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Jan 31, 2012
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7th Annual Western Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (report)

On January 13-15, approximately 160 undergraduate physics majors from 55 institutions in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, plus a few others states converged onto the Stanford and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory campuses. What more, they were all female. This year, a record breaking number of students attended the 7th Annual Western Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics, an event sponsored by the NSF, DOE, SLAC, Google, and numerous sources within Stanford University, including the Applied Physics department.

 

The primary goal for the conference was to encourage networking and the exchange of knowledge. Students from different universities interacted through a student poster session; tours of SLAC, Stanford, and the KIPAC Visualization Lab; and shared accommodations and meals. Students and professionals, both academic and industrial, interacted through talks, panels, workshops, and a joint career and graduate school fair. A variety of subfields within physics were emphasized with talks about health physics, the Higgs, nanostructures, and the formation of the universe. Speakers were encouraged to talk about their career paths and work-life balance behind the science to add an extra dimension relevant to students just starting out in their careers. A variety of trajectories after undergraduate life were also emphasized. Scientific talks were balanced by a panel on non-academic opportunities with a physics background; a workshop on graduate school was countered with a workshop on getting a jobs in industry.

 

Many graduate students in the Applied Physics department played an important role at the conference: helping at registration and socializing during the opening reception on the first day; representing the department at the graduate school fair (along with a research associate from Applied Physics); being involved in the two student-run workshops (“Communicating Undergraduate Research Through Conference Talks, Posters, and Publishing” and “Applying for Summer Research”). Also, Professor Kam Moler from the Applied Physics department was the first speaker of the conference with a engaging talk about “Quantum Mechanics of Nanostructures”.

 

Much thanks goes to all of the staff, speakers and volunteers who made the 7th Annual Western Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics possible. I for one had a wonderful time listening to the talks and socializing with the students. This conference definitely increased the awareness of opportunities and the tools needed for success as a physics undergraduate and beyond for many enthusiastic young women.

 

Helen Craig (Ph.D. Candidate, Applied Physics at Stanford)
Local Organizing Committee Member

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Posted on:
Dec 10, 2010
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AP launches new Department web site

Welcome to the new Department of Applied Physics web site!  We hope that you will find it more inviting, informative, and interactive than the old one.  The presentation has been reorganized around four AP-centric themes of current research on campus and at SLAC: Nanoscience and Quantum Engineering, Lasers and Accelerators, Condensed Matter Physics, and Experimental and Theoretical Biophysics.  Each theme has its own landing page, on which you will find a listing of relevant courses, facilities, and faculty, from both within and outside the Applied Physics Department.  Note that it is possible to filter the site content much more narrowly if you so desire—this can be done either using the search box located at the top of each page or via the “Browse all topic tags” interface.  A more traditional listing of Department faculty, as well as admissions and academic program information can be accessed using the “Navigate” pop-up menu.  Additional new features include the Alumni page and the Department blog (“Applied Physics Posts”); you can also now sign up for an email newsletter that will periodically be generated using new content added to the site.