WM18 Highlights

A joint meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists

NSHP logo - wm2018 meeting

 WM18 logo

Attendees: 832
Workshops: 15
Tutorials: 2
Topical Discussion: 2
Posters: 117
Program Committee Chair: Mel Sabella

Special Thanks
AAPT thanks the following persons Greg Severn, University of San Diego, for his dedication and selfless contributions to the success of the workshops during the Winter Meeting.

Paper sorters: Beverly (Trina) Cannon, Charlene Rydgren, Jackie Doyle, Katie Ansell, Frank Lock, Ryan Hazelton, Bahar Modir, Andy Rundquist, Rob Salgado, Ernie Behringer, Dan Jackson, Jeremiah D. Williams 

Yellow Ducks Town and Country Resort Town and Country Pagoda Town and Country Guard Bunnies

The headquarters hotel for the 2018 Winter Meeting was the Town and Country Resort, located in the heart of San Diego's Mission Valley, the unique facility provides a variety or rooming options and includes guard bunnies, gnomes, floating yellow ducks, and lawn flamingos. A 30 minute walk from the city center, the resort is connected with other San Diego attractions by trolley.

WM18 Posters

SessionWM18 PostersWM18 Workshop

A joint meeting with the National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP), the plenaries, sessions, tutorials, posters, and workshops covered a wide range of interests and levels from the novice to the experienced teacher. NSHP sessions included "History of Physics and PER in Latin America" and "Culturally Sensitive Mentoring."

WM18 attendees at on field trip to Chicano Park.The University of San Diego Shiley Center for Science and Technology was host to workshops on Saturday and Sunday with selections ranging from "Preparing to Succeed in AP Physics 1 and 2" to "LIGO and Interferometers." Commercial Workshops were hosted by PASCO Scientific, Expert TA, Perimeter Institute, Pearson, and Vernier. AAPT and NSHP cosponsored a tour Chicano Park which is the only recognized National Landmark focused on Chicano populations in the United States. 

In conjunction with the joint meeting,  the societies hosted the Conference on Enhancing Undergraduate Physics Programs at HSIs (EUPP-HSI). The conference brought together representatives from Hispanic Serving Institutions in order to articulate the challenges and opportunities of physics education at HSIs;explore suggested best practices of teaching, mentoring and retaining students, both majority and minority students;and to develop a list of suggestions for institutional and programmatic changes at the HSIs and also physics professional societies.

WM18 Walk Run ParticipantsWM18 attendees also enjoyed a variety of social opportunities such as the Early Arrivals Networking Event, Rise and Shine Yoga, the First Timers' Gathering, Meet-up for Members and Supporters of LGBTQ Community, Game Room Night, SPS Undergraduate Awards Reception, the AAPT Fun Run/Walk, the Early Career Speed Networking event, and the High School Teachers' Lounge.  

The AIP Andrew Gemant Award was given to Don Lincoln, a senior scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Chicago. His distinguished research career is paralleled by an extensive resume of science communication work. His talk, "God's Thoughts: The Modern Search for a Theory of Everything" was followed by a panel discussion that focused on challenges and tips for communicating science to the public. Panelists shared stories from the field, tips on breaking into the publishing industry, and what can happen behind the book or camera.

Gabriela GonzálezA special National Society of Hispanic Physicists plenary talk was given Monday by Gabriela González, a physicist working on the discovery of gravitational waves with the LIGO team who spoke on "Gravitational-wave Astronomy." Lynne Talley, Distinguished Professor of Physical Oceanography in the Climate, Atmospheric Sciences, and Physical Oceanography division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego was also a plenary speaker.

Mehran Kardar, 2018 John David Jackson AwardeeThe 2018 John David Jackson Excellence in Graduate Physics Education A was awarded to MIT's Mehran Kardar in recognition of his work as a teacher of graduate statistical mechanics. He has written two graduate textbooks in statistical mechanics that are used in many graduate programs. He receives among the very best teaching evaluations of any professor in the MIT Physics Department and his courses draw large crowds. His talk, "Force from Non-equilibrium Fluctuations in QED and Active Matter," along with the award, was presented on Sunday, January 7.

Mark Beck, 2018 Richtmyer AwardThe 2017 Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award was presented to Mark Beck, Professor of Physics and Chair of the Department of Physics at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. He spoke on "Preparing Our Students for Quantum 2.0." Beck currently holds the Benjamin Brown Professorship, which is named and endowed in honor of a much-respected member of Whitman's Physics Department who received AAPT's Oersted Medal in 1939. That Beck holds this position is particularly apropos as he, like Brown before him, has made significant contributions to the teaching of physics, the most important being his role in reformulating the approach to teaching Quantum Mechanics. Beck has become a prominent contributor to efforts to reformulate the teaching of Quantum Mechanics, and has authored a textbook that takes a new approach to the subject. He has proven himself a gifted and highly productive educator. He has contributed to the discipline at his home institution, nationally, and even internationally. His work to allow the tenets of Quantum Mechanics to be taught more effectively is exactly the sort of transformative effort that must be encouraged, then acknowledged and rewarded as our discipline seeks to assert its continued relevance in an ever more rapidly changing world.

