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Schedule for the Conference

Presentations at the Conference

Theme: Reshaping the Physics Agenda in the 21st Century

The biennial Physics Department Chairs Conference to be held June 8-10, 2012 at the American Center for Physics in College Park, MD. The conference will begin about 5 pm on June 8 and end by noon on June 10.  These conferences, co-sponsored by the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society, have proven to be valuable to department chairs in bringing them up-to-date on trends in physics research and education while providing an opportunity to meet and learn from other department chairs.

This year's conference program is built around four major topics:

  • Overcoming the “die or thrive” challenge: What can be done to ensure sustainable, healthy physics enrollments and thriving physics programs in times of budgetary crisis.
  • Physics Curriculum in the 21st Century: The role of physics within an interdisciplinary, STEM education. A new look at the overall undergraduate curriculum for physics majors (what to add, what to cut, what to emphasize); what is the canonical physics graduate curriculum, and how to prepare our undergrads for it?
  • Preparing students for careers in an increasingly global R&D environment.
  • Connecting with local and regional industry: industry internships for physics majors, alumni outreach, tech transfer, jobs, new problems, online courses for continuing education


The conference will include presentations by leaders in the physics community as well as many small group discussion sessions and opportunities to talk to other chairs.

Costs: Participants are responsible for their travel costs to the conference and their hotel accommodations. There is also a $350 registration fee, which covers all meals and conferences materials and partially offset the costs of running the conference. Cancellations after May 25 will incur a $50 cancellation fee.

Please register for the Conference before May 7. If you are not an AAPT member, you will have the opportunity to create a free AAPT account to register for the meeting.

The American Physical Society is organizing congressional visits for the morning of Friday, June 8, beginning with a preparation session early in the morning. (The formal conference will begin at about 5 pm that day). Those who will participate in the congressional visits should plan on staying at the conference hotel Thursday night. Information about those visits will be distributed near the end of April.

Room reservations can be made at the conference hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn in Greenbelt, MD, at the following url: www.washingtondcgreenbelt.stayhgi.com. The discount code for reservations at the Hilton Garden Inn is "NFPT".