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Texas A&M Hosts Conference to Inspire Undergraduate Women in Physics

5 months ago /

Women studying physics across Texas and adjacent states will gather at Texas A&M University this weekend for the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) as part of a broader national push to encourage and support women pursuing scientific and technical careers.

The three-day conference, which starts Friday (Jan. 17) and runs through Sunday (Jan. 19) within Texas A&M’s George P. Mitchell ’40 Physics Building and George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy, is endorsed by the American Physical Society (APS) and targets undergraduate physics majors from Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. The goal is to help undergraduate women across the nation continue in physics by providing them with the opportunity to experience a professional conference, information about graduate school and professions in physics, and access to other women in physics of all ages with whom they can share experiences, advice and ideas.

CUWiP PosterThe conference, which is sponsored by the Texas A&M Department of Physics and Astronomy and the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy , is being coordinated by a 10-member local organizing committee co-chaired by Texas A&M physicist Dr. Robert C. Webb and Texas A&M physics graduate student, Cyclotron Institute research assistant and University of Notre Dame Visiting Scholar Stefania Dede. All related activities (excluding laboratory tours and Friday check-in/opening events and dinners, which all occur at The George Hotel) will take place in the Mitchell Institute and George P. Mitchell ’40 Physics Buildings on the Texas A&M campus.

Funded in part through grants from the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Energy, the event is one of a larger series of simultaneous parallel conferences across the United States and Canada for undergraduate women in physics spanning 12 additional regional sites, the nearest in proximity to Texas A&M being the University of Oklahoma. Texas A&M previously served as a host site in 2012, the first year the APS began serving as the national organizing committee for CUWiP, which began at the University of Southern California in 2006.

Texas A&M’s program will feature a keynote presentation by Dr. Andrea Liu, Hepburn Professor of Physics at the University of Pennsylvania, set for 1 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 18) in the Mitchell Institute’s Stephen W. Hawking Auditorium. The conference highlights several additional invited speakers, including Texas A&M Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences Associate Professor Dr. Adrienne Carter-Sowell, Space Telescope Science Institute Senior Scientist Dr. Kathryn Flanagan, Department of Energy Office on Nuclear Physics Director of Facilities and Project Management Dr. Jehanne Gillo, a 1991 Texas A&M physics Ph.D. graduate and 2006 inductee into the College of Science Academy of Distinguished Former Students, and Texas A&M Distinguished Professor of Physics Dr. Olga Kocharovskaya, in addition to roughly two dozen parallel session speakers and panelists. Brazos Valley African American Museum Curator Oliver Sadberry also will deliver a special Martin Luther King Day talk at Friday’s dinner, scheduled for 7 p.m. at The George.

Beyond a power-packed slate of presenters, the agenda features breakout sessions, panel discussions, a student poster session and workshops, laboratory tours, a networking mixer and career fair, and other social activities designed to mirror the real-world experience of a pursuing and achieving a successful career in physics.

Learn more about CUWiP 2020 at Texas A&M or find additional information on APS CUWiP.

-aTm-

Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu; Dr. Robert C. Webb, (979) 845-4012 or webb@physics.tamu.edu; or Stefania Dede, stefani-ad@email.tamu.edu

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