APS News

2008 General Election Preview

It’s that time of year again, when APS members have the opportunity to elect next year’s leadership from a slate of candidates selected by the APS Nominating Committee. Brief biographical descriptions for each candidate can be found below. Those elected will begin their terms on January 1, 2009. Members will elect a Vice President, Chair-Elect of the Nominating Committee, and two General Councillors. All votes must be entered by Noon, Central Daylight Time, September 1, 2008. Full biographical information and candidates’ statements can be found on the APS General Election page.

Vice President

Barry C. Barish
California Institute of Technology

Barry C. Barish

Barry C. Barish

Dr. Barish earned his B.A. in 1957 and PhD in 1963 in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. He came to Caltech in 1963 as part of a new experimental effort in particle physics using frontier particle accelerators at the national laboratories. Among Dr. Barish’s noteworthy experiments were those performed at Fermilab using high-energy neutrino collisions to reveal the quark substructure of the nucleon. These experiments were among the first to observe the weak neutral current, a linchpin of the electroweak unification theories of Glashow, Salam, and Weinberg.

In the 1980s, Barish initiated an ambitious international effort to build a sophisticated underground detector (MACRO) in Italy in the promising and emerging field of particle astrophysics. Results from MACRO provided the best limits on the density of Grand Unified magnetic monopoles in the universe, ruling it out as a major contributor to the dark matter. The experiment also provided key evidence for atmospheric neutrino oscillations, helping to establish that neutrinos have mass.

Barish became Principal Investigator of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) project in 1994 and served as Director of the LIGO Laboratory from 1997 to 2005. LIGO has recently completed a one year long data run at design sensitivity and is presently in the midst of analyzing that data for gravitational wave signals. The experiment has already set the best limits on most candidate sources at levels that are becoming astrophysically interesting. The interferometry technique works very well and a major upgrade is now underway to improve the sensitivity by more than an order of magnitude.

Barry C. Barish is presently the Director of the Global Design Effort for the International Linear Collider (ILC) and Linde Professor of Physics, Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology. The ILC is the highest priority future project for particle physics worldwide, as it promises to complement the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in exploring the TeV energy scale. This ambitious effort is being uniquely coordinated worldwide, representing a major step in international collaborations going from conception to design to implementation for large scale projects in physics.

In October 2002, Dr. Barish was nominated to the National Science Board; the 24-member board that oversees the National Science Foundation (NSF) and advises the President and the Congress on policy issues related to science, engineering, and education. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and has received the Klopsteg Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers. Barish is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Bologna and the University of Florida.

Chris Quigg
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Chris Quigg

Chris Quigg

Chris Quigg graduated in physics from Yale in 1966 and received his PhD at Berkeley in 1970 with J. D. Jackson. After four years in the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook, he moved to Fermilab, which has been his scientific home ever since. He was for ten years Head of Fermilab’s Theoretical Physics Department, and held a joint appointment at the University of Chicago from 1974 to 1991. In 1987 he returned to Berkeley to serve for two years as Deputy Director of the Superconducting Super Collider Central Design Group. He has held visiting professorships at École Normale Supérieure in Paris, Cornell, and Princeton, was Erwin Schrödinger Professor at the University of Vienna, and is a regular visitor to CERN. He has lectured at summer schools around the world, and is much in demand as a keynote and summary speaker.

Chris Quigg is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and held a Sloan Fellowship. He has just received an Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award. Quigg has been Divisional Associate Editor of Physical Review Letters (1980-1983), Associate Editor of Reviews of Modern Physics (1981-1993), and Editor of the Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science (1994-2004). As Chair of the APS Division of Particles and Fields, he led the organization of Snowmass 2001: a Summer Study on the Future of Particle Physics. He has served the Society in numerous capacities, most recently as chair of the task force on the future of the April Meeting. His work for the physics community includes membership on experimental advisory committees, visiting committees, and government advisory committees in the US and abroad.

Quigg was a charter member of Saturday Morning Physics, Fermilab’s enrichment program for high school students, and served as Trustee of the Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy. He has lectured and written frequently for the general public, and was featured in The Ultimate Particle, a road movie of particle physics broadcast in France and Germany.


Chair Elect, Nominating Committee

Kate Kirby

Kate Kirby

Kate Kirby
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Kate Kirby received her B.A. in Chemistry and Physics from Harvard/Radcliffe College in 1967 and her PhD from the University of Chicago in 1972. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard College Observatory (1972-73), she was appointed as research physicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Lecturer in the Harvard University Department of Astronomy (1973-86, and 2003-present). From 1988 to 2001 she served as an Associate Director at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, heading the Atomic and Molecular Physics Division. In 2001 she was appointed Director of the NSF-funded Institute for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (ITAMP) at Harvard and Smithsonian.

