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The program of FEd-sponsored invited sessions at the 2013 national meetings will cover a great deal of ground, ranging from recent results in Physics Education Research to national policy documents on education, the challenges of building diversity in our field, and discussions of how professors bring the excitement of their research to their classrooms and the broader community.
At the March Meeting in Baltimore, one session will focus on the challenges of introducing students in urban environments to physics and other STEM fields and will take advantage of the work being done in the Baltimore region and elsewhere. The speakers at this session, which is being chaired by Mel Sabella of Chicago State University, include Richard Steinberg of the City College of New York, Cody Sandifer of Towson University, Nicole Gillespie of the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation, Anne Spence of the University of Maryland–Baltimore County, and Gale Seiler of McGill University.
A second Baltimore session will examine the issue of bringing more women and members of underrepresented minorities into the physics community. The first speaker will be Philip Rous, Provost of the University of Maryland–Baltimore County, which is a leader in recruiting minority students into science and engineering fields. He will be followed by Peter Muhoro, who is Project Manager for the APS Minority Bridge Program; Paul Gueye of Hampton University who is also the President of the National Society of Black Physicists; Senta Victoria Greene, who is Executive Dean of the Vanderbilt University College of Arts and Sciences and (as of this writing) Chair of the APS Committee on the Status of Women in Physics; and Roxanne Hughes, Director of the Center for Integrating Research and Learning at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University.
A series of important reports being released by federal agencies is the subject of a third Baltimore session. Talisma Rahman (National Center for Education Statistics) and Gary Phillips (American Institutes for Research) will speak about the NAEP-TIMSS linking study which will allow the comparison of academic performance in each American state to the performance levels of other nations. Paula Heron (University of Washington) and Donald Langenberg (University of Maryland) will discuss the NRC decadal report on Physics Education Research. Finally, Kenneth Heller (University of Minnesota) will address the NRC report on Discipline-based Education Research.
The final March invited session will consist of talks by five Cottrell Scholars on the topic of integrating research and teaching excellence. The speakers will be Jairo Sinova (Texas A&M University), Jennifer Ross (University of Massachusetts–Amherst), Richard Taylor (University of Oregon), Mark Tuominen (University of Massachusetts–Amherst) and Erica Carlson (Purdue University).
The Forum is also sponsoring a March focus session that will follow up on the workshop "Building a Thriving Undergraduate Program" that was hosted by the APS in June. The invited keynote talk for the session will be given by Gubbi Sudhakaran of the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. It is hoped that workshop attendees and others will present their own program-building ideas during the contributed part of the session.
The FEd invited sessions in April will include a session on "Transforming Teaching and Learning in Upper Division Physics" with speakers Heather Lewandowski and Steve Pollock of the University of Colorado–Boulder (a third speaker has not yet been confirmed). A second April session will discuss public outreach by the high energy physics community and will include Marjorie Bardeen (Fermilab), Steve Shropshire (Idaho State University) and Mitch Wayne (Notre Dame).
Finally, the Forum will host a session celebrating the winners of the 2012 Excellence in Physics Education Award: Gary Gladding, Mats Selen and Timothy Stelzer of the Physics Department at the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign. They received the award for their "smartPhysics" program.
Paul Cottle is a Professor of Physics at Florida State University. He is currently the Chair-Elect of the APS Forum on Education Executive Committee.