Category Archives: conferences

Come check out these excellent early career scientist-focused sessions at the APS March Meeting

We’re super excited for the 2022 March Meeting and we at FECS have prepared a program of some excellent events focusing on the unique interests of early career scientists. Also keep an eye out for our table somewhere in the hallways. I hope to see you there!


B13. (Invited) Policies and Postdocs: Early-Career Perspectives on How Public Policy Affects Scientists and How Scientists Can Affect Public Policy
11:30am – 2:30pm CT
McCormick Place W-183A (and live stream)
Early career scientists don’t live in a vacuum; we interact with policies made everywhere from APS to universities to federal agencies and even Congress. These interactions go both ways: we can influence these policies and even become the policymakers. Join us to hear from an NSF program director, the recent chair of the APS Ethics Committee, an author of the APS TEAM-UP report, APS government affairs and the acting Chief of Staff for the Dept. of Energy Office of Science. 

FECS Postdoctoral Poster Prize Competition
2:00pm – 5:00 pm 
McCormick Place Exhibit Hall F1 (abstracts G71-107)
Every March Meeting, FECS hosts a competition for the best postdoc prize with cash prizes of up to $500 (more info here). Come check out the competitors and their excellent work! The poster session is in the main exhibit hall abstracts G71-107. 


K13. (Invited) What Do Early-Career Physicists Do?    (Cosponsored with FIAP)
3:00pm – 6:00pm CT
McCormick Place W-183A (and live stream)
   Not all scientists work in labs! Join FECS and FIAP (the Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics) as we learn about careers in scientific publishing, data science, entrepreneurship and public engagement from early-career scientists working directly in those fields. 

FECS Reception
6:15pm CT – ???
McCormick Place W-185BC 
    Now that we are finally back to in-person meetings, we can enjoy the magic of free snacks and chatting with fellow physicists without screens or breakout rooms or mute buttons. Join FECS for an informal meetup of scientists from all career stages. Individually packaged refreshments will be provided. All March Meeting attendees are welcome, but unfortunately for our virtual colleagues, this is an in-person only event. 


N32. (Invited) Distinguished International Early Career Scientists in Quantum Physics (Cosponsored with FIP) 
11:30am – 2:30pm CT 
McCormick Place W-192B (and live stream)
    FECS and FIP (the Forum on International Physics) come together to sponsor an invited session highlighting the work of international early career scientists in quantum physics. 

All this information is available on our public facing website if you want to share.

screenshot of Bulletin of APS March Meeting

Watch my talk at the March Meeting Thursday 9:12 am central time

Tomorrow (Thursday 3/18) I’m giving my talk at the March Meeting!

R20.00005: Field-induced freezing in the unfrustrated Ising antiferromagnet
Thursday, March 18, 9:12 AM–9:24 AM CDT
View in bulletin
Watch talk live


We study instantaneous quenches from infinite temperature to well below Tc in the two-dimensional (2D) square lattice Ising antiferromagnet in the presence of a longitudinal external magnetic field. Under single-spin-flip Metropolis algorithm Monte Carlo dynamics, this protocol produces a pair of metastable magnetization plateaus that prevent the system from reaching the equilibrium ground state except for some special values of the field. This occurs despite the absence of intrinsic disorder or frustration. We explain the plateaus in terms of local spin configurations that are stable under the dynamics. Although the details of the plateaus depend on the update scheme, the underlying principle governing the breakdown of ergodicity is quite general and provides a broader paradigm for understanding failures of ergodicity in Monte Carlo dynamics. See also: Iaizzi, Phys. Rev. E 102 032112 (2020), doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.102.032112

*Note: The views expressed here are the speaker’s, and do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the AAAS STPF Program, the US Dept. of Energy, or the US Government.

Follow this finely crafted link to a dedicated page with more information about this work.

Life changing tips for screen sharing with Keynote/Zoom

I just stumbled across these on the internet and they are both great. These are for Keynote (on macs) but there are probably equivalent settings on Powerpoint.

1. If you want to be able to switch apps while in presentation mode (e.g. to see the Zoom window). Look at this guide on the Zoom documentation. There is also a setting where you can make your cursor visible at all times so you can use it to point at things on your slides.

2. If you want to play your slideshow in a window (so it doesn’t take up the whole screen). Go into this mode first, then share the keynote window from Zoom. (Downside: you won’t be able to see your “presenter view” from keynote, just the slides at they appear to others.

Check out these FECS sessions at the March Meeting!

The APS virtual March meeting is just around the corner! Although we are not meeting in person, FECS will spare no effort on ensuring a meeting that is as successful as before. We are hosting the following three invited sessions to highlight the contributions from early career scientists in science, industry, and international collaboration: 

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This week: the APS Annual Leadership Meeting (free registration)

The APS Annual Leadership Meeting will be taking place this week on Thursday 2/4 and Saturday 2/6. This is usually an in-person meeting in DC, so registration is usually limited to the leadership of APS Units, but this year it’s virtual and they have extended registration to all APS members for free (it might be free to nonmembers, but I am not sure).

I attended last year and it was an extremely valuable look at the work that APS does to advance physics, from organizing conferences to interacting with the congress and federal agencies to advance policies to strengthen scientific research. That includes obvious things, like most science funding, and less obvious things, like ensuring an adequate supply of liquid helium.

Register now for free!

FECS APS March Meeting Mini Grants

Application deadline: January 15, 2021 11:59pm EST
Apply now!

The 2021 March Meeting will be held completely online. In order to support early career physicists, FECS is running a one-time “mini grant” program to cover the cost of registration (up to $165). Note: in order to receive that low rate, you must register for the meeting by the early bird deadline of January 25, 2021.

To be considered, applicants must be recent PhD recipients (past 5 years), present a poster or talk at the meeting, and be current members of the APS Forum for Early Career Scientists (free to join, link below). Women, underrepresented minorities and candidates who can clearly demonstrate a need for funding are especially encouraged to apply. Applications are due January 15, 2021 11:59pm EST. If you have any questions, please contact me.

To join FECS, follow this link and sign into your APS account.

Apply now!

P.S. We will also be offering grants for the April meeting. More information will be posted on Engage soon.

Stock image of a classroom

A few tips to enhance your slides

Scientists watch a lot of talks, and I’ve noticed a lot of people (including me) make the same handful of mistakes. Here are a few of my tips:

  • Number your slides. Powerpoint, Keynote and Beamer all have options to add these automatically. Visible slide numbers make it easier for people to refer back to a specific slide if they have a question, especially at the end.
  • Test your slides on a projector or low-resolution monitor. Computer monitor resolutions have steadily grown, but projectors technology seems stuck in 2004. This leads to a familiar trap: you make beautiful figure with graceful thin lines on your laptop, which are rendered totally invisible by the projector. Same goes for contrast, light colors like yellow are often invisible on projectors.
  • Keep the text to a minimum. You want people listening to you speak, not reading your slides. Use slides for short bullet points and for showing off your figures.
  • Even fewer equations. Unless you’re teaching a class, people are rarely going to be interested in following any mathematical derivations, and they’re hard to follow on a slide anyways. 1-2 equations per slide max. If people want to know more, they can always ask, which will probably lead to a more interesting discussion anyways.
  • Finally, include your contact information on the final slide. It’s easy to space out at the start of a presentation and forget to jot down the presenter’s name. Make it easier for your audience by having your name and email on the last slide along with any relevant papers you want to promote.

Disclaimer: I want to be 100% clear that these tips are not a veiled reference to anyone in particular.