2008 Winter Meeting Featured Speakers


AAPT Announces 2008 Winter Meeting Featured Speakers
Featuring Paul Hewitt, Mildred Dresselhaus, Vera Rubin, Judy Franz, and Mario Livio

College Park, Maryland, United States, January 14, 2007

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT; http://www.aapt.org) announced today that its 2008 Winter Meeting at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, will include plenary sessions featuring nationally renown speakers. The meeting will take place on January 19–23, 2008. For more information about the meeting, go to http://www.aapt.org/events/wm2008/

"Each of our plenary speakers is a successful physicist who has chosen a non-traditional career path that has had a major impact on society. They clearly demonstrate that physics is the universal language of science and is understandable to all people," stated Alex Dickison, AAPT Vice President and Meeting Program Chair.

“Once again, we have a diverse set of plenary speakers that I am certain will engage our attendees and present fresh perspectives on physics and education,” added Toufic Hakim, AAPT Executive Officer.

Here are some details for the plenary speakers:

Monday, January 21, 2008
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Paul Hewitt
Recipient of 1982 AAPT Millikan Award and Column Editor, The Physics Teacher
“Developing Conceptual Physics”

A silver-medalist boxing champion at 17, a cartoonist, commercial artist, soldier during the Korean War, uranium prospector, and sign painter, five years into teaching, at the time of the first lunar landing, Paul wrote Conceptual Physics. He tailored it to his non-science physics class and was able to teach a broad span of physics by omitting numerical problem solving. DVDs of the lectures are popular today in classrooms.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Mildred Desselhaus
Institute Professor and Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, MIT
Oersted Medal
“Expanding the Audience for Physics Education”

Professor Dresselhaus is a native of New York City, where she attended public schools completing her high school education at Hunter College High School. She began her higher education at Hunter College in New York City and received a Fulbright Fellowship to attend the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University (1951-52). She began her MIT career at the Lincoln Laboratory. A leader in promoting opportunities for women in science and engineering, Dresselhaus received a Carnegie Foundation grant in 1973 to encourage women's study of traditionally male dominated fields, such as physics. In 1973, she was appointed to The Abby Rockefeller Mauze chair, an Institute-wide chair, endowed in support of the scholarship of women in science and engineering.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008
7:30 p.m.-8:15 p.m.
Vera C. Rubin
Carnegie Institution of Washington D.C., Department of Terrestrial Magnetism
Richtmyer Memorial Award
“Rotating Galaxies and Dark Matter”

Dr. Rubin is an observational astronomer whose studies of the motions of visible matter in galaxies lead to the discovery of dark matter. She is a graduate of Vassar College, Cornell University, and Georgetown University. After 10 years as a researcher and faculty member at Georgetown, she moved to the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1965 where she is now a Senior Fellow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008
8:15 p.m.-9 p.m.
Judy Franz
Executive Officer of the American Physical Society (APS)
Melba Newell Phillips Medal

Dr. Franz is a condensed matter physicist and educator who contributed a lifetime of service to the AAPT. In her position as APS Executive Officer, she is actively involved in the education, outreach, diversity, public affairs, and international programs. Franz is the Secretary General of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), the international organization of physicists with over 50 member countries. She is currently a representative to the US National Committee to UNESCO.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Mario Livio
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD
“Symmetry: From Human Perception to the Laws of Nature”

Dr. Mario Livio is a senior astrophysicist and Head of the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), the institute that conducts the scientific program of the Hubble Space Telescope. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics from Tel Aviv University in Israel, was a professor in the Physics Department of the Technion-Israel Institute of technology. Livio has published more than 400 scientific papers and received numerous awards for research, for excellence in teaching, and for his books.

For more detailed information on the speakers, go to http://www.aapt.org/Events/WM2008/Featured_Speakers.cfm

About AAPT
AAPT is the leading organization for physics educators—with more than 12,000 members worldwide. Its mission is to enhance the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.

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