Barbara Whitten, 2018 Oersted AwardeeBarbara L. Whitten, recipient of the 2017 Oersted Medal addressed "The Value of Diversity in Physics." Whitten is Professor Emerita of Physics, at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Though she has emphasized physics teaching and learning practices in the classroom to develop a more inclusive physics community, Whitten has also championed the role of peer mentoring and near-peer mentoring to help mentor junior faculty and for on-going professional development at all stages. Along with four of her colleagues she pioneered a long-distance, mutual mentoring network. And they have extended their collaboration to an AAPT sponsored program, the e-Alliance.Whitten is a co-PI of the NSF ADVANCE funded AAPT project: "Mutual Mentoring to Combat Isolation in Physics." This project grew out of an earlier NSF ADVANCE project in 2008 that created an ongoing peer mentoring group. Those who benefited from the initial project found it to be so successful, that they wanted to extend the program. In drafting the proposal, Whitten was instrumental in providing the intellectual merit section of the proposal. She researched the field of mentoring in the sciences and was able to provide the needed research basis for the proposal.Whitten's impact in diversity and inclusion in physics is widely felt in the physics education community, particularly at the undergraduate level. From "What Works" articles to her development of a site visit program to assess departmental climates, she got the physics community to seriously consider the ways in which we could recruit and retain women in physics. She was a pioneer in providing meaningful scholarship on this topic and her work continues to change the ways in which departments think about their inclusiveness. Her work was the forerunner of current efforts to explore ways in which gender and sexual identity interact with development of an identity as a physicist. As the physics community strives to be more inclusive, we honor and celebrate the work by Whitten.

Nancy Easterly, Homer L. Dodge Citation WM18 Mary Ann Hickman Klassen, Homer L. Dodge Citation WM18 Steve Spicklemire, 2018 Homer L. Dodge Citation Jon Anderson, Homer L. Dodge Citation WM18





Member service to AAPT was recognized with the presentation of the Homer L. Dodge Citations for Distinguished Service to AAPT to Nancy Easterly, Daniel Schroeder, MaryAnn Hickman Klassen, Steve Spicklemire, and Jon Anderson.

Nancy Easterly, Lone Star College North Harris/Greenspoint, has worked for the past several years with the Georgia Math and Science Partnership (MSP) Grant at the University of West Georgia, adapting the activities and changed them to meet the needs of the middle school students. She is a highly respected physical science and physics workshop leader and has spent the last eighteen years dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of physics. Service to national organizations as well as local ones has also been a focal point of Easterly's career. She has been a PTRA since 1999 and was the lead PTRA for several years for the Houston Area Physics Teachers. Easterly has been an e-mentor for AAPT since its inception helping over two dozen teachers.

Daniel Schroeder, Weber State University, is probably best known among physicists as the author of An Introduction to Thermal Physics (2000) and coauthor, with Michael Peskin, of An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory (1995). He has been an active member of the Idaho-Utah Section of AAPT since 1993, serving as its President in 2003. His service to the American Journal of Physics began in 1998 when he was appointed to the Editorial Board. He served as Book Review Editor from 2003 through 2008 and as Associate Editor from 2012 to 2016. He now serves as a Consulting Editor.

MaryAnn Hickman Klassen, Swarthmore College, has been active member of AAPT since 1995. Klassen has volunteered in the Southeastern Pennsylvania Section of AAPT, serving as President from 2010-11. Her AAPT committee service has included the Committee on Laboratories 2008-2011 and 2016-18, serving as Chair 2017-18;Programs Committee 2017-18;and Meetings Committee 2017-19. She has organized or presented in the Introductory Laboratories workshops at Summer AAPT meetings since 2007 and served as a reviewer for The Physics Teacher.

Steve Spicklemire, University of Indianapolis, became Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Department of Physics and Earth-Space Science, University of Indianapolis in 1996 where he focused on development of web based distance learning resources, and web interfaces to undergraduate research projects such as their radio telescope, high altitude ballooning, laboratory instrumentation, and parallel/cluster computers. Joining AAPT in 1990, he immediately became active in the Indiana Section of AAPT and has served as secretary, vice-president, president, webmaster, treasurer, and Section Representative. His service to AAPT includes membership on the Committee on Laboratories.

Jon Anderson, Circle Pines High School. As a long-time member of AAPT, Anderson has attended numerous national meetings as both a presenter and a participant. He is currently serving on the Committee on High School Physics, is the new Academic Coordinator for the PhysicsBowl, and was named an AAPT Fellow in the spring of 2017. Anderson has been involved in the PhysTEC project since 2007, first serving as a Teacher in Residence (TIR) at the University of Minnesota. He became the coordinator of TIRs and Visiting Master Teachers (VMT), an AAPT position in the PhysTEC project, in 2009. Anderson has played a major role in promoting the role of the TIR to the broader physics community, and regularly organizes sessions at AAPT meetings in which TIRs give talks about their work.

The Second Cohort of 2017 AAPT Fellows were also recognized. They are:

  • Tim Duman, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Randall Knight, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, California
  • Laureen (Laurie) Reed, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Michigan
  • Carl Rutledge, East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma
  • Toni Sauncy, Texas Lutheran University, Seguin, Texas
  • Steve Spicklemire, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Tim Stelzer, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois
  • Paul Tipler, Oakland University, Alemeda, California
  • Barbara Whitten, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado

SPS leaders help San Diego students in SEES physics workshopOn Tuesday the Physics Education Research Topical Group (PERTG) held a Town Hall Meeting and AAPT, together with the Society for Physics Students, AAPT hosted a The Students Exploring Engineering and Science (SEES) program. They welcomed at-risk students from San Diego elementary schools to a fun filled morning of physics related science activities led by volunteers. The activity included transportation, lunch, career information, and science materials provided through donations to the Betty Preece Memorial Fund.

George Amann transfers the presidential gavel to Gordon P. Ramsey




The meeting concluded with the Presidential Transfer where Georga A. Amann turned the Presidential Gavel over to incoming president, Gordon P. Ramsey.