APS News

Physics in the Big Easy: APS March Meeting 2017

Largest APS Conference travels to New Orleans in March 2017

By Rachel Gaal

The city of jazz, original beignets, and Mardi Gras is hosting this year's APS March Meeting! Held from March 13-17, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the Society’s largest conference will attract over 10,000 physicists, including early career scientists, and students from around the world.

As in past years, the Kavli Foundation Symposium will anchor the conference, with this year’s theme being Quantum Matter & Quantum Information. The 2016 Nobel Laureates F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz are among the invited speakers of the symposium, which will also include talks by Kathryn Moler, Dale Van Harlingen, Andrew Cleland, and Michel Devoret.

At least 9,700 abstracts will be presented over the weeklong conference, featuring 1,000 invited speakers and over 350 sessions focused on special topics. Whether it be physics of beams or biophysics, or perhaps the physics of climate or the history of physics, there will be something for everyone in New Orleans.

New Orleans sky scape
Photo: Getty Images

Feeling a bit nervous presenting in front of record-breaking numbers of attendees? Grad students and postdocs can attend a pre-meeting workshop, Finding Your Scientific Voice: Improving Your March Meeting Presentation, to get some last-minute pointers from the Forum for Outreach and Engaging the Public. Each three-hour workshop will focus on communication tips for presenting results to peers and to the lay public. Preregistration is required, and there is a $20 fee.

The APS Division of Polymer Physics is hosting a two-day workshop on Saturday, March 11, and Sunday, March 12 titled Polymer Colloids: Synthesis, Characterization and Application. This pre-meeting event will include 15 lectures and two invited seminars that will highlight polymer colloid research and techniques. Preregistration is required and there is a registration fee.

Soft matter physics buffs can also attend a short course on Sunday, March 12, to review the fundamental concepts and tools used in more computational research. A daylong survey of different models, common theories, and tools will be covered over several lectures. This pre-meeting event is limited to 40 participants, and a registration fee is required.

Keep an eye out for additional pre-meeting tutorials, hosted in the morning and afternoon hours of Sunday, March 12. These half-day workshops, organized by the March Meeting Program Chairs, will cover a variety of topics: Quantum Photonics, Electron-Phonon Interactions, Topological Insulators, Current Research in Many Body Localization, Weyl Semimetals, Computation in the Undergraduate Curriculum, Topological Physics with Cold Atoms, and Active Matter. Check the tutorials timetable on the March Meeting Events & Activities page to learn more about the content and invited speakers. Register now or onsite at the New Orleans Convention Center (but be warned, space is limited and tutorials will fill up!).

To kick off the week festivities, an official Tweetup will be held on Sunday evening for those who plan to converse throughout the meeting over Twitter. Gather with your online friends and learn about using social media to communicate science! You can also have your picture taken with the Flat Physicists at the Tweetup; in case you miss them, they will be around all week at the APS Village, where attendees can also pick up APS giveaways and stylish physics gear from the Member Store.

Amid the scientific sessions throughout the week, a number of panels, receptions, and awards ceremonies will take place.

Those interested in learning about career options outside of academia are encouraged to attend an interactive panel on Monday, March 13. Hosted by the Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics, the Meet Your Future: An Interactive Panel on Industry Careers session will give advice on how to start and succeed in an industrial career path. An overview of federal career programs related to condensed matter physics will be given at the session Enabling Careers in Condensed Matter Physics: Federal Programs, also on Monday.

Undergraduates who are keen to learn how to land a job post-graduation should attend the Building your Undergraduate Physics Career session on Monday, March 13. The Society of Physics Students will hold an interactive workshop to teach students how to polish resumes, practice interviews, and more. The Graduate School Fair and Reception, along with the Student Reception and Awards Ceremony, will be held on Tuesday, March 14.

For those wondering how to take the next step into the job market, a workshop hosted by Peter Fiske on Wednesday, March 15, will provide advice and strategies for taking your physics job search to the next level. This Careers in Physics: Putting Your Science to Work session is free and open to all meeting attendees. Space is limited, and sending an RSVP is encouraged.

Prospective authors and referees can attend a short tutorial on Wednesday, March 15, led by editors from Physical Review Letters and the Physical Review journals, to guide anyone looking to submit to or review for any of the APS journals. If you’re more interested in chatting with journal editors, make sure to stop by one (or both) of the Meet the APS Editors Receptions, held on Tuesday, March 14, and Wednesday, March 15.

A number of meetups will be held on Wednesday, March 15, for LGBTQ+ Physicists, the National Society of Black Physicists, and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists. To learn more about the APS diversity initiatives and to get involved in the dissemination of opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities, attend the Diversity Reception on Wednesday evening.

The 2017 APS Annual Business Meeting will also be held during the March Meeting on Thursday afternoon. It can be attended in person, on the web, or online after the meeting. APS Leadership will provide members with information about the Society, and the opportunity to ask questions and share comments.

We hope you can join us in New Orleans to take part in this Mardi-Gras-sized meeting!

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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Rachel Gaal
Contributing Correspondent: Alaina G. Levine
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik