AIP | Matters
-- -- November 5, 2012

Fred Dylla Director's Matters

By H. Frederick Dylla, Executive Director & CEO

In the wake of Sandy

Much of the news from the US last week has focused on the recovery of the Northeast from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy. The entire state of New Jersey, a significant fraction of the New York City Burroughs, and all of Long Island sustained the most damage.

The staff from our Publishing Center in Melville on Long Island has had a difficult week. We are thankful that none of our staff, nor our colleagues from ASA who share the building with us, suffered any personal injuries. However, quite a few are dealing with damage to their personal residences due to falling trees and flooding, and virtually all staff have dealt with, or continue to deal with, loss of power.

Our Melville facility was one of the few buildings on Long Island that maintained power throughout the storm, and we did not have to rely on our backup power systems to keep our publication platform and telecommunications operational. We opened the building last Wednesday morning for staff who could safely commute to find a haven with power and water. An eagerness to reengage with one’s duties at work was combined with the opportunity to exchange personal experiences. Camaraderie often provides necessary healing in such stressful events.

My family, friends, and colleagues in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia lived through a similar event in 2003 when Hurricane Isabel made landfall. Half the homes in my town along the shores of the lower Chesapeake Bay, including my own, were flooded, and the entire area experienced power outages lasting from 10 to more than 20 days. Residents were extremely grateful for the power line crews that converged on the area from virtually every power company east of the Mississippi—just as these crews were prepositioned in the Northeast last weekend based on the accurate storm tracks of the NOAA forecasters. The American Red Cross was also among the first responders, offering disaster relief and comforting services.

The Red Cross has again fanned out across the hardest hit areas in Sandy’s wake. The American public provides the primary support for the Red Cross, and we are most generous immediately after such catastrophic natural events. For those who would like to help the most disadvantaged hurricane victims, you can donate through

Publishing Matters

Publisher's Office fully staffed

AIP’s Publishers’ Office is now fully staffed, with the arrival of three new journal managers in the last several weeks. The Editorial Development team now comprises two directors (Alison Waldron and Alison Taylor) and four pairs of managers, each consisting of a managing editor and a journal manager. Every journal is assigned to a managing editor/journal manager pair, and each director leads two of these teams. New employees Benedetta Camarota, Jennifer Simmerer, and Stella Kafka join Dave Baker as AIP Publishing’s journal managers; Melissa Patterson, Aravind Akella, Grace Chik, and Kharissia Pettus are the four respective managing editors. These teams were created specifically to oversee and ensure the success of the journal program from the publisher’s perspective.“We are very excited to have the Publishers’ Office fully staffed so we can extend our efforts to revitalize AIP journals,” Waldron says.

AIP Publishing staff

From the left, back row: Stella Kafka, Dave Baker, Benedetta Camarota, Kharissia Pettus. Front row: Aravind Akella, Grace Chik, Melissa Patterson, and Jennifer Simmerer.

Physics Resources Matters

Flurry of activity as PhysCon approaches

The PhysCon tours of NASA Kennedy Space Center will include the industrial area, the causeway where launch pads are visible, the shuttle landing facility, the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) area, and the crawlerway.

The second floor of AIP in College Park is buzzing with activity as final preparations for the 2012 Quadrennial Physics Congress (PhysCon) are completed. This meeting, hosted by the physics honor society Sigma Pi Sigma (SPS), has grown to be the largest gathering of physics undergraduates in the United States, and will be the largest gathering in the history of SPS. Following are some notable highlights:

  • Eighty scientists are expected to join students for a special “Breakfast with the Scientists” event—many of these from the AIP Governing Board. Kennedy Space Center is also sending 12 scientists to this event.
  • The meeting capacity of 800 was reached more than a week before the October 15 registration deadline, and there are 44 people on a waiting list.
  • We have received more than 200 poster abstracts and art contest submissions to date.
  • There are 60 exhibitors registered for the congress exhibit, primarily physics graduate programs.
  • Twenty SPS and SPS chapters have received PhysCon Reporter Awards, providing $500 in travel assistance. In return, they will write feature articles about specific aspects of PhysCon and document their experiences with photographs.
  • Nine organizations are supporting PhysCon as sponsors, including several AIP Member Societies.
Around AIP

APS receives $3M NSF grant to help minorities pursue PhDs

[from APSNews, October 2012, Vol. 21, No. 9]
By Bushraa Khatib

APS Bridge logoIn September the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded APS $3 million in funding over the next five years to launch the APS Bridge Program (APS-BP), a national effort designed to increase the number of underrepresented minority students who receive doctoral degrees in physics. The program plans to select its first funded site and accept student applications for Fall 2013.

Underrepresented minority students, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans, earn about 10% of US physics bachelor’s degrees, yet they comprise only about 5% to 6% of US citizens who receive physics PhDs at American institutions. The main goal of the APS-BP is to roughly double the number of PhDs awarded to these students within the next ten years by developing sustainable “bridging” models to provide these students with research opportunities, advanced coursework, and mentoring, and to facilitate these students’ access to graduate programs. Also, the project will enable departments to enhance the culture of their physics graduate education so that all students have the best chance of success. Read the full story at the APSNews website.

Coming Up

November 6–11

AIP Governance meetings, SPS Governance meetings, and PhysCon (Orlando, FL)

  • November 6, AIP Executive Committee meeting
  • November 7, AIP Governing Board meeting and SPS Council meeting
  • November 8, PhysCon tours of Kennedy Space Flight Center
  • November 8–10, Quadrennial Physics Congress of Sigma Pi Sigma
  • November 11, SPS Executive Committee meeting

Wednesday, November 7

  • ACP board game brown-bag lunch. Bring a board/card game. Candy provided!

Wednesday, November 14

  • Staff birthday breakfasts (Melville and College Park)

Through November 15

  • ACP Food Drive

Thursday, November 15

  • ACP Annual Harvest Breakfast

Friday, November 16

  • Brown-bag lunch talk by Rachel Ivie, associate director of the AIP Statistical Research Center, “The Effects of Limited Resources and Opportunities on Women’s Careers in Physics: Results from the Global Survey of Physicists.” (College Park)