PhysCon 2016

Save the date!

November 3-5, 2016
Silicon Valley

Go to the PhysCon 2016 website

PhysCon Articles

This compilation of articles by SPS Chapter Reporters captures the full depth and breadth of PhysCon 2012.

Open the PhysCon Articles

Plenary Speakers

Listen to audio and view videos of several PhysCon 2012 plenary speakers.

View Speaker Page


View and download the program here


Workshops are an integral part to PhysCon. While plenary lectures are valuable, workshops provide a way for attendees to engage in topics. It provides a way to contribute to the discourse on a topic, and inform the direction that Sigma Pi Sigma & the Society of Physics Students (SPS) will take in the future. In 2008, this meant driving Sigma Pi Sigma and SPS to adopt a general statement on diversity and led to the development of the Future Faces of Physics Program with SPS.

For the 2012 Quadrennial Physics Congress (PhysCon), our workshops centered around the theme of Connecting Worlds Through Science and Service. One of the best parts of workshops at PhysCon is the coherency of the experience: students getting to come together and to discuss large and important topics. And for the first time, attendees had the ability to choose some of their workshop topics; students attended workshops that interested them the most, with the hope that they went back and discussed these topics with fellow attendees as well as students from their schools that couldn’t attend.

Attendees enjoyed the following workshops:

Connecting Scientists & Science Policy
    Featuring: Anna Quider, APS/AAAS Congressional Science Fellow, &  Dave Mosher, Director of the National Security Division at the Congressional Budget Office

Connecting Diverse Perspectives in Science
    Featuring: James Stith, Vice President Emeritus, Physics Resources, at the American Institute of Physics

Connecting Academia & Industry
    Featuring: Douglas Arion, Professor of Physics & Astronomy and Professor of Entrepreneurship, Carthage College; Shelly Arnold, Former Vice President of Operations, Mobile Workforce 

Connecting Science & Technology
    Featuring: Lee Sawyer, Louisiana Tech University

Connecting Students & Careers
    Featuring: Roman Czujko, AIP Statistical Research

Connecting Physics & the Public
    Featuring: Henry Reich, MinutePhysics & Gary White, a program director at the National Science Foundation. 

Workshop Leaders

Dr. Douglas Arion

Dr. Douglas Arion is Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Carthage College. He is the initial holder of the Donald Hedberg Distinguished Professorship in Entrepreneurial Studies, and developed the nation’s first undergraduate technology entrepreneurship program. He teaches courses in physics and astrophysics, oversees the research laboratory, founded and directs the Carthage Institute of Astronomy and the Griffin Observatory. He is a regular observer at the Yerkes Observatory, the Steward Observatory, and Kitt Peak National Observatory. He is currently directing a partnership with the Appalachian Mountain Club in public astronomy education and outreach.
For the International Year of Astronomy-2009 in partnership with the International Astronomical Union, Arion founded a new company, Galileoscope LLC, to develop, manufacture, and distribute high quality, low cost telescopes for worldwide promotion of science education and outreach. Over 200,000 Galileoscopes have been distributed, including 7000 donated to developing nations.
He served as Senior Program Advisor for the Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation, a non-profit technology business incubator, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship education center for business development, evaluating intellectual property portfolios and providing strategic planning to new and expanding businesses. He also helped found and is on the Board of the Pennies from Heaven angel investor group, and is on the Advisory Board of the Gateway CATI Incubator.
At Science Applications International Corporation he was head of the Applied Physics and Engineering Division. He led the growth of that division by a factor of 10 in less than four years, and oversaw staff across the country.  He directed the design and construction of extensive experimental systems, including space qualified optics and high precision structural measuring systems.

Shelly Arnold

Shelly Arnold, BSEE, MBA has over 30 years of experience in all phases of technology development and management in companies ranging from a US national laboratory to several Fortune 50-Fortune 500 companies as well as several startups. She has served in management positions including Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Operations, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity-Kitsap.
Shelly has been a manager/engineer through all stages of technology development – research, experimental testing, hardware development, software development, production manufacturing, and marketing/customer service. Projects have included pulsed power development, integrated circuit manufacturing, experiment design and execution, instrumentation development, quality control, business process automation, and customer training and service.

Roman Czujko

Roman Czujko is the Director of the Statistical Research Center of the American Institute of Physics.  He has been a staff member of this unit for thirty-two years and has directed it for the last 20 years. Roman has published many reports and articles on workforce issues in physics and allied fields.  His research focuses primarily on the employment and common career paths of physicists and related scientists at all degree levels, the transition from college to employment, and the representation of women and minorities in physics and allied fields.  He was conducted many studies on behalf of scientific organizations on the benefits of affiliation to specific societies, demographic profiles and career paths of society members, and the profiles of the authors who publish in society journals. Roman is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and a member of the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America.  He earned a master’s degree from the University of Oregon.

David Mosher

David Mosher returned to CBO in June 2010, where he now leads the division in which he was a principal analyst from 1990 to 2000. In the decade in between his time at CBO, he was a senior policy analyst at RAND.  Mr. Mosher is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and served as the director of the American Physical Society’s Study Group on Boost-Phase Intercept Systems for National Missile Defense.

