse College

University of Southern Mississippi   Dr. Eric Cornell: Defying Stereotypes and Inspiring Students
Dr. Eric Cornell defies stereotypes. His life as a student was just like ours, and yet he has accomplished one of the greatest scientific feats of our lifetime.
by A. Palchak, K. Peturis and X. McWaters, SPS Reporters, Univ. Southern Mississippi

  Dr. Douglas Osheroff: NASA, Nobel Prize Winners, and the “Normalization of Deviancy”
Nobel laureate Dr. Douglas D. Osheroff was hosted by Howard University’ physics department, via a program sponsored by the American Institute of Physics and funded by the Research Corporation.
by Phoebe White, Northern Virginia Community College

Dr. Anthony J. Leggett   Dr Anthony J. Leggett: Why can't Time run backwards?
Nobel Laureate Anthony J. Leggett visited Delaware State University on November 4, 2010, for a full day of physics. During his visit, Dr. Leggett delivered two well-attended lectures .
by Vanessa Nesbit, Delaware State University

  Dr. Wolfgang Ketterle: Dedication to One’s Craft & Pride in One’s Work
What one learns when physics students and Nobel Laureates Meet: An inspiring keynote speech by
Dr. Wolfgang Ketterle.
by Darryl Lewis, SPS Reporter, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

National Meetings

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) offers travel support at a level of $200 for SPS chapters or individual students reporting on a national physics meeting for SPS, and similar levels of support for individuals presenting research at SPS-sponsored sessions at national physics meetings. Learn more about: SPS Reporter Awards | SPS Travel Awards

SPS works with other societies to develop undergraduate opportunities at national physics meetings, such as poster sessions, receptions, career workshops, and outreach events.

Newport CorporationThe Newport Corporation, which makes lasers and optical research supplies, also provides support for the next generation of physics researchers, funding events like the student poster session/reception at the AAS (American Astronomical Society) 217th Meeting, Seattle, WA, Jan. 9-13, 2011, and the American Association of Physics Teachers Winter Meeting in Jacksonville, FL, February 8-12, 2011.

Keep an eye out for other SPS-sponsored student events at the next physics meeting you attend.

Recently Featured Articles

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA)

The 161st Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America   Being Welcomed into the World of Acoustics
By Stuart Harper, SPS Reporter, Brigham Young University
The 161st Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America provided an opportunity to learn new things,meet new people, and explore a great city.

American Physical Society (APS)

The APS March Meeting 2011   APS March 2011 Meeting
By Isaac Marx, SPS Reporter, Allegheny College
The American Physical Society (APS) meeting proved very insightful into the world of the natural science we all know and love.
The APS March Meeting 2011   Highlights from the APS meeting
By Remington Tyler Thornton, SPS Reporter, Abilene Christian University
At the American Physical Society (APS) meeting, thousands of APS members presented at and attended sessions related to graphite, computational physics, physics education and everything in-between.
The APS March Meeting 2011   APS March Meeting 2011 in Dallas
By Jose Amaral, SPS Reporter, California State University, Fresno
The APS March Meeting always highlights the pursuit of new, exciting physics, whether the research is fundamental in nature, or practical with immediate application.

American Insitute of Physics (AIP) Industrial Physics Forum

The APS March Meeting 2011   Industrial Applications of Superconductivity: Current Status and Future Prospects
In partnership with the APS Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics
View videos of talks and presentations from the 2011 IPF, part of the APS March Meeting, consponsored by the APS Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics.

American Astronomical Society (AAS)

The AAS 217th Meeting   The AAS Meeting at the Cutting Edge of Astrophysics
By Colby Haggerty, SPS Reporter, University of Scranton
This was my first national physics conference and my first time traveling by airplane. I was able to attend the meeting and present my research because of opportunities like the SPS reporter and travel awards.

