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In writing this email, I am participating in a membership drive sponsored by the Division of Materials Physics (DMP) of the APS. The DMP is the originator of the concept of "Focus Topics" at the March APS meeting. By having a coherent series of scientific sessions on one topic, each seeded by one invited speaker, a Focus Topic can cover a subfield with more depth and breadth than would otherwise be possible. DMP organizes 20-25 Focus Topics (comprising about 120 sessions) at the March meeting each year, and 25-30% of all March-meeting contributed abstracts are submitted to DMP-sponsored Focus Topics. Like other units, DMP also organizes invited March-meeting symposia, awards APS Fellowships, and sponsors prizes and awards.
However, DMP membership remains low relative to other units such as DCMP (the Division of Condensed Matter Physics). Anecdotal evidence suggests that it simply nevers occurs to many people to join DMP, despite the fact that they may take part in many DMP activities. Some people have even expressed surprise to learn that DMP is not the same as DCMP, or that membership in one does not automatically entail membership in the other.
Please do not take DMP for granted! DMP needs a number of members that is reflective of its real role in APS activies, because APS resources are distributed internally in proportion to membership. The number of DMP symposia that can be offered, the number of DMP Fellowships that can be awarded, and the meeting registration revenues returned to DMP all depend on the membership numbers. In addition, building DMP membership will increase the visibility of materials physics and contribute to DMP outreach efforts.
The cost to join the DMP is very low, only $7.00 per year (and for students it is free the first year). If you are already a member of another unit, don't worry; membership in multiple units is encouraged. It is trivial to join at any time: just go to http://www.aps.org/membership/units/join-unit.cfm and follow the simple directions. You can sign up and pay via credit card online, or print out and return your membership form by fax or mail.
What are the benefits to you personally for joining DMP? Frankly, not much. You will receive a paper copy of the DMP Summer Newsletter, in which the DMP Focos-Topic descriptions and sorting codes are given for the coming March meeting. That's about it. The main reason to join is to support the activities of the DMP.
If you are already a member, please consider helping with this membership drive. Either simply forward this email to your friends and colleagues, or go to the DMP web site at http://www.aps.org/units/dmp/ and click on the "Join DMP" tab at left for additional suggestions.
Thanks for helping to grow the DMP!