The WKU Department of Physics and Astronomy is pleased to announce the Randall Harper Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research. Undergraduate students who have been involved in research projects, either on the WKU campus or through summer research experiences elsewhere, may apply for this award. Successful applicants will receive a certificate and $100 at the annual University Awards Ceremony.
The deadline for the 2014 competition is Monday, March 31, 2014 at noon. For further information please read the Award Announcement. To apply please download and complete the online application form using Adobe Acrobat Reader (PC) or Preview (Mac).
Initial semester meeting.
- Discussions included an introduction of the current officers and the announcement of Stacy Hicks running for the office of president elect. Anyone interested in the spring break trip needs to let us know by our next club meeting.
- We would also like to know if anyone is interested in devoting time to elementary, middle, and high school out reach.
- We are going to be taking an email survey to see how everyone feels about having bi monthly meetings instead of just one meeting a month. When you receive the email please select an option and submit it as soon as you can.
- The Physics Olympics is Saturday the 22nd of February. We need student volunteers to assist with the event. Anyone interested in helping out with the physics olympics please contact Dr. Gelderman in the Physics Department at richard.gelderman at wku.edu.
- The engineering club will be playing paintball on March 1st. Anyone interested in spending a Saturday being tagged with paintballs should contact Tim Bucklew at timothy.bucklew122 at topper.wku.edu.
SPS meetings for this semester will be held on the first and third Wednesday of every month at 3:00 pm. This is with a few exceptions. February’s meetings will be switched the second and forth Wednesday of the month, and the March 5th meeting will be at 2:00 pm instead of the usual 3:00 pm meeting.
We have discussed taking a spring break trip with the chemistry club this semester. Possible options for the trip maybe Fermi, Oak Ridge, and Huntsville. Any suggestions for the trip will be considered, so please let us know. Email the secretary of the SPS Josh Williams email@example.com
We will also be holding elections for the position of president elect. Stacy Hicks is running for president elect, there will be a space for write ins if anyone else wants to run.
We also have again discussed doing outreach to the local elementary, middle, and high schools. Anyone that wishes to help may contact any of the SPS officers.
We will be having a spring picnic this semester on April 5th. (location and time still pending)
The SPS banquet will be held May 9th at Cambridge Market.
Physics Fun Night:
We will be having physics fun nights again this semester, so stay tuned for info on when they will be held.
We have discussed having bi monthly SPS meeting this semester and will definitely be having 2 meetings in February.
This month’s SPS meeting consisted of discussions regarding a thanksgiving potluck, a reexamination of the possibility of having a new SPS shirt designed, whether or not we will have a December meeting, the possibility of public outreach, registrations for the University Physics Competition, as well as reminders regarding The SESAPS conference and this years Christmas dinner.
- The potluck for Thanksgiving will be a small gathering after classes. The event will be held at 2:00 pm 11/26/2013.
- We really need to make a decision soon regarding the t-shirt design.
- We will not be having an SPS meeting in December due to the increase in student workload leading into finals.
- We have decided to address public outreach in January.
- The University physics competition starts on the 15th. If you are interested you need to sign up ASAP. The competition will consist of 3 person teams. For more information on registrations visit http://uphysicsc.com
- Don’t forget about the Christmas dinner 12/11/ 2013 at 2:00pm.
- SESAP on 11/23/2013
At this months SPS meeting, we re-examined the possibility of a field trip, club outreach, and a new club t-shirt design. We also set the date for the SPS picnic and the next physics fun night.
During the meeting, a field trip to Oak Ridge was proposed. This trip would include the accompaniment of the WKU Chemistry Club. There has been no date set at this time.
We again discussed the possible interest in a public outreach to high schools, middle schools, and elementary school. We are encouraging all club members who may have ties to any of the public schools to open up a dialog between the schools and the club.
A new t-shirt design was proposed at this months meeting. It was suggested we design a shirt displaying an image with the caption “Teach Me How To, Dougie”.
A date has been set for this semester’s SPS picnic. The picnic will be held on October 12 and will be at Lampkin Park. The picnic will begin at 10:00am and will wrap up around 2:00pm.
Physics Fun Night:
This month’s physics fun night will be a night of games. We have had suggestions for board games as well as video games. The game night will be on September 28, and we will again be meeting in the SPS room at 6:37pm.
The next SPS meeting is scheduled for October 7 and will begin at 5:15pm. This is 15 minutes earlier then the previous meetings but will allow others to be there that otherwise could not.