The AAS 217th Meeting   Reporting on AAS from the Front Lines
By Justin A. Vasel, SPS Reporter, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
In Wisconsin, where I live, physics and astronomy conferences are generally out of reach. I had the pleasure of attending the conference as a reporter on behalf of SPS.

The 215th AAS Meeting   Astronomy Meeting Excites Student Interest
By Danielle Dowling, SPS Reporter, Hunter College
Though not the largest gathering of physics undergraduates ever—close to 600 students turned out for the 2008 Sigma Pi Sigma Quadrennial Congress—the 217th AAS Meeting came close.

American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT)

The AAS 217th Meeting   The 2011 American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Winter Meeting
By Travis Barnett, SPS Reporter, Angelo State University
As a senior undergraduate physics major at Angelo State University reporting on the AAPT national meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, an interesting thought occurred to me: How would Pavlov’s dogs have felt listening to him present his research?

The 2011 American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Winter Meeting   2011 American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Winter Meeting
By Sam Cohen, SPS Reporter, Grove City College
A conglomeration of physics professors, high school teachers, graduate students, researchers, and even undergraduate students attended to share their ideas, and hopefully pick up one or two new ones.

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

2011 AGU Meeting   Twenty Thousand Striving to Better Humanity at AGU
By Jason Shuster, University of New Hampshire (UNH)
Being able to connect with this student presence at AGU was one of the highlights of the whole experience for me, and it helped dissipate the accumulated tension of feeling overwhelmed that can distract a first-time attendee like me from all the opportunities at this tremendous gathering. Even now, after the conference, I am still blown away by this number—more than twenty thousand researchers from all around the world! I distinctly remember how startling it was to see the poster hall from above and to watch that sea of thousands of posters.

The 2011 American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Winter Meeting   The American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
By Deborah Watson, Coe College
It's an interesting feeling to be on a flight and realize that the majority of the passengers are going exactly where you are going for the same person. I guess this is what it means to be something bigger than yourself.

International Meetings

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) offers travel support for two students to represent SPS and the United States at the International Conference of Physics Students (ICPS), an annual conference of the International Association of Physics Students (IAPS). This is facilitated through the SPS Outstanding Student Award for Undergraduate Research.

Winners receive a $500 honorarium and a $500 award for their SPS Chapter, as well as expenses for transportation, room, board, and registration for the ICPS. In addition, winners are invited to give their research presentation at an SPS Research Session at a national meeting.

In addition, SPS Reporter Awards are occaisonally granted to SPS members reporting from other international meetings.

Recently Featured Articles

2011 ICPS (International Conference of Physics Students)

2010 ICPS   ICPS 2011
by Lauren Richey, Brigham Young University
The ICPS consisted of student lectures, guest lectures, parties, a poster session, meals, and excursions to see Budapest. I attended many lectures given by students and guest speakers from 35 different countries, mostly from Eastern Europe. Overall, the conference was very enjoyable and well organized, creating a good mix of scientific discussion and cultural exploration.
2010 ICPS   2011 ICPS - Budapest, Hungary
by Thomas Markovich, University of Houston
The International Association of Physics Students hosted, in conjunction with the students of Mafihe University, the 2011 International Conference of Physics Students (ICPS) in Budapest, Hungry. The ICPS provided an incredible venue for students world wide to gather, exchange ideas and experiences, and socialize. The conference itself was a week long event bringing over 400 students from over 40 countries to celebrate this past year of physics. This event built international connections with the understanding that in the future, physics will be an inherently international enterprise.
2010 ICPS   ICPS 2011: Budapest
by Lena Bradley, Penn State
The 2011 ICPS conference marked the 25th anniversary of ICPS (and the 24th year of IAPS). Since its founding in 1986, the conference has been held in many cities across Europe, but ICPS returned to its home in Budapest in 2011 to celebrate this milestone. As has become the norm, the conference timetable included mostly student lectures and poster presentations, as well as invited lectures, parties, and an excursion.
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