Summer 2003 Newsletter

Important Deadlines

Friday, September 5: DCMP Invited Symposia

Monday, September 8: Vote: DCMP Executive Committee

Friday, December 5: Montreal Abstracts, (web)

Monday, December 8: Check passport/visa status

Monday, January 12: Program goes on-line

Friday, January 16: Early Registration Deadline

Friday, January 16: APS Fellow Nominations

Friday, January 23: Postdeadline abstracts

Friday, February 20: Late Registration

March 22-26, 2004: Montreal Meeting

Friday, 5 September: Invited Symposia Nominations

The DCMP invited talks are selected from only member-submitted proposals. The whole Executive Committee selects symposia. It can't substitute speakers of its own choosing.

Biggest challenges are creating a compelling idea and overcoming limitations of the APS webform.

Ingredients of a Successful Proposal

  1. Propose a Symposium, not a single talk. The DCMP favors symposia, and uses single speakers sparingly.
  2. A good Symposium Title attracts the eye. But a correct sorting category ensures that correct subcommittee most carefully examines proposal.
  3. The Symposium Justification propels symposium idea. Speakers and abstracts, strongly underpinning idea, produce winners.
  4. Titles of individual talks influence the committee. Choose each carefully. The speaker can change it.
  5. Abstracts flesh out argument for the symposia. This can include an alternate speaker & email address.
  6. Recent References published in refereed journals are most influential. If room, brief article title can help.
  7. Multiple submission of a proposal is ineffective and counter productive.

Conquering Nomination WEB Form []

  1. Don't overfill crevices; DCMP webpage has item's limits. Prepare ahead to easily cut/paste into form.
  2. Include alternate speaker in abstract to provide excellent substitute if first choice unavailable. A robust, timely idea produces five strong talks.
  3. Little time for follow up of unanswered emails.
  4. Carefully revise material to support both symposium and speakers.

Monday, 8 September: Vote in Executive Committee Elections

Vote online for a new Vice-Chair, Councillor, and two Members-at-Large.

The Executive Committee through its "chairs" stewards APS March meeting involving dozen APS units. Duties include revising sorting categories, guiding selection of invited symposia, organizing the sort of contributed abstracts into coherent sessions. The DCMP seeks to avoid conflict between topics of invited and contributed sessions and to schedule related sessions in the same rooms over meeting.

The Executive Committee as a whole selects the DCMP invited talks using only member-submitted nominations.

The members-at-large serve as DCMP Fellowship Committee, sending their recommendations to APS Fellowship Committee and then APS Council.

The Executive Committee works to improve understanding of condensed matter physics by Congress, funding agencies, K-16, and public. March meeting features letter writing campaign to Congress. See educational material at Send suggestions or coments to

For every vacancy there are two nominees who have agreed to serve. DCMP members are encouraged to nominate candidates. On-line procedure eases securing fifty co-nominators to ensure presence on ballot.

Vote at

Friday, 5 December: Montreal Abstracts

Contributed abstracts must be submitted online. Some suggestions may help.

Content Aspects

  1. A good title attracts an audience with a clear take-home message.
  2. Be specific; give results not promissory notes. Prefer "Pressure increases the frequency" over "The pressure dependent frequency will be discussed."

Style Aspects

  1. Use clear prose in the present tense to present take-home messages.
  2. Avoid acronyms and jargon to reach out to the largest audience.

Online submission aspects

  1. At or thru URL in headline of this newsletter, submit abstract.
  2. Take an advance look to see all the information needed. Preparing in advance saves time, especially in cutting abstract text to approximately 1300 characters, including spaces.
  3. Don't wait until the last moment. Submissions peak at the end of the week. Then web response could delay you.

Monday, 8 December: Passport/Visa Check

Submitting an abstract implies attending the Montreal Meeting. Besides the obvious items - conference registration and travel & hotel arrangements - Montreal raises the question of travel to a foreign country.

With world-wide changes, any person going needs to make sure of free entry and exit. The DCMP and APS March Meeting webpages (see two under 'Newsletter' in headline) will have information for all participants.

  1. All US citizens and holders of green cards need a current passport.
  2. Anyone in USA on F-1/J-1 visa needs current addenda in their passport.
  3. Anyone from abroad, coming only to Montreal, should check entry/exit rules to Canada from their country.

Citizens from a few countries will need a visa from Canada.

Every attendee should check APS or DCMP webpage.

Friday, 16 January: APS Fellowship Nominations

Being selected an APS Fellow is restricted to 1/2 percent of the membership in any year. For those nominated thru DCMP that means ~25 per year. Actual approval is by the APS Council upon the recommendation of APS Fellowship Committee.

Competitive nominations require some care. Full details can be found by clicking Fellowship link on main APS webpage on downloading forms.

Here are some tips.

  1. Like any proposal, the title and abstract are important. In this case, the title is a one or two line endorsement indicating "exceptional contributions." The abstract is a supporting paragraph "enlarging on the citation and indicating the originality and significance of the contributions cited." These can be supplemented by a list of at most 8 publications and 10 other contributions such as invited talks, patents or professional service.
  2. The committees (DCMP Members-at-Large and APS one) will also carefully look at the complete vita and publication list, together with lists of invited talks, awards, service and organization of conferences. Please don't send copies of the papers.
  3. To assemble the information the candidate can be very helpful.
  4. The two sponsors' nominating letters can be supplemented by a maximum of two additional letters to round out the arguments for your candidate. The better known and more hands-off these supporters are, the better.
  5. The deadline for nominating Fellows through the DCMP is January 16. Consider whether some other unit might be a more appropriate venue, such as DCOMP, DMP, DPOLY or FIAP. Each unit has a different deadline timed to the operation of their fellowship committee.

Buckley Prize Endowment

In 1952 AT&T Bell Laboratories endowed an APS prize in memory of its 1940-51 president, Oliver E. Buckley. This prize recognizes and encourages outstanding theoretical or experimental contributions to condensed matter with a $5,000 prize and certificate. See for overview, nomination details, and recipients.

The American Physical Society Council has set a goal for all major prizes to award $10,000. In keeping with the prestige of this prize that recognizes dramatic contributions to the field of condensed matter physics, the APS is launching a campaign to increase the endowment to provide a $10,000 prize. The DCMP Executive Committee supports this goal and asks its members to consider contributing; see [Note: requires APS userid and password for obscure reason. Original donor was not APS member!]

The articles and opinion pieces found in this issue of the APS Division of Condensed Matter Physics Newsletter are not peer refereed and represent solely the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of the APS.