Ten days before the start of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, the US Physics Team has set a remarkable expectation for winning gold medals. Of the more than 80 teams that participated in the 39th International Physics Olympiad held last week in Hanoi, Vietnam, the US team is bringing home four gold medals and one silver, and it landed the vaunted position of second place in overall performance. This is only the second time in the history of US participation in the Physics Olympiad that the team has earned four gold medals. For more information, see last week's press release.
The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) is to be recognized for managing all aspects of the US team, start to finish. Team candidates are selected from a national pool and attend an early summer training camp held at the University of Maryland. From this "physics boot camp" emerge the select few team members, who take part in the international competition. AAPT coordinates all the logistics and coaching for the premier event, and has carefully developed the entire program so that this country's most talented young minds in physics can excel in the competition.
AIP, a partner in the Olympiad, fundraises for the program and contributes financial and in-kind benefits. We thank all the Member Societies for their generous support of this invaluable program for the next generation of physicists. We also thank the alumni of past Olympiad teams, the parents and teachers, our corporate sponsors, and the University of Maryland for their support of the team.
AIP helps to publicize the Olympiad by promoting the students' participation through their local media outlets. This year the students met with members of Congress from their home states, and with the physicists in the House of Representatives. The students learn that they can have a positive influence on society through a career in government. The members of Congress enjoy meeting these high-achieving students from their districts.
On behalf of AIP and all its Member Societies, I congratulate the US Physics Team—and their coaches and support staff from AAPT—for their medal-winning performance in Hanoi. A high bar has been set for our athletes arriving in Beijing this week for the other Olympics.
Expanding our universe
Earlier this year, AIP's Special Publications and Proceedings attended a conference entitled "The Evolution of Galaxies through the Neutral Hydrogen Window," which took place at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Opened in 1963, the Arecibo Observatory is the world's most sensitive radio telescope. It is part of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, operated by Cornell University under an agreement with the NSF. Proceedings of the conference will be published as AIP Conference Proceedings, no. 1035. This volume of the AIP Conference Proceedings series will be the first to include multimedia in the online published version.
Scholars, film producers, and students . . . the changing faces of NBL&A researchers
The individuals who visit the Niels Bohr Library & Archives (NBL&A) have traditionally been academics working in the history of physics and allied fields. However, by developing online exhibits and resources (catalogs, more than 12,000 photos, and more than 100 oral histories) and publicizing them, we have attracted diverse new groups of users, including undergraduates, high-school students, and the general public. We have also developed ways to include our webpages in Google search indexes, added profiles for the NBL&A in social networking sites and Flickr.com, and worked on search engine optimization, all of which has resulted in fresh faces in the reading room and new kinds of reference questions. In addition to scholarly inquiries from all over the world, we now receive inquiries from families whose relative may have been a physicist, or film producers looking for audio clips and film footage to illustrate an educational documentary, or students looking for photographs to illustrate a paper or presentation. As technology advances and Web 2.0 opportunities arise, the NBL&A is continuing to creatively participate to encourage the use of our resources.
CiSE exhibits at SIAM annual meeting
Computing in Science and Engineering (CiSE) magazine, co-published by AIP with the IEEE Computer Society, had an eye-catching display at the annual meeting of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Deb Sims (left) and Marian Anderson from the IEEE Computer Society promoted CiSE at the SIAM meeting in San Diego, CA, July 6-10. Each year AIP staffs the CiSE exhibit at three society meetings and the IEEE Computer Society handles the booth at three additional meetings.
SOR meets in Monterey
The Society of Rheology (SOR) is hosting the XVth International Congress on Rheology this week, August 3-8, in Monterey, CA. The Congress, which convenes every four years, brings together the world's leading rheologists to present the latest advances and developments in the field.
The Congress features plenary lectures by eminent rheologists, contributed oral presentations organized into sixteen mini-symposia, and a poster session. Short courses were also offered this past weekend. In addition to the technical program, an active social program introduces participants to the wonderful attractions of coastal Northern California. AIP will publish proceedings from this conference.
Rheology is the study of those properties of materials that determine their response to mechanical force. SOR's modest membership (1,700) consists of individuals from academic, industrial, and governmental institutions whose interests include both phenomenological and molecular theories, instrumentation, the study of many types of materials (such as polymers, metals, petroleum products, rubber, paint, printing ink, ceramics and glass, foods, biological materials, floor preparations, and cosmetics), and a wide range of practical applications.
The Society of Rheology is one of the five founding members of AIP, which publishes SOR's signature journal—the Journal of Rheology.
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