Kirby’s research interests lie in the area of theoretical atomic and molecular physics, particularly focusing on the calculation of atomic and molecular processes important in astrophysics and atmospheric physics. Recent work has included studies of collision-broadened alkali atom resonance lines (seen in the atmospheres of brown dwarf stars), electron impact excitation of highly-charged ions (to understand astrophysical x-ray spectra), molecular line opacities in cool stellar atmospheres, and formation and destruction of small molecules in astrophysical environments. In addition she is working on processes for forming ultracold polar molecules via laser-induced photoassociation and using such systems as a platform for robust quantum computation. In 1990 she was elected to Fellowship in the APS.

Kirby has both chaired and served on numerous committees of the American Physical Society, including the Fellowship Committee (1993-95), the Nominating Committee (1994-96), the APS Ethics Task Force (2002-2003), the Committee on Prizes and Awards (2005-2006), and the Search Committee for APS Leadership Positions (Editor-in-Chief and Treasurer, 2005-06). She was elected APS Councilor-at-Large (1991-93) and Divisional Councilor for DAMOP (2003-07) and elected to the Executive Board of APS (2005-06). In addition she has served as Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect, and Chair of DAMOP (1995-98).

Other activities include membership on the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (2003-2008) and co-chair of the BESAC Subcommittee on Theory and Computation, member of the NAS/NRC Decadal Assessment Committee for Atomic, Molecular and Optical Science (AMO2010), Chair of the International Conference on Photonic, Electronic, and Atomic Collisions (2001-2003), and member of the Editorial Board of Reports on Progress in Physics (2007-present).

Clare Yu

Clare Yu

Clare Yu
University of California, Irvine

Clare Yu is currently a professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine. She received her B.A. and PhD in physics from Princeton University. She was a postdoc at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Los Alamos National Laboratory before joining the faculty at UC Irvine.

Her present research interests include biological physics and condensed matter physics. In biological physics she is working on intracellular transport and developmental biology. Her condensed matter physics interests include glassy and disordered systems, noise, and superconducting Josephson junction qubits. She has also contributed to problems in strongly correlated electrons, quantum magnetism, superconducting vortices, phase transitions, and quantum solids.

She was an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. She has served as a member-at-large of the executive committee of the APS Division of Condensed Matter Physics (DCMP), and as a member of the nominating committee of the APS DCMP. She was a co-organizer of the 2006 Workshop on Opportunities in Biological Physics sponsored by the APS Division of Biological Physics. She was co-leader of a Campus-Laboratory Collaboration (involving 5 campuses and Los Alamos) on Superconducting Vortices and Related Phenomena. She is currently a member of the University of California Academic Council Special Committee on (National) Lab Issues.

General Councillor

Nergis Mavalvala
Nergis Mavalvala
Nergis Mavalvala
Massachusetts Institute
of Technology

Nergis Mavalvala is an associate professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She works on experimental gravitational wave detection and precision measurement at the quantum limit. She received her B.A. in Physics and Astronomy from Wellesley College in 1990, and completed her PhD in 1997, under the supervision of Rai Weiss at MIT. Her thesis work involved developing and testing the alignment sensing and control systems for the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) interferometers. As a postdoctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology, she was heavily involved in all aspects of the design and commissioning of the LIGO detectors. Since 2002 she has been on the Physics faculty at MIT, where she has continued her involvement with LIGO, but has also branched out into experimental quantum optics and quantum measurement in macroscopic mechanical systems. Nergis has been a Sloan fellow and enjoys teaching and interacting with students as much as she does her research.

Nergis’s research interests span two related fields–experimental gravitational wave (GW) interferometry, and the quantum limits of precision measurement. She has been involved in experimental activities within the LIGO Laboratory over the past fifteen years, including design and implementation of interferometric sensing and control systems, commissioning of the initial LIGO detectors, study of quantum effects in future GW detectors, use of squeezed quantum states of light to enhance GW detector performance, and measurement of quantum behavior of macroscopic objects.

