2012-2013 Committee Assignments
The Appointments and Promotions Committee assignment is for fifteen months, beginning each Oct.1, to allow for continuity of pending Dec.15 cases. All other committee assignments are from Oct.1 through Sept.30 of the academic year.
The TAC also includes representatives from the Department (D.Reid, V.Bistrow, S.Gazes, N.McNeill) and the College (Matthew Champa) and two students appointed by the Chairman.
Assignments as of August 2012
|Policy||E.Blucher, J.Harvey, G.Mazenko, M.Shochet, H. Jaeger, J.Carlstrom|
|Appointments & Promotions
R.Wald, C.Chin, G.Mazenko, M.Oreglia
H.Jaeger, M.Shochet, C.Wagner, P.Wiegmann
|Teaching Activities||G.Mazenko, S.Sethi, W.Irvine, H.Frisch, E.Martinec|
|Candidacy Examination||S.Sethi, R.Hill, D.Schuster, T.Witten|
|Colloquium||J.Collar, S.Wakely, M.Gardel, J.Simon|
|Friday Lectures||M.Oreglia, D.Biron|
|Admissions||P.Guyot-Sionnest, M.Gardel, K.Levin, F.Merritt, P.Privitera, L.Wang|
|Fellowships and Awards||Y.Wah, W.Zhang
Prizes and Fellowships
|Strategic Planning||J.Harvey, E.Blucher, E.Martinec, M.Turner, H.Jaeger, K.Levin, S.Meyer|
|Forget the Year Party||W.Zhang|
|SPS & GRE Advisor||S.Meyer|
|Physics REU Program||S.Nagel, D.Reid
|Grad Curriculum Review (continuing)||R.Wald, C.Chin, I.Gruzberg, D.Kutasov, S.Wakely|
The policy committee advises the Chair of the department on matters of department-wide policies and practices. Most policy committee reccomendations are later considered by the entire faculty.
Appointments & Promotions Committee
The appointments and promotions committee oversees the process of appointing new faculty and promoting current faculty. This committee is charged with obtaining all pertinent documents concerning the cases, and presenting these cases to the full faculty for consideration.
In order for a given committee to see all the cases it develops to completion, each committee serves for 15 months, from October 1st of the year it was formed through December 31st of the following year. Hence, there is a 3-month overlap (October - December) during which time new cases are developed by the newly formed committee while the previous year's committee completes any of its remaining cases.
Teaching Activities Committee (TAC)
The teaching activities committee (TAC) advises the department on matters concerning the graduate and undergradute curricula. This committee reviews the department's course offerings, teaching assignments, and any proposed changes to our various program requirements and recommendations. The TAC may also play an active role in teaching-related issues that arise during the academic year. In addition to the committee members from the regular faculty, the TAC also includes representatives from the department (Van Bistrow, Stuart Gazes, Nobuko McNeill, David Reid), the College (Matthew Champa), and the student body (1 undergraduate and 1 graduate).
Candidacy Examination Committee
The candidacy exam committee is responsible for generating and administering the Ph.D. candidacy exam that the department offers every autumn and spring. Although the general faculty is expected to help generate problems for the exam, the primary responsibility for ensuring that a well-balanced and appropriately targeted exam exists rests with the Chair of the candidacy exam committee for which he or she is given 1-course of teaching relief. In addition to the committee members from the regular faculty, the candidacy exam committee also includes the department Executive Officer (David Reid) and is further assisted by the Assistant to the Chairman for Graduate Affairs (Nobuko McNeill). Please review our candidacy exam page for more details.
The entire Colloquium Committee is responsible for choosing a balanced, high quality series of colloquia for all three quarters of the academic year. The Chairman of the Colloquium Committee shall take primary responsibility for coordinating the dates of the invitations.
Colloquia are held every Thursday during the full 10 weeks of each quarter (except for Thanksgiving). Colloquia should not be scheduled for finals week, except when unusual opportunities arise, e.g., when an honorary degree recipient is available.
The Committee should meet in the Spring Quarter of the prior academic year to plan the series of colloquia and to nominate a Zachariasen Lecturer, who normally will give one of the Autumn Quarter colloquia. The invitation for the Zachariasen Lecturer will be sent by the Department Chairman; the other colloquia invitations will be sent by members of the Committee.
The Physics Department has budgeted $5,500 per quarter for the colloquia to cover all of the travel and living expenses for the speakers. All reasonable expenses of the speakers will be reimbursed, but no honoraria are offered (except for the Zachariasen Lecturer). The member of the Colloquium Committee who serves as the primary host of the speaker is welcome to charge a lunch or dinner to the Physics Department while entertaining the speaker, but normally no other Committee entertainment expenses will be reimbursed. The Department Chairman should be notified immediately if it appears that the colloquium budget for any quarter will be exceeded.
Reservations for colloquia speakers' accommodations have been made at the Quadrangle Club for each Wednesday and Thursday night throughout the academic year. This avoids the problems which used to arise when we weren't able to get rooms because of receiving speakers' travel plans too late. When you discuss arrangements with speakers, please ask that they inform you of their lodging requirements as soon as possible and at least ten days before a colloquium. Pass this information on to Pat Plitt, and she will cancel unnecessary reservations. A room canceled with less than 48 hours' notice will be charged to the Department if the Quad Club cannot book it. Please don't make changes through your office--this has led to confusion in the past. For the information of your speakers, the Quad Club is located at 1155 East 57th Street; the phone number is 773-702-2550.
