Summer 2019 Newsletter

The OSAPS Fall 2019 Meeting will be hosted by Kettering University, Department of Physics, on October 11 – 12, 2019 as a joint meeting with the Michigan Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (MIAAPT).

Meeting overview

The theme of the meeting - “Physics and the Society” - was chosen to stimulate discussions about the role Physics Research and Education have historically played and continue to play in the context of today’s dynamic technology-driven societal changes. As traditionally has been the case at OSAPS meetings – and in line with the broad theme of this upcoming meeting – presentations from any physics and physics related field are welcome. In particular presentations in Materials & Nanoscience, Optics, Photonics, Spectroscopy & Imaging, Acoustics, Noise & Vibrations, Medical Physics, Computational & Mathematical Physics, Biophysics, Physics Education, and Industrial Physics & Entrepreneurship are strongly encouraged. In tune with the theme of the meeting, participants are encouraged to frame their presentations within the broader meaning and societal impact of their work.

The meeting will open Friday October 11 at 1 p.m. with a welcoming address by Kettering University President Dr. Robert McMahan – an astrophysicist and professor of Physics himself – and over the course of two days will feature plenary presentations by Dr. Howard Jackson, Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Cincinnati; Dr. Lisa Lapidus, Professor of Biological Physics, Michigan State University; Dr. Greg Sun, Professor and Chair, Engineering Department, University of Massachusetts at Boston; Dr. Xueding Wang, Professor, University of Michigan Ann Arbor Department of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Radiology. The Friday evening banquet dinner and invited talk will take place at the elegant Flint Institute of Art.

Contributed presentations will be delivered in the poster session of Friday afternoon and the Saturday morning parallel sessions of contributed talks. Submission of student-conducted work is particularly encouraged. A “Best Undergraduate Student Poster” award will be presented at the banquet dinner.

A unique feature of the meeting will be a share-a-thon/workshop organized by local members and contributors to the Advanced Laboratory Physics Association (ALPhA) in continuation of the OSAPS meeting. The workshop will be held Saturday afternoon from 1:15 to 3:15 pm, in parallel with visits of the labs of the Physics Department at Kettering University and will feature a number of experiments and related discussions. There is no charge for the workshop, but prior registration is required. Make sure to check the appropriate box on your meeting registration. MIAAPT organized activities will also take place Saturday afternoon.

Abstracts, Registration, etc.

For more details, to register for the meeting and/or submit an abstract, visit the meeting website at [] (

  • Registration: Meeting preregistration will be open until September 27, 2019. To register visit
  • Abstract Submission: Abstract submission will be open until Friday, September 20, 2019. To submit an abstract visit [] (
  • Student Travel: Students who present posters or oral presentations at the OSAPS meeting are eligible for travel support from the OSAPS. The amount of the travel grant is up to $100 per student, subject to OSAPS budget constraints. Students will be notified of the amount of the award after the meeting. The application deadline is October 4, 2019. To apply submit the online form

Report from the OSAPS Spring 2019 Meeting at The College of Wooster

The Spring 2019 OSAPS meeting was held at The College of Wooster on March 29-30, 2019 in conjunction with the Ohio Section of AAPT and Zone 7 of SPS. The theme of the meeting was “Frontiers in Nonlinear Science”, which was highlighted by seven invited speakers presenting topics from small biophysical systems to galaxies. A total of 136 attendees registered for the meeting and 68 presentations were given: 7 plenary/invited talks, 22 contributed talks, and 39 posters. An OSAPS Business Meeting was held prior to the formal OSAPS conference kick-off.

OSAPS Spring 2019 graphs

After the welcome address at 1 p.m. by Wooster president and physicist Sarah Bolton, the conference started with four plenary talks in the Lean Lecture Room in Wishart Hall. Stephen Morris from the University of Toronto began the session with a presentation on the nonlinear growth of icicles. The second talk was given by Swara Ravindranath from the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore on galaxy evolution. After the coffee break, Richard Field from the University of Montana presented a historical perspective on the discovery of the reaction scheme of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky system. Taviare Hawkins from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse finished the session with a talk about the mechanics of microtubules.

