2020-2021 Committee Assignments

The Appointments and Promotions Committee assignment is for fifteen months, beginning each October 1, to allow for continuity of pending December 15 cases. The Diagnostic Exam Committee assignment begins in late summer through the following spring quarter. The GRE Advisor assignment begins in mid summer through late October when the GRE exam takes place. All other committee assignments are from October 1 through September 30 of the academic year.

Policy and Strategy Y.-K. Kim, E. Blucher, J. Carlstrom, M. Gardel, H. Jaeger, P. Littlewood, R. Rosner.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion D. Schmitz, P. Privitera, L. Young, D. Reid, D. Norcini (Postdoc Rep.), K. Hugh (Grad Student Rep.), L. Lin (Undergrad Rep.), Y.-K. Kim (ex-officio), Neli Fanning (ex-officio, PSD EDI Director)
Teaching Activities Committee (TAC) V. Vitelli, J. Harvey, D. Miller, S. Nagaitsev, R. Rosner, S. Gazes, Z. Krusberg, M. Chantell, S. Kharel, D. Reid, J. Bohnsack (College Rep.), T. Hoffman (Grad Rep.), M. Kornfeld (Undergrad Rep.)
Faculty Appointments & Promotions

P. Wiegmann, M. Shochet, J. Collar, D. Awschalom, J. Harvey, P. Littlewood
(cases started during academic year 2019-20)

C. Chin, H. Frisch, E. Martinec, S. Nagel, D. Son, L. Wang
(cases started during academic year 2020-2021)

Faculty Excellence P. Littlewood, M. Gardel, D. Holz, M. Shochet, J. Simon, A. Vieregg, Y.-K. Kim (ex-officio)
Early Careers: Fellowships and Prizes R. Wald, P. Guyot-Sionnest, K. Levin, S. Wakely
Graduate Students: Admissions W. Irvine, C. Cordova, D. Holz, M. Levin, D. Miller, A. Murugan, D. Schuster, J. Simon, A. Vieregg, Z. Krusberg, P. Kusumo
Graduate Students: Recruitment L. Grandi, D. Awschalom, J. McMahon, M. Oreglia, S. Palmer, Z. Krusberg, P. Kusumo
Graduate Students: Diagnostic Exam Z. Krusberg, W. Kang, C. Wagner, Y. Wah, W. Zhang
Graduate Students: Friday Lectures Z. Krusberg
Undergraduates: GRE Advisor D. Kutasov
Undergraduates: Physics REU S. Nagel, Y.-K. Kim
Colloquium and Lecture Series J. Collar, M. Carena, M. Rust, G. Savard, P. Wiegmann, D. Schmitz (EDI Colloquia), Y.-K Kim (Named Lectures)
Annual Magazine: Chicago Physics P. Littlewood, Y.-K. Kim, S. Cycholl with PSD Graphic Arts
Alumni Relations S. Sethi
Advisor to Societies (SPS, SWiP, WAGMiP, REMiP, LGBTQ+) Y.-K. Kim, Shadla Cycholl
Outreach M. Gardel, Y.-K. Kim, S. Nagel, E. Sheu
Forget the Year Party Y.-K. Kim, Shadla Cycholl

Policy and Strategy Committee

The Policy and Strategy Committee advises the department on matters of department-wide policies, strategies and practices. Most committee recommendations are later considered by the entire faculty. The committee is also charged to track promising faculty candidates and make recommendations on future research directions and faculty searches among other things.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee

The EDI committee advises the department on matters that will further improve the department's environment for undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, staff, and faculty, especially as it relates to equity, diversity, and inclusion. The committee's responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Recommending initiatives to raise awareness of issues related to inclusion and diversity in physics and related fields,
  • Recommending actions that the department can take to broaden participation of under-represented groups in physics,
  • Identifying speakers or panel members of physics colloquium and other events on EDI topics,
  • Meeting with leaderships of physics societies (such as SPS, SWiP, and WAGMIP) regularly,
  • Promoting transparency and communicating EDI progress to the Physics department.

Teaching Activities Committee (TAC)

The Teaching Activities Committee (TAC) advises the department on matters concerning the graduate and undergraduate 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. The committee includes members of the regular faculty, Instructional Professors/Lecturers, Director of Instructional Laboratories, and representatives of the College (Jane Bohnsack) and the student body (1 undergraduate and 1 graduate student).

Faculty Appointments and Promotions Committee

The Faculty Appointments and Promotions Committee advises the department on matters concerning appointments and promotions. The committee’s responsibilities include

  • Review all of promotion candidates and provide recommendations to the department Chair,
  • Create a list of external and internal letter writers for each new appointment candidate (proposed by the Faculty Search Committee) and for each promotion case.

