Association of Korean Physicists in America (AKPA)

Eun-Suk Seo

The Association of Korean Physicists in America (AKPA) has been serving both Korean and American communities by promoting technical excellence, US-Korea cooperation, and professional networking since its birth in 1979. I have been privileged to serve as the 29th President of AKPA for the last two years. During my term, we organized numerous meetings including the US-Korea workshop as part of the Korean Physical Society (KPS) 60th anniversary celebration, and physics sessions with record-setting attendance at the US-Korea Conference on Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship (UKC 2012). The “US-Korea Workshop: International Cooperation on Particle, Nuclear and Astrophysics Research” was held in Daejeon, Korea, April 24-25, 2012. This workshop was organized jointly by AKPA and the Korean Physical Society (KPS) in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the KPS.

We hope our strong collaboration between AKPA and KPS will lead to many productive collaborative projects between Korea and the US.  Distinguished US speakers representing their research fields included Professors B. Barish, H. Gao, V. Jones, W. Lynch, M. Peskin, R. Tribble, and P. Yoon. In addition, two former Presidents of AKPA, Professors C. R. Ji and K. H. Kim, President Elect and VP Professor J. Yu, Treasurer Dr. T. Shin, and Chair of the Publicity and Editorial Committee, Professor S. W. Lee, former Auditor, Dr. P. N. Seo, and young researchers Drs. S. Park, N. Hong, and H. Na made presentations either at the workshop or at the KPS General Meeting. We are most grateful for the travel support provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF). I would like to thank the KPS led by President S. C. Shin for being a gracious host and for providing warm hospitality during our stay.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the KPS and the American Physical Society (APS) to strengthen the collaboration and communication between the two organizations was a highlight of the KPS 60th anniversary celebration. AKPA helped facilitate this MOU, which promotes scientific exchanges between physicists from Korea and the US. The APS Office of International Affairs, along with the Committee on International Scientific Affairs (CISA), will collaborate closely with AKPA to facilitate other suitable joint activities.

We also organized Korean physicist symposia at American Physical Society (APS) meetings, including the March and April meetings, and Annual meeting of the Division of Plasma Physics. We successfully launched a pilot program, the National High School Physics Contest, during the National Mathematics and Science Competition (NMSC 2012) in North Texas and North Carolina. We published newsletters quarterly, with a new design to improve the appearance. Recognizing the importance of a presence on the web, our web page was also upgraded and maintained ( We had two Outstanding Young Researcher Award (OYRA) winners, Prof. Y. Y. Ahn of Indiana University and Dr. N. Y. Kim of Stanford University, who is the first woman awardee.

The OYRA has been awarded annually by AKPA since 1994, in order to recognize and promote excellence in research by outstanding young ethnic Korean physicists in North America. The AKPA Award Committee has recommended two winners from its OYRA 2013 review, and I have accepted that recommendation. Join me in congratulating Dr. S. B. Chung of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Dr. G. B. Jo of the University of California, Berkeley. The award ceremony will be held during the upcoming APS March Meeting at the Forum on International Physics (FIP) reception to be held at the Baltimore Convention Center. The AKPA annual meeting will be held after the FIP reception for the transition and inauguration of the 30th administration. As last year, there will be a Korean Physicists Symposium at the APS March meeting followed by the Traditional Wednesday Dinner, which will serve as a banquet. I hope to see all Korean participants to the APS March meeting at the FIP reception, Korean Symposium, and the banquet.

A Physics Symposium consisting of at least eight sessions is currently being organized for the upcoming UKC 2013 to be held in East Rutherford, New Jersey from August 7 to 11, 2013. This symposium would bring together leading scientists and young researchers in various fields of physics from across the US and Korea. It will serve as a timely event for establishment of the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) and construction of the Korea Rare Isotope Accelerator (KoRIA) as part of the International Science & Business Belt (ISBB). Topics include but are not limited to High Energy Physics, Nuclear Physics, Laser-Matter Interaction Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Nonlinear and Quantum Optics, Biophysics, Condensed Matter and Semiconductor Physics. More details can be found on the conference web site:

AKPA is energized and excited about what the future will bring to us. I hope it will continue to grow and benefit the broader community. I also hope our strong collaboration with APS will continue to promote scientific exchange between physicists from Korea and the United States of America. I would like to thank the KPS for friendship and for sponsoring one of the two OYRA winners three years in a row. I would also like to thank the Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association (KSEA), and the Korea-US Science Cooperation Center (KUSCO) for their close cooperation and sponsorship.

US-Korea Workshop: International Cooperation on Particle, Nuclear and Astrophysics Research
Professor Eun-Suk Seo is the 29th President of AKPA and is at the University of Maryland.

Disclaimer - The articles and opinion pieces found in this issue of the APS Forum on International Physics Newsletter are not peer refereed and represent solely the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of the APS.