Report on the FIP’s Activities and Executive Committee Meeting 2018

Jerry Peterson, Chair of FIP 2018

During the April 2018 APS meeting in Columbus OH, we also held our annual meeting of the FIP Executive Committee (ExComm). For those of you who are not familiar with FIP operations, this body is responsible for the overall well-being and detailed operations of our Forum. Members include the five elected officers, the FIP Councilor (a member of the APS council), the Editor of the FIP Newsletter, and six members-at-large. These members of the ExComm were all elected by the FIP members.

We had 9 of the 13 ExComm members present in person participating to the meeting. Our first step was to congratulate the new FIP officers:

  • Chair-elect for 2018, Luisa Cifarelli, University of Bologna. Luisa will chair the FIP Program Committee in 2019, preparing for invited talks in 2020.
  • Councilor (our representative to the overall APS Council), Emanuela Barzi, Ohio State University and Fermilab
  • Members at-Large: Dmitri Denisov, Fermilab and Abhishkek Kumar, University of Maryland and NIST

Our FIP operates through several committees for our yearly tasks. For 2018, preparing for 2019, our committees are:

  • Program Committee, chair Elena Aprile ( This group is responsible for three sessions of five speakers each for the APS meeting in Boston March 4-8, 2019, and for three sessions of three speakers each for the April 13-16, 2019 meeting in Denver.
  • Nominating Committee, chaired by Cherrill Spencer, FIP Past Chair, to prepare the slate of candidates for the 2018 FIP election of officers, who will begin their terms January 1, 2019. This newsletter will be read too late to ask for nominations, but please begin to think about candidates for next time. Please contact the 2019 chair-in-waiting,, with self-nominations or the names of those who should be officers. It is not too early to begin thinking of the future.
  • Wheatley Award Committee. FIP is charged with the selection for this award every two years (, with the deadline being June 1, 2018. Jerry Peterson is the chair of this committee. The awardee will give an invited talk at either the March or April general APS meeting in 2019.
  • Fellowship Committee. FIP is allowed five nominations from our membership for APS Fellowship. We are allotted one Fellowship nomination per 500 Forum members, so get your colleagues to join our Forum! There is no longer any extra cost. The APS standards for Fellowship are found at, largely based on the nominee’s impact on physics. In addition, the FIP standard for our nomination includes significant impacts on the international side of physics, demonstrated also by at least one year of membership in FIP. Jerry Peterson is the chair of this committee.

For the 2017, the new APS Fellows selected from FIP nominations, and awarded at the APS meetings, are:

Ahmed Ali/ Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
Sushanta Mitra/ York University - Ontario
Chilakamarri Rangacharyulu / University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
Surjalal Sharma/ University of Maryland
Bernardo Spagnolo/ University of Palermo
Shining Zhu/ Nanjing University

Sushanta Mitra and Chilakamarri Rangacharyulu were both receives certificate and the pin from Jerry Peterson and the APS CEO, Kate Kirby during FIP executive committee meeting (see photo).

Our Forum was responsible for the creation of the International Research Travel Award Program (IRTAP), which provides up to $2000 for travel to visit an international collaborator, either way between a developing and a developed nation. Our ExComm is part of the review process to consider IRTAP proposals. See the details at

This program is running out of funds, which are currently provided year-by-year from other APS units, enabling their members to benefit from the travel support. Efforts are underway to make this a sustainable program, not relying on begging. We heard that the first round of the 2018 IRTAP had 36 proposals, reviewed by 12 reviewers from 8 units of the APS, with 10 winners, each of $2000 for travel support. The second round now has 30 proposals.

Distinguished Student Program awards provide travel support for overseas students to attend APS meetings, where they present a talk or a poster. In 2018 we supported seven such students for March and four for April, as selected from the 2017 DSP applications; details on that past competition are found at

Surajit Sen and Jason Gardner have led this effort. Jason’s term on the ExComm has ended in mid 2018, and Surajit’s term is ending after 2018. This program will need another champion. In April, our Executive Committee approved $5000 to support this program. We also decided to ask the APS for a more secure basis of funding for this program.

The ExComm was asked by the APS to amend our FIP bylaws to accord with those of the APS. The resulting amended Bylaws will be voted upon by the FIP membership as part of our fall 2018 election, if all goes well.

Jerry Patterson photo

FIP Fellow Rangacharyulu with Kate Kirby and Jerry Peterson

New FIP Fellow Chilakamarri Rangacharyulu receives certificate and the pin from Jerry Peterson and the APS CEO, Kate Kirby (during FIP executive committee meeting, 15 April 2018)

April Meeting 2018 group photo

Toyoko Orimoto, Sheakha Aldaihan (DS winner Student), Jason Gardner, Riccardo Barbieri (DS winner student), Cherrill Spencer at the April Meeting 2018

FIP Fellow Sharma with Kate Kirby and Jerry Peterson

New FIP Fellow A. Surjalal Sharma receives certificate and the pin from Jerry Peterson and the APS CEO, Kate Kirby (during FIP executive committee meeting, 15 April 2018)

FIP Executive Committee 2018

FIP executive committee (partial) and Amy Flatten & Kate Kirby at the ExComm 2018