The Chair of the committee leads discussions at the faculty meeting.

Faculty Excellence Committee

This committe leads the departmental efforts to strengthen the diversity of the faculty. The committee's responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Establishing the strategies for improving the diversity of faculty,
  • Proactively identifying and reaching out to outstanding women and URM candidates,
  • Overseeing the diversity search process.

Early Careers: Fellowships and Prizes Committee

The Fellowships and Prizes 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. Although this committee assignment is for the full academic year, most of the decisions are made during the spring quarter.

Graduate Students: Admissions Committee

The Admissions Committee handles the admission of graduate students. The committee, together with the entire faculty, evaluates all of the applications for admission and decides who to admit and what financial package (of the available fellowships and assistantships) to offer. The committee is assisted by the Graduate Affairs Administrator, the Director of Graduate Studies, and Dean of Students Office of the PSD. This committee also receives input from the Chair of the department on procedural and financial matters that may arise.

Graduate Students: Recruitment Committee

The Recruitment Committee prepares and oversees the process to recruit the students who will be admitted into our graduate program. The committee shall meet in the Fall Quarter to plan the entire recruiting process between mid January (decision on admitted students) and April 15 (the deadline for students to notify the department of their decisions). The recruitment efforts reach its peak with the annual Open House held in early March. This committee is assisted by the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Affairs Administrator.

Graduate Students: Diagnostic Exam Committee

The Diagnostic Exam Committee is responsible for administering the graduate diagnostic exam that the department offers every autumn (~2 weeks before the start of the Fall quarter). The committee is chaired by the Director of Graduate Studies and is further assisted by the Graduate Affairs Administrator.

Graduate Students: Friday Lectures Committee

Organized by the Director of Graduate Studies, 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. Lectures will start in the autumn quarter (October) until all (or most) of the research areas have been represented. It is expected that the vast majority of these meetings will be led by faculty members of the department of physics; however, research groups from allied departments and institutes are welcome.

Undergraduates: GRE Advisor

As a service to our undergraduate students, 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 final 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 August and September until the final GRE subject test is held (late October). 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.

Undergraduates: Physics REU Committee

The physics department's REU program is run by PI of the Physics REU. The primary role of anyone else assigned to this committee (co-PI of the REU) is to assist the REU PI 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 department staff.

Colloquium and Lecture Series Committee

Colloquia are held every Thursday at 3:30 pm 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.

Colloquia consist of

  • Regular colloquia
  • Quarterly EDI colloquia whose speakers are chosen by the EDI Committee
  • The Maria Goeppert-Mayer Lecture which is given during the Fall quarter
  • The Zachariasen Lecture which is given during the Spring quarter
  • The Ingrham Lecture which is given during the Fall quarter in odd years (2017, 2019, 2021, …)

The Colloquium and Lecture Series Committee is responsible for choosing a diverse, balanced, high quality series of “regular” colloquia for all three quarters of the academic year. The Chair of the Committee shall take primary responsibility for coordinating the dates of the invitations of regular colloqua. Postdocs in the physics department will host lunch for all the regular colloquium speakers.

The Department Chair is responsible for choosing and inviting speakers for the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Lecture, the Zachariasen Lecture, and the Ingrham Lecture, and the EDI Committee is responsible for choosing and inviting speakers for the quarterly EDI colloquia.

Each quarter, we expect at least 2 Black, 1 other URM and 3 women speakers, including early-career scientists. URM includes racial, ethnic, and gender minorities, minorities with disabilities, and other minority groups. At the speaker's discretion, the Committee should arrange opportunities for Black and URM students to have informal discussions with these speakers.

The committee should meet prior to the academic year to plan the series of colloquia.

Further budgetary and administrative information can be found here.

Annual Magazine: Chicago Physics

This committee oversees the content and production of annual Chicago Physics magazine.

Alumni Relations

This committee advises the department to strengthen connections to alumni. Its activities include helping the department for its annual events such as “Physics Career Day (early January)”, “Alumni Networking Event (Zachariasen Lecture day)”, and “Reception for Graduating Students (early June)”.

Advisor to Societies (SPS, SWiP, WAGMiP, REMiP, LGBTQ+)

There are a number of societies, predominantly student-run organizations. Depending on what kind of events or activities the organizations decide to hold, they occasionally require the approval of a designated faculty adviser. The faculty adviser should regularly meet with leaderships of each society to understand their needs and to provide this approval and advice if needed.

Outreach Committee

This committee creates a list of existing community outreach programs, especially those targeted towards local Black and URM middle and high school students, and advises the department on matters to strengthen community outreach programs and to encourage community involvement as part of department culture.

Forget the Year Party Adviser

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 Chair, 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.