Mr. Mosher’s research at RAND focused on environmental issues for the Army in contingency operations; ballistic missile defense; military use of space; nuclear proliferation; nuclear weapons; the role of the military and the National Guard in homeland security; special forces aviation; Army strategy; and terrorists’ acquisition and use of nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons. Among his recent publications are Green Warriors: Army Environmental Considerations for Contingency Operations from Planning Through Post-Conflict (2008); Diversion of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons Expertise from the Former Soviet Union: Understanding an Evolving Problem (2005), with John V. Parachini and others; Army Forces for Homeland Security (2004), with Lynn E. Davis and others;  Report of the American Physical Society Study Group on Boost-Phase Intercept Systems for National Missile Defense (2004), with David K. Barton and others; Individual Preparedness and Response to Chemical, Radiological, Nuclear, and Biological Terrorist Attacks (2003), with Lynn E. Davis and others; and “The Budget Politics of Missile Defense,” in James Clay Moltz, ed., New Challenges in Missile Proliferation, Missile Defense, and Space Security (2003). Mr. Mosher holds an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, and a B.A. in physics, from Grinnell College.

Dr. Anna Quider

Anna hails from western New York but loves the city of Pittsburgh. She’s an astrophysicist who currently works at the intersection of business, science, and diplomacy as a 2012 AAAS Fellow at the State Department. She was a 2011 APS/AAAS Fellow in the office of Rep. Russ Carnahan (St. Louis, MO) where she covered issues including education, science, telecommunications, and innovation. Anna earned a Ph.D. in Astronomy at the University of Cambridge as a Marshall Scholar and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and she also holds two bachelor’s degrees with honors from the University of Pittsburgh: B.S. in Physics & Astronomy and B.A. with dual majors in Religious Studies and the History & Philosophy of Science. Some of her favorite things include public speaking, pizza, dinner parties, Steelers football, and learning.

Henry Reich

Henry Reich studied math and physics at Grinnell College in Iowa, physics at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario, and youtube with Freddiew and Brandon Laatsch in Los Angeles. Now, he combines physics and youtube in the video series “MinutePhysics”, which explains cool physics topics (new and old) in, you guessed it, minutes. Several people watch the show.

Dr. Lee Sawyer

Dr. Lee Sawyer is the Charles and Newelyn Spruell Distinguished Professor Physics at Louisiana Tech University. He obtained his PhD from the Florida State University in 1991 in experimental particle physics, and has been a member of several important high energy physics collaborations, including the D0 experiment at Fermilab’s Tevatron collider and the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. In 1997 he joined the physics faculty at Louisiana Tech and started a high energy physics group, which has grown to include three faculty members, two postdocs, and several PhD and Masters students. He has been active in a the development detectors for high energy physics experiments, the design of software for large detector systems, and distributed computing systems. A graduate student at CERN during the time the World Wide Web was first developed there, he setup one of the first academic web servers in the United States in 1992. He took part in the discovery of the top quark in 1995, and a particle that may be the Higgs boson in 2012. He was inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma as an undergraduate physics major at Northeast Louisiana University (now the University of Louisiana – Monroe) and has previously served on the SPS national council.

Dr. James Stith

James H. Stith is a Vice President Emeritus of the American Institute of Physics.  Throughout his career, he has been an advocate for programs that ensure ethnic and gender diversity in the sciences. At AIP, he directed a broad portfolio of programs and services that included the Magazine Division, the Media and Government Relations Division, the Education Division, the Center for the History of Physics, the Statistical Research Division and the Careers Division.  His Doctorate in physics was earned from The Pennsylvania State University, and his Masters and Bachelors in physics were received from Virginia State University.  A physics education researcher, his primary interests are in Program Evaluation, and Teacher Preparation and Enhancement.  Dr. Stith was formerly a Professor of Physics at The Ohio State University and also spent 21 years on the faculty (Professor of Physics) at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY.

Dr. Gary White

Gary White grew up in rural Sterlington, Louisiana, earning a BS in physics in 1982 at Northeast Louisiana University. He received his Ph.D. in nuclear theory at Texas A&M University (TAMU) in 1986, and later worked as a post-doc in the theory division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and in the Nuclear Engineering Department at TAMU. While he has enjoyed short stints teaching the mathematics sequence for engineers at TAMU and modern physics for non-majors at The George Washington University, he earned the bulk of his teaching stripes at Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSU).
As Society of Physics Student (SPS) advisor at NSU, he guided the chapter to develop research projects and science outreach efforts, winning several national SPS chapter awards. In 2001, he was lured away from full-time teaching by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) to serve as the Director of the SPS, a position he held until summer 2012 when he took temporary leave from AIP to serve as a program director at the National Science Foundation.
He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and an AAPT Distinguished Service Citation recipient. Beyond nuclear physics, his interests include pedagogy, the physics of spandex, and rolling unfair dice, resulting in the occasional publication in journals ranging from Physical Review to The College Mathematics Journal. His wife, Susan, also works at AIP in the Statistical Research Center, and they have two children, Phoebe and Toby. In his free time, he occasionally indulges in volleyball and choral singing.


2 Responses to Workshops

  1. Paul says:

    The choice of workshop options on this page seem to disagree with those on the registration form (which lists choosing between Industry and Diverse perspectives on one day and S&T or Careers on the second day). I assume the registration form is correct….?

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