APS News

APS Members Elect Helen Quinn as Society’s Next Vice President

Members of the APS have chosen Helen Quinn of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center to be the Society's next vice president. Quinn is the fourth woman to be elected to the presidential line in the Society's 102-year history, following C.S. Wu of Columbia University in 1975, Mildred Dresselhaus of MIT in 1984, and current APS Vice President Myriam Sarachik (City College of New York), who will assume the role of president-elect next year when William Brinkman of Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies becomes president. Quinn will assume the APS presidency in 2004, following Brinkman and Sarachik, who will be president in 2003.

In other election results, Susan Seestrom of Los Alamos National Laboratory will become chair-elect of the APS Nominating Committee, which will be chaired by Susan Coppersmith (University of Chicago) in 2002. The Nominating Committee selects the slate of candidates in the annual general elections, and its choices are then voted on by the APS membership. Elected as new general councillors were Frances Houle of IBM's Almaden Research Center and Gerald Mahan of the University of Tennessee. T. Maurice Rice of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology was elected to the new position of international councillor.

"I appreciate and accept the trust my colleagues have placed in me," Quinn said of her election. "I look forward to the challenge of helping provide good leadership to the APS over the next four years." A native of Melbourne, Australia, Quinn completed her PhD in physics in 1967 at Stanford and has been a permanent staff member of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center since 1979. She has made significant contributions to particle physics theory, for which she has received numerous honors.

Helen Quinn
Vice President
Helen Quinn
Quinn devotes significant professional time to education work. She was the founding President of the non-profit Contemporary Physics Education Project which produces wall-charts and other materials for high school and college physics teachers. She also manages SLAC's education and outreach programs. This experience is reflected in her candidate's statement. "We all know the necessity of building on one another's research, but too often go it alone when it comes to changes within our departments or outreach to K-12 education," she wrote. "The society's [education] activities help promulgate successful innovations and prevent replication of failures." Quinn also cited the continuing evolution towards electronic publishing and outreach to Congress and the general public as major challenges facing the APS in her statement. "We must plan wisely for the future, developing the Society's activities in response to the needs of physics and of physicists, and at the same time maintaining our fiscal health," she said.

Susan Seestrom
Chair-Elect of the Nominating Committee
Susan Seestrom
Seestrom was named Director of the Physics Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2000, having joined the scientific staff in 1986. Her research has been in nuclear physics, studying nuclear structure with medium energy probes and symmetry violation using low energy neutrons. She has most recently been involved in development of novel sources of ultra-cold neutrons. In her candidate's statement, Seestrom set forth her belief that a primary role for the APS is to be an advocate for the importance of basic science to our society, with a corresponding need for diversity in the society's leadership. "The events of September 11th have created a great sense of fear and uncertainty around the world, and it will be important for the APS to demonstrate the relevance of physics to challenging national problems," said Seestrom. "It will be important that the leadership of the society reflect the breadth of contributions that physicists are making, and the nominating committee will be key in maintaining the great breadth and depth the APS is known for."

T. Maurice Rice
International Councillor
T. Maurice Rice
Newly elected International Councillor Maurice Rice is a native of Ireland and obtained a PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1964. During his fifteen years at Bell Labs he served terms as head of the Theoretical Physics and Surface Physics Departments, assuming his present position as professor of physics at the ETH Zurich in 1981. Rice's research interests extend over many fields in theoretical condensed matter physics. In recent years he has concentrated mainly on the theory of strongly correlated electrons and its application to the microscopic theory of the high temperature superconductors. In his candidate's statement, Rice spoke of the continuing globalization of the APS, most notably in the number of foreign manuscripts (70% of the total) submitted to its journals each year, and praised the Society's decision to have international representation on its Council. "I will try to foster international collaborations to face common challenges, in particular the consequences of increasing globalization and the e-print revolution," he said.

Frances Houle
General Councillor
Frances Houle
Houle received her PhD from the California Institute of Technology (1979) in Chemistry. In 1980, after an appointment as an IBM postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Berkeley, she joined the IBM Research Laboratory, now the IBM Almaden Research Center. Her research is in the area of physics and chemistry of thermal and radiation-induction chemical modification of surfaces and thin films. "The new world of multidisciplinary, team-oriented research at the boundaries of traditional disciplines is tremendously exciting," Houle wrote in her candidate's statement, adding, "It is vital that the APS promote and facilitate multi-investigator, physics-related collaborations throughout all its programs." She said she is "most pleased" to be elected to Council. "I have been an APS member for many years and am very excited to have the opportunity to serve the Society."

Gerald Mahan
General Councillor
Gerald Mahan
Mahan admits to some surprise at the news of his election, considering the high qualifications of the field of candidates. "I look forward to working with the other board members, many (of whom) are friends," he said. "I also encourage any member of the APS to contact me about their concerns, complaints, and suggestions for improvements in the APS." Mahan received his PhD in physics from University of California, Berkeley, in 1964, and 1984 held a joint appointment as a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Tennessee, and as a Distinguished Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He has recently become Distingished Professor of Physics at Penn State. "Physics research is changing rapidly and diversifying, [with] many new fields of research starting, while old fields are becoming more interdisciplinary," Mahan wrote in his candidate's statement, emphasizing his own broad experience in academia, industry and government laboratories. "It is the job of the APS Council to adapt the organization to these new directions.

©1995 - 2016, AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY
APS encourages the redistribution of the materials included in this newspaper provided that attribution to the source is noted and the materials are not truncated or changed.

Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette