2012 Conference

June 8 - 10, 2012
The American Center for Physics
College Park, Maryland

The biennial Physics Department Chairs Conference was held June 8-10, 2012 at the American Center for Physics in College Park, MD. These conferences, co-sponsored by the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society, have proven to be valuable to department chairs in bringing them up-to-date on trends in physics research and education while providing an opportunity to meet and learn from other department chairs. 

This year's conference program was built around four major topics:

  • Overcoming the “die or thrive” challenge: What can be done to ensure sustainable, healthy physics enrollments and thriving physics programs in times of budgetary crisis.
  • Physics Curriculum in the 21st Century: The role of physics within an interdisciplinary, STEM education. A new look at the overall undergraduate curriculum for physics majors (what to add, what to cut, what to emphasize); what is the canonical physics graduate curriculum, and how to prepare our undergrads for it?
  • Preparing students for careers in an increasingly global R&D environment.
  • Connecting with local and regional industry: industry internships for physics majors, alumni outreach, tech transfer, jobs, new problems, online courses for continuing education


The conference began on Friday evening, June 8 at the conference hotel with a reception and dinner, followed by a guest speaker. The remaining sessions took place at the American Center for Physics and ended on noon, Sunday, June 10.
Gray arrow   Conference Program Schedule Format - PDF  

Friday:  Reception & Dinner

  • Keynote Speaker: S. James Gates
    University of Maryland at College Park

Saturday:  Plenaries

Saturday: Panel Sessions

Saturday: Physics Update Session

Sunday Plenary