Stephen Morris

Stephen Morris
University of Toronto

Swara Ravindranath

Swara Ravindranath
Space Telescope Science Institute

Richard Field

Richard Field
University of Montana

Taviare Hawkins

Taviare L. Hawkins
University of Wisconsin La Crosse

Friday afternoon invited speakers

Kiril Streletzky, the SPS Zone 7 councilor from Cleveland State University, gave the information session on SPS, Sigma Pi Sigma and PhysCon 2019 at the Ruth Williams Hall. Many students attended.

The information session was followed by the poster session, which offered 39 presentations, 21 with an undergraduate first author who were eligible for the Undergraduate Research poster Award. During the poster session group pictures were taken, including a separate one with attending SPS students.

OSAPS meeting group

OSAPS Meeting attendees

SPS meeting group

SPS Meeting attendees

After the poster session, 80 participants attended the banquet dinner in Kittredge Dining Hall, followed by the public plenary talk by John Pojman from Louisiana State University on “Order out of Chaos: How Molecules Can Organize Themselves” on the visual beauty of nonlinear (chemical) systems. The events on Friday concluded with an SPS organized “Physics Race” in Taylor Hall from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

John Pojman

John A. Pojman
ouisiana State University

Stéphane Coutu

Stéphane Coutu
Pennsylvania State University

Tom Greenslade

Tom Greenslade
Kenyon College

After dinner plenary speaker and Saturday morning invited speakers

Saturday morning started with a light breakfast and a plenary talk by Stéphane Coutu from Penn State University on Experimental Particle Astrophysics. During the following coffee break, AAPT registrants held their business meeting. At 9:30 a.m., the parallel sessions started with an AAPT session by Jeremy Secaur from Elyria HS on “The Step Up 4 Women Program” and four APS sessions with 22 contributed talks on Applied Physics & Materials Sciences, Astro & Particle Physics, Condensed Matter & AMO, and Biophysics, Computational Physics & Education. The conference ended with a plenary APS/AAPT talk by Tom Greenslade from Kenyon College on “Bringing Early Physics Apparatus and Demonstrations into the 21st Century”.

Before the concluding remarks the Undergraduate Research Poster Award was presented to Junjiang Li, of Miami University (Ohio), for his poster entitled: Numerical Simulations of the Fast Adiabatic Transport of an Ultracold Quantum System. Darin Mumma of Grove City College (Pennsylvania) was recognized as the runner up for his poster entitled Speckle Interferometry of Close Binary Star Systems.

Junjiang Li

Junjiang (Jim) Li of Miami University receiving the Undergraduate Research Poster Award from Mike Crescimanno, Chair of the OSAPS Honors and Awards committee.

The local organizing committee consisted of Professors Niklas Manz and John F. Lindner, with significant administrative support and creative work (e.g., the program) by Ms. Jackie Middleton. The conference received financial support from OSAPS, the College of Wooster President’s office, the Department of Physics and the Society of Physics Students.

State Science Day

OSAPS sponsors the Gordon Aubrecht Physics Award for Outstanding Physics Projects at the annual State Science Day, held this year on May 11, 2019 in Columbus, OH. Awardees are selected by the Southern Ohio Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers [SOH-AAPT]. Prizes were awarded in three age categories: Elementary, Middle and High School. The first place in Elementary School was awarded to: Drew Bowles (Unioto ESCOPES Academy, Chillicothe) for “Sound Energy”. The first place in Middle School was awarded to: Sarah Burns (Sacred Heart of Jesus School, Wadsworth) for “Musical Instrument Soundboards and Alternative Materials”. The first place in High School was awarded to: Zoe A. Williams (Athen HS, Athens) for “Goldilocks’ Bassoon – When is Conical Bore Just Right?”

If you are interested in helping with judging at future State Science Days, please contact Roy Day (, the OSAPS section chair.

Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics

OSAPS sponsored the annual APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) for our region. CUWiP took place earlier this year from January 18-20 and was hosted by Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. The weekend-long event included scientific presentations and professional development topics such as academic and non-academic career panels, what to do with a physics degree, imposter syndrome, and many more. Approximately 190 undergraduates from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania participated. This event has a huge impact on the lives of many undergraduate women in physics and highlights the importance of diversity in STEM fields.

Honors and Awards Committee News

Nominations for either the Howard Maxwell Award for Distinguished Service or the William Fowler Award for Distinguished Research in Physics are accepted for consideration throughout the year. Nominations should be submitted to the Chair of the Honors and Awards Committee, Mike Crescimanno at Information about the awards can be found on the unit website.

OSAPS Executive Committee Spring Elections

OSAPS held their annual election cycle last winter and our newly elected members of the OSAPS Executive Committee are given below.

  • Vice-Chair: Jay Mathews, University of Dayton
  • Secretary: Ulrich Zurcher, Cleveland State University
  • Member-at-Large: Zifeng Yang, Wright State University
  • Student Member: Crew Weunski, John Carroll University

Thank you to all the candidates and everyone who voted.

We also want to thank our outgoing Executive Committee officers for their generous and excellent service. Jay Mathews finished a 3-year term as Member at Large and is returning as Vice-Chair, Ulrich Zurcher has returned for a second 3-year term as Treasurer, and Nilaj Chakrabarty finished a one-year term as student Member-at-Large.

There will be elections next Spring for the positions of

  • Vice-Chair
  • Treasurer
  • Student Member

Please consider nominating candidates (including yourself) for one of these important positions. Nominations should be sent to the Chair of the OSAPS Nominations Committee: Cynthia Aku-Leh (

Upcoming meetings

Fall 2019, October 11 – 12, Kettering University, Flint, MI.

Spring 2020, April 3 – 4, John Carroll University, Cleveland, OH

If you would like to explore the possibility of hosting a future meeting, please contact Vice-Chair, Jay Mathews (

Help Spread the Word about OSAPS

Not all APS members living in the Ohio Region (Ohio, Michigan and Indiana) are OSAPS members. Talk to your colleagues and let them know that membership in OSAPS is free and allows the section to continue in its efforts of providing quality meetings and active communications with its members through mailings, newsletters and email. OSAPS offers physicists the opportunity to attend multi-disciplinary meetings to discuss important research with your colleagues within the region, and it provides an excellent opportunity for both undergraduate and graduate students to present their research results. As most members reside or work in this area, participation in sectional meetings has the additional benefit of economy; this is particularly important for students. To join OSAPS, go to or contact a Membership Representative at 301-209-3280.

Please advertise the OSAPS meeting by posting the meeting flyer in your department.

Current OSAPS Executive Committee

Chair: Anthony Roy Day (05/19 - 04/20)
John Carroll University

Chair-Elect: Cynthia Aku-Leh (05/19 - 04/20)

Vice Chair: Jay Mathews (05/19 - 04/20)
University of Dayton

Past Chair: Petru Fodor (05/19 - 04/20)
Cleveland State University

Secretary: Ulrich Zurcher (05/19 - 04/22)
Cleveland State University

Treasurer: Donald Priour (05/17 - 04/20)
Youngstown State University

Member-at-Large: Andrea Richard (05/18 - 04/21)
Michigan State University

Member-at-Large: Zifeng Yang (05/19 - 04/22)
Wright State University

Student Member: Crew Weunski (05/19 - 04/20)
John Carroll University

Non-voting Officials and Special Appointees:

Honors & Awards Committee:

  • Mike Crescimanno, Youngstown State University (Chair)
  • Uma Ramabadran, Kettering University
  • Scott Lee, University of Toledo

Ombudsman: Ronald Winters Denison University

Archivist: Perry P. Yaney University of Dayton

The articles in this newsletter represent the views of their author(s) and are not necessarily those of the Unit or APS.