Monday, June 6, 2011

H. Frederick Dylla Director's Matters

By H. Frederick Dylla, Executive Director & CEO

SPS welcomes 2011 interns

For some, summer officially starts on Memorial Day; for others, it's when the mercury breaks the 90-degree barrier. Many of the staff at ACP, however, associate the real start of summer with the arrival of a new class of SPS interns. Every summer for the last 11 years, the AIP Education Division welcomes a group of undergraduate students who have won a national competition among the Society of Physics Students to spend a summer in the Washington, D.C. metro area in science related activities.

Last week, nine interns started their nine-week adventure. They hail from universities across the US, but they represent an international student body—half are from other nations, including Israel, Rwanda, India, Bangladesh and Nepal. We are proud of this group's diversity, which emerged from the rigorous and competitive selection process.

2011 SPS interns

SPS 2011 interns with Nobel Laureate John Mather. Standing, from the left: Courtney Lemon, Cabot Zabriskie, John Mather, Fidele Bingwa, Binayak Kandel, Amanda Palchak, Erin Grace, Moriel Schottlender, Anish Chakrabarti. Seated is Heather Petroccia. Not pictured is Mahmuda Afrin Badhan.

This year's students will work at NIST assisting with ongoing research in semiconductor electronics, helping APS and AIP with science outreach projects, assisting PBS's NOVA on outreach activities related to an upcoming broadcast, and delving into public policy on Capitol Hill with Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

Yet the SPS interns' summer is not all work. Our staff organizes for them several tours to research laboratories, federal agencies, and historical sites. Students also get to know each other by rooming together in the heart of the city on the George Washington University campus. Funding for the program is provided by the various hosting organizations and the John and Jane Mather Foundation for Science and the Arts, which supports the two policy internships on the Hill.
Get to know our 2011 SPS intern class by visiting their website. They will post weekly journal entries, so you can read about their experiences through the beginning of August. The entire experience—competing for a prestigious position, marketing accomplishments, managing time and finances, and delivering quality work within a finite window are all essential life skills that students develop through the SPS internship program. These skills will also help prepare them to enter the job market.

SPS interns on orientation day enjoy lunch with John Mather.

The prospects of landing a job for new graduates have been hurt by the continuing depressed job market and the unfortunate fact that a degree doesn't necessarily prepare graduates for the jobs that are available. Time spent as an intern during summer breaks or in an entry level position can improve the chances for employment. AIP provides other opportunities for interns as well. Given the proximity of our headquarters to the University of Maryland and neighboring DC-area campuses, and of our Publishing Center to five Long Island campuses, we continue to offer college level internships for students in information science, communications, and almost any science or business degree. Several interns are already on staff, and we are currently advertising a few more. Join me in welcoming this young talent to AIP, and encourage them in their endeavors.


AIP and NIST make semiconductor research freely available online

AIP Conference Proceedings and NIST logos

AIP and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have made proceedings papers from the International Conference on Frontiers of Characterization and Metrology for Nanoelectronics (formerly Characterization and Metrology for ULSI Technology) freely available from both organizations' websites. The objectives of this initiative are to broaden the reach of this vital information by making it available to the interested public and to positively affect the rate of innovation in semiconductor technology. Breakthroughs in semiconductor research presented at this meeting will help those in the fast-paced semiconductor industry get up to speed on unfamiliar measurement and characterization issues and learn about new techniques and equipment being introduced to characterize semiconductors.


Physics Today honors retiring sales rep

John Waller receives his awardOn May 2, during the recent CLEO meeting in Baltimore, Physics Today held a retirement dinner to honor sales representative John Waller for his 12 years of service; during that time he brought in more than $6 million in ad revenues. Waller was awarded a diptych with a clock on one side and a photo on the other. It was engraved with "Our $6 Million Man." In the image on the right, Waller accepts his award in typically dramatic fashion. Physics Today also hosted a lounge for exhibitors from 300 participating companies in the CLEO Expo. The Expo showcased the latest in laser systems, optoelectronic components, imaging and sensing equipment, infrared detectors, and test and measurement equipment.

PT advertiser scores at SVC TechCon

IMeda's NMIke Hopkins wins the prizeAt Physics Today's exhibitor lounge held April 19–20 during the Society of Vacuum Coaters' TechCon, PT Marketing Director Jeff Bebee arranged a Wii golf "closest to the pin" contest. Mike Hopkins, depicted at right, from Impedans won the contest, earning a free 1/8-page ad in Physics Today valued at $1000. Although Hopkins had never played the Wii game before, his shot on the 139-yard, par-3 hole landed on the near edge of the green and rolled into the cup for a hole in one.


Sound media coverage at Acoustical Society Meeting

ASA logoExcitement abounded at the 161st meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Seattle (May 23 – 27) as scientists, engineers, and medical professionals gathered to discuss the latest research results from the science of sound. AIP’s News and Media Services team promoted this research to reporters and science writers around the globe through a series of news releases and on-site interactions with reporters. The results in the media have been outstanding, with news coverage from BBC, MSNBC, CBS, Science News, and many other web and print publications. More than 50 lay-language versions of papers presented at that meeting are online. Many of these summaries, written by the scientists themselves, contain evocative sounds, images, and animations.

Some of the most exciting topics included:

  • For people with hearing problems, a cochlear implant can transform their world. These implants perform very well rendering spoken language; melody perception, however, has remained a challenge, until now. Read more.
  • A video game and an “alien” language may provide a clue as to how babies decode all the spoken sounds they hear to learn words and their meanings. Read more.
  • Noisy classrooms aren’t just bad for harried teachers’ nerves—they can significantly affect the ability of students to listen and learn. A simulated classroom helps measure those effects—and how they can be avoided. Read more.
What's happening this week

Monday, June 6

  • Brown bag lunch, 12pm. Professor and author Bryan Penprase discusses his new book "The Power of Stars" and describes the variety of constellations, cosmologies and calendars from cultures across the world and through the centuries. (College Park, MD)

Wednesday, June 8

  • All Staff meeting, 10am (College Park, MD)

Thursday, June 9

  • CEOs meeting (OSA, Washington, DC)

Friday, June 10

  • SPS Executive Committee meeting (College Park, MD)

Wednesday, June 15 (reminder for next week)

  • ACP picnic, 12-2pm (College Park, MD)

Through June 30

  • Food drive with Long Island Cares. A collection box is located in the lunchroom of the Publishing Center. (Melville, NY)

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For past issues of this newsletter, visit the AIP Matters archives.