APS educational programs and publications

Award for Improving Undergraduate Physics Education
Created by the APS Committee on Education, the award recognizes departments and programs that support best practices in education at the undergraduate level. Nominations for the award are being accepted until July 15. More information can be found on the Award for Improving Undergraduate Physics Education page.

Joint Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Programs
The American Association of Physics Teachers and APS have formed the Joint Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Programs (J-TUPP), which is charged with engaging the physics community to develop a report that answers the question What skills and knowledge should the next generation of undergraduate physics degree holders possess to be well prepared for a diverse set of careers? By providing guidelines and recommendations on content, pedagogy, professional skills and student engagement, the report will give physics departments across the country a blueprint for enhancing their undergraduate programs.

J-TUPP will be led by Paula Heron (University of Washington) and Laurie McNeil (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). The other members of J-TUPP are Douglas Arion (Carthage College), J.D. Garcia (University of Arizona), S. James Gates (University of Maryland-College Park), Elizabeth McCormack (Bryn Mawr College), Duncan Moore (University of Rochester), Helen Quinn (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center), Quinton Williams (Jackson State University), and Lawrence Woolf (General Atomics Aeronautical Systems). The group will seek input from physicists (including physics students) in academia, national laboratories and business and industry, and professionals in other STEM disciplines that employ physics graduates and whose students take physics courses. J-TUPP expects to finish its report by mid-2016.

Save the Date for PhysTEC
The Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) Conference is the nation’s largest meeting dedicated to physics teacher education. The 2015 PhysTEC Conference will be held February 5-7, 2015 at the Marriott Seattle Waterfront in Seattle, WA. The conference will focus on Thriving Programs and will feature a pre-conference Learning Assistant Workshop on February 5, a post-conference workshop on Building Thriving Programs on February 7-8, and a joint poster session on February 6. More information can be found on the PhysTEC Conference page.

Graduate Education in Physics Conference Report Released
The 2nd APS Graduate Education in Physics Conference was held January 31-February 2, 2013, at the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland. The report from this successful conference was released this month and expands on the two major recommendations from the conference: increasing diversity in physics and improving the professional training of students in physics graduate programs. The final report will be sent to all physics departments in the United States this summer and is now available free of charge on the APS website. For a link to the report, see the Graduate page.

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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Michael Lucibella
Art Director and Special Publications Manager: Kerry G. Johnson
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik

July 2014 (Volume 23, Number 7)

Table of Contents

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Articles in this Issue
Physical Review Letters Publishes BICEP2 Paper on Possible Evidence for Cosmic Inflation
"Open Data" Policy a Cause for Optimism and Concern
Keen Minds Prep for the International Physics Olympiad
Supernova Explosions Now in 3D
2014 Kavli Prizes go to APS Members
Preparing Physicists for Entrepreneurship
Report on Graduate Education Released
Telling the History of Physics Through Historical Places
Particle Physics Panel: US Needs More Global Partnership
Members in the Media
This Month in Physics History
Education Corner
Profiles in Versatility
International News
Washington Dispatch
APS Committee on International Freedom of Scientists
The Back Page