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By Leah Poffenberger
From March 2 to 6, more than 10,000 physicists from across the country and around the globe will gather in Denver, Colorado, to participate in the world’s largest physics meeting. Across the five-day meeting, attendees will encounter an avalanche of opportunities to present research, collaborate with colleagues, and interact with other physicists from a variety of backgrounds. This year's APS March Meeting will be held at the Colorado Convention Center—the only convention center with its own 40-foot-tall bear.
While attendees will have more than 900 sessions to choose from, the March Meeting will offer a number of special events for early-career physicists, students, and the general public. A highlight of every March Meeting is the Kavli Foundation Special Symposium: This year’s symposium, themed “Frontiers of Computation: Machine Learning and Quantum Computing” will take place on March 4 from 2:30 to 5:30. The invited speakers are Michelle Girvan (University of Maryland, College Park), Eun-Ah Kim (Cornell University) and Roger Melko (University of Waterloo), John Preskill (Caltech), and Patrick Riley (Google).
Several pre-meeting events will be held on March 1, including short courses hosted by the Division of Polymer Physics, the Topical Group on Data Science, the Topical Group on Statistical and Nonlinear Physics, and the Division of Soft Matter. In addition to six tutorials on topics ranging from noisy quantum devices to advances in medical sensors, the pre-meeting events will include a workshop on creating learning assistant programs (3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.), a first-time attendee orientation (5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.), and a meet-up for undergraduate students participating in Future of Physics Days (6:15 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.).
After the first day full of scientific talks on March 2, the APS Prizes and Awards Ceremony will take place from 5:45 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to honor the outstanding achievements of APS members. A Welcome Reception will follow (6:45 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.). On March 3, meeting attendees will have a chance to mingle with editors of the Physical Review journals at the Meet the Editors Reception (4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.). A third reception on March 4 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.—the Diversity Reception—will provide attendees with an opportunity to network while learning about APS diversity efforts led by the Committee on Minorities, the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics and the LGBT+ physics group.
Early-career physicists, graduate students, and job seekers will have the chance to attend a lunch-time session on March 2, “Meet Your Future: Careers in the Private Sector,” hosted by the APS Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics and the APS Careers team (11:45 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.). Another special event is the Careers in Physics Workshop: Putting your Science to WORK, a session led by career coach and author Peter Fiske on March 5 (2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.). The annual March Meeting Job Expo will be held on March 2 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., on March 3 from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on March 4 from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Undergraduate students will have the chance to participate in Future of Physics Days (FPD) events, sponsored by APS and the Society for Physics Students (SPS). FPD offers students the opportunity to present research, learn about graduate schools and careers, and network with others in the scientific community. An event on March 2, Connecting with Success: Networking Workshop for Physicists (5:45 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.), will give students the tools to build their professional networks to discover opportunities. Students can also attend a graduate school fair on March 3 from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the graduate school fair reception (2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.). A student reception for both undergrad and graduate students to mix and mingle will follow from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Four special events that will delight both physicists and the general public are planned: On March 3, condensed matter physicist Diandra Leslie-Pelecky Hilborn will give a public lecture on materials science and NASCAR racing titled “From Nanomaterials to NASCAR: Materials at 200 Miles per Hour” (7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.). On March 4, science and the arts will come together in a staged reading of the play Einstein’s Wife from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and the Rock-n-Roll Physics Sing-Along, a popular March Meeting tradition, from 9:15 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. A new event at this year’s March Meeting is based on the book "Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words." Hosted by the Forum on Outreach and Engaging the Public, the event challenges presenters to test their communication skills by describing their research in only the most common 1,000 English words. All are welcome to watch physicists attempt to win prizes with simple explanations of complex topics on March 4 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in room 601/603.
For more information on the 2020 March Meeting and the full scientific program, please visit march.aps.org.
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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Leah Poffenberger
Contributing Correspondent: Alaina G. Levine
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik