APS News

February 2018 (Volume 27, Number 2)

2018 APS March Meeting Heads West

Los Angeles will host the world’s largest physics meeting


Around ten thousand attendees are expected to converge on the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) for the 2018 APS March Meeting. Running March 5-9, the conference will feature more than 1000 invited speakers, 10,000 presentations, and many workshops and special events. Be sure to check the meeting website for the latest times and locations.

March Meeting 2018

Among the highlights is the Kavli Foundation Special Symposium on Wednesday, March 7, featuring five distinguished speakers (2:30–5:30 p.m.). Barry Barish (Caltech) will review the latest discoveries from LIGO and talk about the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. Shoucheng Zhang (Stanford) will discuss one of the hottest topics in condensed matter physics—topological and quantum matter. Manu Prakash (Stanford) takes a wide view with a talk on "Frugal Physics and Global Health." Novel superconductors will be the subject of Ming Yi’s (UC Berkeley) talk, and Amir Abo-Shaeer (Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy) will talk about his institute’s programs.

Diversity topics will be central to a number of sessions in Los Angeles. On Sunday, March 4, Homeyra Sadaghiani (Cal Poly Pomona) will lead a seminar for undergraduate and graduate women on professional skills development (4–6 p.m.). On Wednesday, all are welcome to participate in a roundtable discussion on improving the climate within physics for gender and sexual minorities. The National Society of Black Physicists and National Society of Hispanic Physicists meetup on Wednesday will provide opportunities to gather and network. And the APS Forum on Education is sponsoring a reception (6:15–7 p.m.) where you can learn about current diversity efforts spearheaded by APS, the Committee on Minorities in Physics, the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics, the Committee on Education, and the LGBT+Physicists group.

On Sunday before the main sessions get underway there will be an orientation for new attendees (5–6 p.m.) with a crash course on navigating the meeting and using the mobile conference app, and information about how APS can help make the best of your conference experience. The orientation will be followed by the APS Official Tweetup (6–8 p.m.) where the mavens of social media will gather and refreshments will be served.

Also on Sunday, attendees can learn about the state of the art in several areas. There will be morning tutorial sessions on density functional theory, thermoelectric materials, spintronics, and quantum information (8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.) and afternoon tutorials on hybrid quantum systems, quantum critical systems, and the Mathematica software program (1:30–5:30 p.m.). The tutorials require pre-registration and a fee is charged.

The APS Division of Polymer Physics will hold a short course on gels and elastomers on Saturday and Sunday, and the Topical Group on Soft Matter will hold a Sunday short course on machine learning for soft materials research. Both require pre-registration and payment of course fees.

Two workshops for grad students and postdocs are scheduled for Sunday as well. The APS Topical Group on Energy Research and Applications and the Forum for Early Career Scientists are co-sponsoring a workshop on "The Future of Sustainable Approaches to Energy" (closed for applications). And the Forum for Outreach and Engaging the Public will host a workshop on "Improving your Presentation." The latter requires pre-registration and a $20 fee.

The APS Prizes & Awards Ceremony will take place on Monday, March 5 (5:45–6:45 p.m.) and will honor numerous individuals for their research excellence and service to the physics community. The March Meeting Welcome Reception (6:45–8 p.m.) will be held in the main exhibit hall immediately following the awards session.

The Physical Review editors invite you to their 125th anniversary celebration on Tuesday, March 6, in the LACC Concourse Foyer from 4:30–6:30 p.m. The editors will be available to answer questions, hear your ideas, and discuss your comments about the journals. Light refreshments will be served. Then, on Wednesday, March 7, editors from Physical Review Letters and Physical Review will provide information and tips for new referees and authors. This session is aimed at anyone looking to submit to or review for any of the APS journals, as well as anyone who would like to learn more about the authoring and refereeing processes (11:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m.).

Wednesday is Industry Day at the meeting, sponsored by the APS Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics. This year’s theme is "Big Data and Physics: Bits to Knowledge," which highlights how Big Data impacts our work, our daily lives, and physics research.

On Wednesday evening (6:30–7:30 p.m.) James Kakalios will give a Public Lecture on "The Physics of Superheroes" in Petree Hall of the LACC. This will be followed by a session on "Federal & Private Funding Opportunities in Condensed Matter Physics & Materials Science" (7:30–8:30 p.m.).

Also on Wednesday, there will be a staged reading of the play "Silent Sky" by Laura Gunderson (8–9 p.m.). The play is based on the life of astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt and her experiences as a woman in the male-dominated culture of the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s. The play will be performed by the International City Theatre of Long Beach, CA, and will be followed by a discussion with the actors and a historian of science. Later that same evening, bring your singing voice to the Rock-n-Roll Physics Singalong (9–10:30 p.m.) for physics tunes and light refreshments.

Throughout the week, there will be a full program of activities for students: Future of Physics Days (FPD) are events just for undergraduate students. Sponsored by APS and the Society for Physics Students, FPD offers undergrads the opportunity to present their research, learn about grad school and career options, and connect with the scientific community. There will be undergraduate research sessions, career and professional development workshops, an undergrad-only lounge, and a graduate school fair All attendees can learn about careers in the private sector, participate in a job expo, and register for a Careers in Physics Workshop.

For more information visit the meeting website.

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Editor: David Voss
Contributing Correspondent: Alaina G. Levine
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik

February 2018 (Volume 27, Number 2)

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Articles in this Issue
OSTP Emphasizes Quantum Computing
The Making of PRL: Mission, Material, Method
2018 APS President Roger Falcone
APS Strategic Planning Underway
2018 APS March Meeting Heads West
Spotlight on Development
This Month in Physics History
Special Commentary
International News
Education & Diversity Update
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