Duke University’s Medical Physics Graduate Program has announced its annual open house for prospective graduate students. Interested individuals are invited to visit Duke University, tour labs, and interact with faculty and students. This event provides an opportunity for prospective applicants to learn about careers in medical physics and about the graduate training program. Duke offers both MS and PhD degrees to prepare students for a variety of career paths, including research, clinical work, government service, and industry. This year’s open house will be on Friday, October 18, 2013. For more information, including how to register, please see http://www.medicalphysics.duke.edu/opene/.
The following conferences for undergraduate research in physics and related fields are among those scheduled for the next few months. This is not a complete list, and it is sorted by conference date, NOT application deadline!
- KY Honors Roundtable, conf Oct 4-5, NKU, deadline Sep 13
- Argonne Undergraduate Symposium, conf Nov 1, Chicago, deadlines TBA
- Kentucky Academy of Science, conf Nov 8-9, Morehead, abs deadline Sep 28
- Southeast Section of the APS, conf Nov 20-23, WKU/Sloan, abs deadline Sep 20
- American Astronomical Society, conf Jan 5-9, DC, abs deadline Oct 1
- Women in Physics, conf Jan 17-19, various, deadline Nov 1
- Posters at the Capitol, conf Feb 27, Frankfort, deadline Oct 16
- WKU Student Research, conf Mar 23, abs deadline Feb 15
- National Conference on Undergraduate Research, conf Apr 3-5, UK, abs deadline Dec 6
Interested students are strongly encouraged to consider attending one or more of these conferences to gain experience presenting their research, learn of new developments in the field, and meet other students and professionals who can provide insights on research, academia, and career opportunities.
With the support of the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and host institutions, the American Physical Society is sponsoring eight parallel Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) in January 2014 in different locations around the country: Florida State U., Louisiana State U., Penn State U., Stony Brook U., U. of California at Berkeley, U. of Chicago, U. of Maryland, and U. of Utah. Each brings together successful female physicists with undergraduate women in physics to highlight career opportunities and the research and experiences of professional female physicists. Ample opportunities will be provided for interactions between all participants. Conferences will include:
- presentations by professional physicists on their cutting edge research and personal career paths
- panels featuring career opportunities outside academia
- workshops or panels offering guidance on how to get involved in summer research, the graduate school application process and grad life, networking, and communication skills
- an opportunity for undergraduate attendees to present their research as a talk or in a poster session
- tours of local physics research facilities
- EXPOs featuring a Grad School Fair, a Career Fair, and resources from national physics-related societies.
Lodging and meals will be provided for participants who are accepted to the conference. Students should discuss travel support with their home institutions or research mentors, as applicable. The deadline for applications is November 1, 2013.
The SPS national organization divides the country into different regional “zones”. WKU falls within “Zone 8″ as shown on this chart. A Zone 8 meeting is being held at the University of Louisville on the last weekend of October (Fri 25 Oct – Sun 27 Oct), and we are invited to participate. Our email invitation states:
Come join us at the University of Louisville Friday, October 25th through Sunday, October 27th as we gather members of the Society of Physics Students from Zone 8!
Come early on Friday for tours of some of UofL’s labs and special Bullitt Collection, which includes handwritten annotations by Newton and Einstein. After a welcoming banquet dinner, we’ll have our first speaker, Dr. John Salzer, professor at Indiana University, Bloomington. For Saturday, we welcome students to give a 10-15 minute research presentations. Not yet ready to give a talk? Feel free to present a poster instead! We’ll also have time to break into small discussion groups to share ideas among chapters for fundraising activities, outreach opportunities, and more. Later that evening, we’ll have the annual Bullitt Lecture in Astronomy, featuring Dr. Virginia Trimble of the University of California, Irvine. Then join us Sunday morning for an informal breakfast before departing ways.
For complete details, hotel information, and a link to the registration form, check out our website: www.physics.louisville.edu/sps/index.php/events
But wait, there’s more! Be one of the first 3 schools to register and have one of your chapter’s rooms paid for! That’s right, one room-full stays for 2 nights free!
Please complete the registration form before October 22nd.
This is an exciting chance to learn more about the larger SPS organization and connect with students at other institutions in the area. Travel funding is available. Please contact Steven Gibson for more information.
Western Kentucky University, the Department of Engineering, and Tau Beta Pi are sponsoring a WKU Night on Saturday, September 14 from 5 – 10pm. The park is normally not open in the evening, so this is an opportunity to enjoy rides in the dark! Admission is $20 with WKU ID, significantly below the normal rate. One guest can also be admitted with each WKU ID at the discounted rate. 10% of proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society in honor of two members of the WKU engineering program who are fighting this disease. For more information, please see the Beech Bend Park website.