Shekhar Mishra

Shekhar Mishra

Shekhar Mishra
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Shekhar Mishra is Deputy International Linear Collider Program Director at Fermilab and adjunct professor of physics at University of Delhi, India. He received his B.S. in Physics at Patna University, India in 1980, his M.S. in Physics in 1983 and Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics in 1987 at the University of South Carolina. He conducted his M.S. and PhD thesis work in part at the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility (LAMPF) and the Swiss Institute of Nuclear Research. From 1987-1989, Mishra was a Research Associate in the Physics Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory. As a young research associate Mishra was also co-spokesperson of three nuclear physics experiments at LAMPF. He was visiting scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Fermilab. In 1989, Mishra joined the Fermilab staff as a Research Associate and played a leading role in design, construction, running, and analysis of a B Meson experiment. In 1991, he became a staff scientist in the Fermilab Accelerator Division as a member of Main Injector design team.

Mishra’s research interests are in a broad range of accelerator physics, design, construction, and operation, as well as in experimental high energy physics. In the Accelerator Division, he has held positions of Head of Main Injector Commissioning (1998-1999) and Head of the Main Injector Department (1999-2003). He played a central role in the design, construction, and commissioning of two new accelerators, the Main Injector and Recycler at Fermilab. While a member of the Main Injector Design team, he continued his HEP interest by pursuing B-Physics at Fermilab’s DZero detector and its upgrade (1990-2004).

In 2003, Mishra returned to accelerator design, this time to work on the design of the proposed International Linear Collider. He was initially involved in the design of the ILC Main Linac with the key issue of beam emittance preservation to maximize the luminosity. He played a central role in the ILC Main Linac technology selection by the International Technology Recommendation Panel. Since the selection of Superconducting Radio Frequency technology, he is leading the Fermilab R&D on superconducting cavities and cryomodules for future accelerators.

Mishra has served on many review committees, including the US Department of Energy, Spallation Neutron Source project review team. He chaired the Committee for the Joint University-Fermilab Doctoral Program in Accelerator Physics (1997-2000) and served as a committee chair for two PhD theses in high energy physics from the University of Delhi. He enjoys working with students and research associates.

Mishra is actively involved in promoting international participation in accelerator research and most importantly collaboration on a future lepton collider. Since 2002 he has been actively involved in the development of collaboration of US and Indian laboratories on accelerator development. The collaboration is working on R&D for future colliders and on each nation’s domestic accelerator program. He is the US laboratories’ liaison for this Accelerator R&D collaboration.

Jorge Pullin

Jorge Pullin

Jorge Pullin
Louisiana State University

Jorge Pullin is the Horace Hearne Chair in Theoretical Physics at the Louisiana State University. His research interests center in theoretical gravitational physics, both in its classical and quantum aspects, including the application of numerical techniques.

He recently served as the chair of the Topical Group in Gravitation of the American Physical Society. His administrative experience also includes serving as associate director of Penn State’s Center for Gravitational Physics and Geometry and as co-director of the Horace Hearne Jr. Institute for Theoretical Physics at Louisiana State. He is a managing editor of International Journal of Modern Physics D, serves on the editorial board of Living Reviews in Relativity and the New Journal of Physics, and served on the board of Classical and Quantum Gravity. He is one of the US representatives at the International Committee for General Relativity and Gravitation.

He has received several distinctions, including Alfred P. Sloan, John S. Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, a Career Award from the National Science Foundation and the Edward Bouchet Award of the American Physical Society.  He is also a corresponding member of the National Academies of Science of Argentina and Mexico and of the Latin American Academy of Sciences. He is a fellow of APS, of the Institute of Physics (UK) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He got his doctorate in physics from the Balseiro Institute in Argentina in 1989.

Sriram Shastry
Sriram Shastry
Sriram Shastry
University of California, Santa Cruz

Sriram Shastry is a professor in the University of California at Santa Cruz. He received his B.Sc. in Physics from Nagpur University; his M.Sc. from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 1970 and his PhD from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay in 1976. He did postdoctoral work at the Imperial College London 1979-1980, and at the University of Utah 1980-1982. He was a faculty member at the Tata Institute 1982-1987, visiting faculty at Princeton University 1987-1988 and a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill 1988-1994. He was a professor at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 1994-2003 and has been at Santa Cruz since 2003.

Shastry is a theoretical condensed matter physicist who has worked in a wide variety of problems, from exactly integrable and exactly solvable models of quantum spins, to problems involving phenomenological modeling of experiments such as NMR relaxation rates, the Hall constant, and Raman Scattering in high Tc systems. He is the co-inventor of some popular models of quantum magnetism in low dimensional systems, where quantum fluctuations are dominant. He is mainly concerned, these days, with transport problems in strongly interacting electronic systems.

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the TWAS (Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, Trieste, Italy). He received the 1998 TWAS award in physics for his work on interacting quantum many body physics.

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