Please e-mail a list of speakers, affiliations, email addresses, titles, and hosts as early as possible to Shadla Cycholl (email@example.com), and keep her informed of additions and changes as they occur.
Friday Lectures Committee
The Friday Lectures are intended to be informal discussions/lectures on current research activities targeted to our first-year graduate students and upper-level undergraduates. The purpose of this series is to inform our students about the vast array of the research that is going around them. While this series has also proven to be a good stepping stone for many students looking to get involved in research, student recruitment is NOT the primary goal of these friday afternoon meetings.
The (typically two) faculty members assigned to the Friday Lectures is charged with the responsibility of making sure that the available dates are booked with representatives from different research areas for the fall quarter (with spill over into Winter if needed). It is expected that the vast majority of these meetings will be led by faculty members of the department of physics; however, researchers from allied departments and institutes are welcome. The friday lectures committee is assisted by the Executive Officer (David Reid), the Assistant to the Chairman (Shadla Cycholl), and the Lecture Demonstrator (Joshua Ernst).
The admissions committee handles the admission and recruiting of graduate students for the following academic year. The committee members evaluate hundreds of applications for admission and decides, by March 15th, who to admit and what financial package (of the available fellowships and assistantships) to offer. After the offers of admission are completed, the committee then focuses its efforts on the recruitment of the admitted applicants which reaches its peak with the annual Open House held in late March or early April and concludes with the April 15th deadline for students to notify departments of their decisions. In addition to the committee members from the regular faculty, the admissions committee also includes several members from the graduate student body, the department Executive Officer, and the Assistant to the Chairman for Graduate Affairs, Nobuko McNeill, who oversees all the logistics of the application/recruitment process. This committee also receives occasional input from the Chair of the department on procedural and financial matters that may arise.
Fellowships and Awards Committee
The fellowships committee is involved with helping to choose the recipients of several fellowships and prizes offered by the department. Some awards are decided by the committee alone and other awards are decided by the committee in consultation with other members of the department. See Prizes and Fellowships for more details. Although this committee assignment is for the full academic year, most of the decisions are made during the spring quarter.
This has become a standing committee in the 2010-11 academic year by an adopted recommendation of the Strategic Planning Committee formed for the purposes of the Department Review during the 2009-10 academic year. The committee is to include the Chair of Physics and the Directors of EFI and JFI (if from Physics). The committee is charged to track promising faculty candidates and make recommendations on faculty search directions among other things.
Forget the Year Party Advisor
Predominantly, the annual forget the year party is a student-run event. The tradition is that the work for putting this event together is handled almost exclusively by the second-year graduate students with some assistance from the Assistant to the Chairman, Shadla Cycholl, to handle payment of the costs. The main role of the faculty adviser is to aid the student planners in getting the necessary permissions to do certain things (such as rent a university hall). This person may also help the students identify local suppliers where they can obtain any food, equipment, or entertainment they may wish to include.
SPS & GRE Advisor
The local chapter of the Society of Physics Students is predominantly a student-run organization. Depending on what kind of events or activities the organization decides to hold, they occasionally require the approval of a designated faculty adviser. The main role of the SPS faculty adviser is to provide this approval if needed.
As a service to our undergraduate students, every autumn quarter, the department offers an unofficial GRE preparation seminar called PHYS 990. This "course" is designed to be the final stage in a student's preparation for the annual November offering of the GRE subject test in physics. Typically, PHYS 990 consists of a partial review of some of the basic areas of physics usually covered on the exam, especially those subjects in which students tend to be weak or rusty. In addition to this review, students are also advised of certain tips and tricks that will help improve performance as well as 2 or 3 simulated practice exams.
The faculty adviser runs these sessions in late September and October until the November GRE subject test is held. The department usually pays for one graduate student assistant to help the faculty adviser. Plans for the next offering of PHYS 990 are usually made in time to be announced at the annual Grad School Forum held in late spring quarter.
Physics REU Program Committee
The physics department's REU program is run through MRSEC by Professor Sidney Nagel. The primary role of anyone else assigned to this committee is to assist them with the evaluation of applications and placement of students with research groups. Committee members may also be asked to help with aspects of running the program while the students are on campus and with preparing the application for renewal when the time comes. The Physics REU Program Committee is also assisted by the Department Executive Officer.
Graduate Curriculum Review Committee
This is a temporary committee. This committee is charged as follows. Review the general structure of 300-level courses and above. Specifically, the following questions should be addressed:
- What do we assume as the standard undergraduate preparation? It would be very useful to describe the list of areas with example texts at the correct level.
- What is the minimum level of competency in general physics that we expect all students to have before leaving graduate school? Are our first year courses properly matched to this goal? It would be good to list both areas and texts at the level we expect students to master (e.g., E&M at level of Jackson, mechanics at the level of Goldstein, etc.)
- Required courses. Please assess our current course requirements. Does our scheme of course requirements (no requirements on first year courses and requirements on advanced courses) make sense? Are the required courses and categories consistent with contemporary physics and the subfields in which we specialize? Is the number of required courses reasonable?
- 400-level electives. Are the needed courses offered and staffable? Since these courses should reflect current research interests, how should we review the slate of 400 courses to be offered each year? How should we ensure they are sufficiently staffed?
- Experimental requirement. Is the 334/335 sequence working as we had intended. Are they still reasonable alternative?
- Do the curriculum and course offerings encourage early involvement of students in research? Are their changes that would help students to become involved in research more quickly?
This committee includes two graduate student representatives and is assisted by the Department Executive Officer.