Spring 1998 Meeting Report

The annual Spring Meeting of the Texas Section of the American Physical Society was held on the campus of the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio on 19 - 21 March 1998. The local arrangements were organized by Dr. Tom Hudson. The meeting began on Thursday evening with registration and the Mexican Fiesta Reception with a Mariachi Band. The meeting was held jointly with the Texas Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers and Zone 13 of the Society of Physics Students. Registration was over 200 people. There were two plenary sessions. In the first plenary session on Friday morning, Dr. Harry Swinney, UT Austin, presented a lecture entitled "Emergence of Order." In the second plenary session on Saturday morning, Dr. Everett Gibson, NASA, reported the latest results on "Search for Life on Mars."

APS had 42 contributed papers presented in a variety of physics areas in 4 contributed paper sessions. AAPT sponsored three contributed papers sessions with 25 papers. SPS sponsored one student session with eight papers. The AAPT scheduled its customary array of 20 workshops on physics education topics for area teachers and interested participants.

The Friday luncheon was followed by TSAAPT and SPS Zone 13 business meetings.

At the Friday Evening Banquet the Texas Section AAPT presented the R. N. Little Award to Dr. Tom Hudson and the Katherine Mays Award to Bill Franklin. The after-dinner speaker was Dr. Kamlesh Lulla, NASA, who spoke on the "Astronauts View the Home Planet: Space Images of Global Changes on Earth."

The committee to select the outstanding student presentations in the APS contributed papers sessions reviewed the presentations of 8 graduate and 12 undergraduate students competing and selected five students to receive awards consisting of a certificate and a check for $150 each. The very popular and successful award program is supported by the Section's general operating fund. Winners were:

Undergraduate Students:
  • Martin Holt, Rice University, "Electronic Properties of V2O3 near a Mott Transition."
  • James Smith, Texas A&M University, "Modeling Financial Data as an Ergodic System."
  • T. B. Sweet, University of Texas San Antonio, "Optical and laser characteristics of Pyromethene BF2 dye in solid plastic host."
Graduate Students:
  • Yandong Chen, University of North Texas, "Synthesis and Characterization of Er-doped Si Nanocrystals."
  • Kevin Morris, Texas A& M University, "Instrumentation for the Measurement of LIF and REMPI Spectroscopy of Jet-Cooled Molecules."