First Anacapa Workshop Held August 17-20, 2009

The Anacapa Society held its first Workshop for theoretical and computational physicists at primarily undergraduate institutions at Amherst College, August 17-20 (see schedule below). This workshop was funded in part by the National Science Foundation, as part of the first grant proposal submitted to the NSF on behalf of the Anacapa Society. A summary of the workshop will be posted soon; watch this space!

The aims of the workshop were twofold: To provide an opportunity for interaction among Anacapa members on research matters, and to provide theoretical/computational physicists at undergraduate institutions with some tools to handle critical career moments. This joint focus on scientific research and career development added special value to the conference.

The workshop included time for research talks; sessions on three critical career stages: starting a job at PUI, approaching tenure review, and sustaining research activitiy at mid-career; and unsheduled time for informal interactions. (See Schedule below)

We benefitted in addition from the participation of three distinguished individuals who study science and scientists: Peter Galison (Harvard), Karen Barad (Santa Cruz), and Mike Fortun (RPI), who offered insights to us on our own careers and reflected on the discussions we have. (Both Peter and Karen have Ph.D.'s in particle physics, too.) In addition, Prof. Bill Wootters (Williams) and Prof. Courtney Lannert (Wellesley) gave highlighted seminars on their research.

The workshop was held at Amherst College, which is the host organization for the Anacapa Society. Support for the workshop was provided by the National Science Foundation, Amherst College, Hampshire College, and ISIS.

Conference Schedule:

Monday: Launch, Expectations, Hopes, and Research exchange
Registration 8:35-9:35
9:45-10:00 Official opening -- overview of the workshop.
10:00-12:00 Self-introductions; Group discussion of conference goals
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-5:00 Focus on research: short talks.
6:00 Barbecue at the Red Barn, on the Hampshire College campus. Reception by Hampshire's President Ralph Hexter.

Tuesday: PUI Theorists in the College Community
9:45-10:00 Introduction of the topic(s) and speakers.
10:00-12:00 Presentations by Prof. Mike Fortun (RPI) and Prof. Karen Barad (UCSC).
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00 Presentation by Prof. Peter Galison (Harvard)
Coffee break
2:15-3:45 Panel discussion/Group discussion
4:00 Physics seminar: Prof. Courtney Lannert (Wellesley), "Exploring the quantum phases of bosons in ultracold atomic gases"

Wednesday: Focus on Career Issues
9:45-10:45 What should a newly hired theorist at a PUI know?
11:00-12:00 What should a theorist approaching tenure review at a PUI know?
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 What should a theorist at mid-career at a PUI know?
Coffee break
3:00-4:30 prepare summaries of these discussions for distribution.
4:30 Physics seminar: Prof. William Wootters (Williams), "Quantum Teleportation in 2009"

Thursday: Retrospective and Prospective Thoughts
9:30-12:00 Group discussion: Reflecting on the workshop.
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:30 Group discussion: what's next for the Anacapa Society in the coming year?

Anacapa Society Box 2244A Amherst College Amherst, MA 01002-5000