Monday January 31, 2011

H. Frederick Dylla Director's Matters

By H. Frederick Dylla, Executive Director & CEO

AIP makes progress in China

One of AIP's highlights from last year was the opening of our first international office in Beijing, China. Given the international nature of our publishing business and the rising participation of Chinese scientists in our publications, there's been no dearth of activity. Chief Representative Xingtao Ai and her assistant Linlin Wang have managed AIP's presence at several conferences, organized symposia and seminars for the local physical sciences community, coordinated meetings between members of the AIP leadership team and important figures in China's academic and government institutions, and received visitors from AIP and our Member Societies.

AIP seminar at Tianjin University on September 16, 2010. AIP Publisher Mark Cassar pictured center. Xingtao Ai (right) represents AIP at the International Photonics and OptoElectronics Meeting

Throughout 2010, AIP participated in several important meetings in China, such as the 18th International Vacuum Congress, the Berlin 8 Open Access Conference, and the 10th Asian-Pacific International Symposium on Microscale Separations and Analysis. At the fall meeting of the Chinese Physical Society, AIP held a half-day symposium of invited speakers who addressed publishing issues and presented a mix of technical talks.

AIP is present in Beijing because we want to bring the best AIP-published research to China and we want to share the best of Chinese research with our other stakeholders around the world. Scientists often find it difficult to get their manuscripts accepted in prestigious scholarly journals—even without a language barrier. To assist Chinese scientists to successfully publish in AIP's journals, we have supported tutorials and plan to hold more intensive training in science writing this year.

AIP delegation meets with members of the China Association for Science and Technology.

However, one of the most effective ways to become known in a new local community is one-on-one interaction. We have begun to build our contact base with leaders from the Chinese scientific community, such as Wang Enge, head of Peking University's physics department and graduate school; Wang Yupeng, President of the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Shen Wenqing of the National Natural Science Foundation; and many others.

In addition, Physics Today signed an agreement with Wuli, a leading physics monthly published by the Chinese Physical Society, which allows Wuli editors to translate and publish limited selections from Physics Today. Orv Butler, representing AIP's Center for History of Physics, gave talks at two prestigious universities. The Society of Physics Students claims our latest accomplishment, but this news merits its own story (see below)—join me in congratulating SPS. We will surely see more participation in SPS by students from Chinese colleges and universities.

It is one thing to be present—it's another to have a presence. With special recognition to Xingtao Ai, LinLin Wang, and AIP's Publisher, Mark Cassar, who manages this effort, we have made a vigorous start in working toward our goals for AIP's Beijing office. Hard work, we already see, pays off.


Physics Resources Center MATTERS

SPS launches first chapter in China

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) bid adieu to the old year by celebrating its first chapter in China. Southeast University, located in the Jiangsu Province, formally installed its SPS chapter on December 28, 2010, with Mark Cassar (Publisher, AIP journals) representing SPS.

Professor Hongqi Xiong, Director of the Office of Academic Affairs, appointed Drs. Zhu Ming and Zhou Zhiyong as faculty co-advisors for the chapter, writing:
New SPS members at Southeast University visit with AIP's Mark Cassar (right) following the installation ceremony.

"To help more students transform themselves into contributing members of the professional community... we wish to initiate the Southeast Chapter of Society of Physics Students. I guarantee that we shall try our best to sponsor and maintain the daily operations of the Chapter and work cooperatively with it to foster an active atmosphere of learning among our students and promote the advancement and dissemination of physics."

Southeast University is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in China; its origin can be traced back to 1902, when it was founded as Sanjiang Normal College. At present, Southeast University has several campuses, among them Sipailou, Jiulonghu, and Dingjiaqiao.

Liang Le (left), a student at Chien-Shiung Wu College, and Professor Yun Ying (right) played key roles in the establishment of Southeast University's SPS chapter.

Southeast University boasts more than 34 schools or departments, with 64 undergraduate disciplines in all. It offers 95 PhD programs and 208 master's programs. Physics students and faculty within the university' distinguished Chien-Shiung Wu College played a leading role in preparing and filing the petition to charter a chapter of the SPS, which included 23 student signatures. Chien-Shiung Wu was one of the world's outstanding physicists and an alumna of Southeast University.

SPS has a number of chapters outside the United States—the first being the University of Ottawa in Canada, which was established in 1975. Since then chapters have been installed in the Philippines, Egypt, Mexico, and now, for the first time, in China.


Starry in Seattle

Undergraduates gathered in record numbers this month at the American Astronomical Society's winter meeting—more than 380 students from across the country. SPS co-sponsored the opening undergraduate reception, with featured speaker astrophysicist John Grunsfeld, Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute. More than 70 undergraduates came to hear about Grunsfeld’s extensive experience in space shuttle missions, and to share their research and outreach projects with their peers in a poster session. Several of those posters are now available through the online SPS Poster Gallery. The reception was sponsored by the Newport Corporation.

Tom Olsen, Assistant Director of SPS, presented awards to five students for outstanding posters. Shown here is Olsen (left) with recipient Peiyuan Mao of Lafayette College.

Christopher Faesi of Indiana University prepares for his poster presentation: “A NIR Spectroscopic Study of Potential Mid-IR Variability Mechanisms for Young Stars.” Faesi also received an award.

Vice President of Physics Resources Catherine O'Riordan addressed AAS meeting attendees when she presented the Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics to Michael Turner and Edward “Rocky” Kolb of the University of Chicago. Kolb and Turner shared the award “for their joint fundamental contributions to cosmology and their development of the field of particle astrophysics, which have resulted in a vibrant community effort to understand the early universe.” Turner and Kolb gave talks on the interface between cosmology and fundamental particle physics, which some regarded as the funniest 50 minutes this side of David Letterman.

For more information on this meeting, see AAS’s Blogs, Tweets, and News Reports from AAS 217 in Seattle, WA.

What's happening this week

Monday, January 31

  • AIP Advisory Panel on Committees meeting (College Park, MD)
  • AIP Executive Committee meeting (College Park, MD)

Wednesday – Friday, February 2 – 4

  • Professional Scholarly Publishing (PSP) 2011 Annual Conference (Washington, DC)

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