H. Frederick Dylla Director's Matters

Launching and tracking careers in the physical sciences

Dear Colleagues,

At this time of year we celebrate the graduation of another group of students from our colleges and universities. AIP and our Member Societies play an important role in the transition from school to workplace by providing essential services to students who are seeking careers in the physical sciences.

The Physics Today Career Network (PTCN) is a niche job board for physicists, engineers and other scientists. Operational since 1993, PTCN comprises the Physics Today magazine classified advertising and online job board, and three AIP member society job boards: AAPT, APS, and AVS. All boards share jobs as well as resumes, with approximately 5,800 resumes currently available online and over 2,800 jobs posted in 2006.

PTCN attracts a diverse group of career opportunities and job seekers. Currently, about 50% of PTCN jobs come from academia, another 30 posted by industry employers and 15% from government facilities and laboratories. The remaining openings are mostly from the non-profit sector. Sixty percent of PTCN’s registered job seekers have earned their PhD, 20% have a Masters degree and the final 20% earned a Bachelor’s degree. The combined PTCN sites have an average of 400,000 page views per month and attract 25,000 unique visitors per month.

AIP’s services to the job seeker and client organization continue. AIP’s Statistical Research Center (SRC) tracks the latest employment data for physicists and related scientists and engineers. SRC’s reports underscore the qualitative changes in the initial employment of recent degree recipients. They document the salaries earned by experienced physicists across employment sectors and degree levels, the size of the physics academic workforce as well as the availability of faculty openings and profiles of new hires.

Next week AIP Matters will highlight a very important career development program that AIP sponsors: our Society of Physics Student (SPS) summer intern program, which begins on June 4, 2007.

Sincerely yours,


e-metrics logoUntangling the web
AIP staff attended the Emetrics Summit, a forum for identifying the best practices for measuring and optimizing the online user experience. The lessons learned will help AIP improve how customers experience Scitation, the online stores, the corporate site, and all other AIP-built online platforms. The improvements should result in increased sales and conversions, and better relationships with users. Specific best practices include website testing, web analytics capabilities, competitive analysis, and creating a customer survey feedback loop. Considering how many of our users interact with AIP via the web, these lessons are critical to AIP’s success.

ASA registrants go virtual
Fulfillment Services just completed the first online pre-conference registration for The Acoustical Society of America. Over 650 registrants took advantage of this new service to register for ASA’s 153rd Meeting, which will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, 4 - 8 June 2007.

2007 Olympiad TeamAAPT and AIP bring the U.S. Physics Olympiad Team to the Hill
Twenty four of the United States’ top physics students were in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, May 23 to visit their Members of Congress. These students are part of the ten-day U.S. Team Training Camp at the University of Maryland, where they will conduct experiments and take qualifying examinations. Based on the examination results, five students will be selected to represent the United States at the International Physics Olympiad. The Olympiad is a nine-day international competition among pre-university students from more than 60 countries. AAPT started the U.S. Physics Olympiad Program in 1986 to promote and demonstrate academic excellence.

AIP Media and Government Relations (MGR) arranged visits with 12 U.S. Senators and 8 House Representatives for the students and launched publicity efforts targeting national education reporters and students’ hometown media. AIP's Education Division staff assisted MGR and AAPT in these visits. To reinforce the message that science education drives innovation, flywheel toy cars will be sent to the Members of Congress accompanied by a flyer with this timely message.

PT Buyers Guide video challenge
Physics Today recently created an eight-minute video tour of its Buyers Guide. The Buyers Guide is a physics consumer directory that lists more than 1,600 businesses, products, and services. The video is a fun, simple presentation of the guide’s important features. A DVD was sent to the companies listed in the guide, and a Flash version is available online here.

The first 10 people to correctly identify their fellow AIP colleague who voiced the part of “Golda” will receive a Physics Today highlighter. Please send your guesses to ccumming@aip.org.

Reducing the paper trail
The average office worker uses 50 sheets of paper each day, and office paper consumption is increasing by an estimated 20% per year. The Publishing Center alone uses over ten thousand reams of paper each year, at a cost of almost $30,000. While AIP has a recycling program, controlling paper use is an important first step in reducing the amount of paper we use. Here are some suggestions to help the environment and cut costs:

  • Use the “print preview” function before printing
  • Print only the pages you need
  • Print double-sided
  • Consider sending an email instead of putting paper in the mail to a colleague

Another kind of savings
Savings Bonds are reliable, low-risk government-backed savings products that you can use to finance education, supplement retirement income or for birthday and graduation gifts, and other special events. Series I bonds are issued at face value, in denominations of $50, $75, $100, $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000. They earn a fixed rate of return and their principal is adjusted to offset the effects of inflation. Series EE bonds are sold at half of their face value and in the same denominations. These bonds earn rates based on five-year Treasury securities. Both are exempt from state and local income taxes and both are available for purchase through payroll deduction. For more information, visit TreasuryDirect online or contact Human Resources at extension 3030.

American Association of Physicists in Medicine

AAPM logoThe American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) is a scientific, educational, and professional organization of more than 6,000 medical physicists internationally. The purposes of AAPM are (1) to promote the application of physics to medicine and biology, and (2) to encourage interest and training in medical physics and related fields.

You may ask yourself, “What does a medical physicist do?” Medical physicists contribute to the effectiveness of radiological imaging procedures by assuring radiation safety and helping to develop improved imaging techniques (e.g., mammography CT, MR, ultrasound). They contribute to development of therapeutic techniques (e.g., prostate implants, stereotactic radiosurgery), collaborate with radiation oncologists to design treatment plans, and monitor equipment and procedures to ensure that cancer patients receive the prescribed dose of radiation to the correct location.

Headquartered in the American Center for Physics, AAPM has a staff of 20 and an annual budget over $6M. Publications include the Medical Physics Journal, technical reports, and symposium proceedings. AAPM will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2008.

We invite your feedback to this newsletter via email to aipmatters@aip.org.