APS News

Centennial: APS Establishes Travel Grants for Student Centennial Attendance

Centennial Meeting to be held in the Georgia World Congress Center. Photo courtesy of the Georgia World Congress Center
Centennial Meeting to be held in the Georgia World Congress Center. Photo courtesy of the Georgia World Congress Center

The APS is sponsoring a matching travel grant program to encourage the participation of physics undergraduate and first-year graduate students in the APS Centennial Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, March 20-26, 1999. Approximately 850 physics departments throughout the nation were notified of the availability of the $250 matching grants to support the travel and subsistence of students selected to attend the APS Centennial. Proposals to help support the student travel program from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation are under review.

"The APS envisions a Centennial celebration that will seek out and include talented students," said APS Director of International Scientific Affairs Irving Lerch about the rationale behind the program. "Our objective is to give the next generation of physicists an appreciation of what has made the past century so vital to the intellectual and economic development of modern industrial society." Departments are encouraged to support as many students as possible. Even though there will be several hundred travel grants available, the APS will only be able to support a limited percentage of the students expected to apply. Final selection of students will be made by APS staff physicists in early January.

Selected students will have their registration fee waved, and be able to attend the numerous special Centennial events. These include the Nobel Discoveries reception and exhibit; special Centennial symposia, including talks by more than 20 Nobel Laureates; plenary sessions devoted to general interest lectures on a wide variety of topics; international round tables; a special student luncheon; and the "Physics Festival," featuring physics-related photography and art exhibits, as well as physics demonstrations. In addition, the numerous college and university reunions being organized will provide an opportunity for students to meet and speak with members of the physics community of which they may one day be a part. At the meeting's conclusion, students will be encouraged to provide brief reports assessing their experiences for presentation to their departments and for possible coverage of the event in APS News.

"We hope this meeting will provide students with an occasion to explore their chosen field of study in an environment beyond the usual classroom," said Lerch. "It will be an opportunity for career development, mentoring, and networking that they might not otherwise have at this stage in their education. And hopefully this program will encourage wide participation among physics departments nationwide who may wish to fully support more students on their own."

The deadline for receipt of nominations for the APS Centennial Matching Travel Grant Program is December 10, 1998. 




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