Spring 1997 Meeting Report

The annual Spring Meeting of the Texas Section of the American Physical Society was held on the campus of the University of Saint Thomas on 13-15 March 1997. The local arrangements were organized by Dr. Louie Galloway.

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. There were 314 persons registered.

The AAPT organized two plenary sessions. In the first, Clifford Swartz reviewed physics teaching over the past century and speculated about physics teaching in the next century. The meeting concluded with a talk by Steven Weinberg on the problem of the cosmological constant. TSAPS organized an invited session on "How we look at surfaces today."

In addition to the invited and plenary sessions, there were 36 APS contributed papers arranged into 6 sessions touching on most research areas of physics. There were also 33 AAPT invited and contributed papers in 4 sessions, and 10 SPS papers in 2 sessions. The AAPT Section organized 14 workshops on physics education topics for area teachers and interested participants.

The Banquet was attended by about 260 persons. It was followed by a lecture by Dr. John Hubisz, emertitus professor of physics from the College of the Mainland, Robert N. Little award winner for outstanding contributions to physics in Texas, and currently at the University of North Carolina. The title of his lecture was "Learning Styles, Quarter-sheet Questions and Classroom Exercises to Promote Learning." Those who know John will know that he made this rather ponderous topic humourous, informative and fun for us all.

The committee to select the outstanding student presentations, organized by Manfred Fink, reviewed the presentations of graduate and undergraduate students competing and selected three students to receive awards consisting of a certificate and a check for $150 each. The award program is supported by the Section's general operating fund.

Undergraduate Students:
  • J. M. Clewell, University of North Texas, poster CC9, "Diamond Thin-film Thermionic Generator"
  • Frederick Gray, Rice University, paper CA2, "Neural network search for rare kaon decay events"
Graduate Students:
  • Z. J. Qu, Texas Center for Superconductivity, University of Houston, paper CB5, "Magneto-transport Properties in Ag-doped YBCO 110-film"