Women Physicists

Woman Physicist of the Month – 2014

CSWP Woman Physicist of the Month
2014  |

November

Giuliana Di Martino, Imperial College LondonGiuliana
Dr. Giuliana Di Martino holds a PhD in Physics at Imperial College London and, as a researcher, the key word of her life is “challenge”. During her career she developed a deep passion for being on the cutting edge of advanced technology. Her PhD work on quantum information was in the newly emerging field of quantum plasmonics – an interdisciplinary field, combining quantum optics science with nanoplasmonic engineering. As a visiting researcher at the Boston University, she worked on the fabrication of advanced and more efficient semiconductor solar cells, enhanced by aperiodic plasmonic nanostructures.

Dr. Di Martino is an explorer, fueled by passion. Her talent for science has been recognized by a number of awards, from Mathematics and Physics Olympic games, in her early career, to the 2014 ABTA Doctoral Researcher award. She puts enormous energy and determination into her work; she always pushes herself to the limit of her capabilities and beyond them. This is demonstrated by her success in so many different fields, from her active career as a teacher at Imperial College to winning her first scholarship at the age of 19. Dr. Di Martino authored a number of scientific articles published among the highest impact journals and her outstanding results have been presented in the most important international conferences.

October

Jena Meinecke, University of OxfordMeineke
Jena Meinecke is an inspiring graduate student in the Physics Department at the University of Oxford. Her scientific achievements, including a recent Nature Physics publication, are impressive. Meinecke’s doctoral work is based on using high power lasers to simulate, in the laboratory, powerful events such as high Mach number shocks, relevant to those sweeping the interstellar medium after a supernova explosion. Meinecke was able to demonstrate, in laboratory experiments, the mechanism of magnetic field amplification in a turbulent medium, a result that was directly applied to explain the large magnetic fields seen in the interior of the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant. In this case, it confirmed the idea that the forward shock wave is expanding at an atypical circumstellar medium with a cloud back surrounding the progenitor star. Meinecke’s results have far reaching implications, as they will help to piece together a better understanding of magneto-genesis processes in the early Universe. Because of her work, she has received a prestigious invitation for a talk at the European Physical Society.

Meinecke has quite a personal story to tell: from a community college in Los Angeles, to a four year internship at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for her undergraduate research, and then as a DPhil candidate in Oxford, one of the oldest universities in the world. Meinecke is not only an excellent scientist, but she is strongly committed to promoting women in science and encouraging underrepresented youth to pursue higher education through physics outreach activities. In the Physics Department, she is the Founder and President of the Oxford Women in Physics Society, an association to promote career development of women in physics while providing a welcoming support network. Her society has received an impressive attendance from many female scientists in the department. She is now coordinating the first UK Intercollegiate Conference for Women in Physics.

September

Susan Blessing, Florida State University Blessing
Susan Blessing, a Professor of Physics at Florida State University (FSU), has done almost everything an educator can do to encourage undergraduate women to pursue science and engineering careers.

Blessing is the Director of Florida State University’s Women in Math, Science and Engineering (WIMSE) Program, which is a living-learning community for science and engineering majors. She is also the Director of the Physics Department’s Undergraduate Program. Dr. Blessing was the 2013 Chair of the American Physical Society’s Committee on the Status of Women in Physics and served as the organizer for one of the APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics sites, which was held at FSU in January, 2014. In addition to all this, she has created an innovative course for physics majors to ease the often wrenching transition from introductory to upper division courses.

Dr. Blessing encourages her WIMSE students to join FSU research groups early in their time here. She also encourages the students to venture out into the bigger world during the summers, joining undergraduate research programs around the globe. One WIMSE physics major spent the summer of 2012 at CERN and was in the CERN seminar room when the Higgs announcement and history were made.

August

Ibtesam Saeed Badhrees, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology Badhrees
Ibtesam Saeed Badhrees is a leading research scientist in experimental particle physics and a Distinguished Fellow of New Westminster College. She is the first Saudi woman with a PhD to work in the National Center for Mathematics and Physics at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

Throughout her career, Badhrees has received many awards and gained much recognition including the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission Academic Excellence Award in 1996, 1997, and 2007. Her role with CERN as the first and only Saudi woman to join the organization as a user researcher in 2006 is also notable, as well as her service as a CERN courier in 2006. In this role, she published in several magazines and journals and participated in several interviews nationally and internationally.

Badhrees has, on many occasions, provided services to the physics community through the organization of workshops and presentation of talks in different countries to trigger the enthusiasm and passion of the younger generation of scientists in science and especially in the field of high energy physics.

July

Kathryne Sparks Woodle, Penn State University Kathryne Sparks Woodle
Kathryne Sparks Woodle is a senior graduate student at Penn State University. Her research interests are experimental particle astrophysics, particularly cosmic ray and gamma ray astronomy. Woodle works on the High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) very high energy gamma ray observatory being built at Sierra Negra near Puebla, Mexico. In her role with HAWC, she has been asked to contribute in many areas, from site surveying to software development and data analysis. Faculty and scientists from several institutions around the collaboration have remarked on the variety and importance of her contributions.

Woodle is also interested in Women in STEM issues and STEM education research. She has demonstrated leadership in a large number of areas related to science outreach and educational initiatives within Penn State including the Penn State Graduate Women in Science group and the summer Upward Bound Math/Science mentorship program in her particle astrophysics research group. On the national stage, Woodle served as the Local Organizing Committee Chair of the recent APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) at Penn State, which hosted nearly 150 attendees. She is a recipient of the Downsbrough Fellowship (2011) and Duncan Fellowship (2011-2013), both from Penn State.

June

Veronica Barone, Central Michigan University  Barone
Challenging, inspiring, and leading … Since her first day in the Physics Department at Central Michigan University, Dr. Veronica Barone has challenged her colleagues to improve their teaching and research, inspired students to excel, and led the department in exciting new directions. She plays a vital role in the intellectual and educational life of our community of physicists.

Dr. Barone was instrumental in designing the curricular and governance structure of CMU’s interdisciplinary Science of Advanced Materials Ph.D. program, emphasizing student success, especially for those who are underrepresented in physics. She was a role model for the first two female students enrolled in the program, guiding the dissertation work of one of these students, which culminated in a university-wide outstanding dissertation award. She is an innovative teacher. Committed to developing critical thinking skills in her students, she introduced novel active learning activities in the introductory physics course and is currently leading an effort to revise an inquiry-based physical science course for elementary education students. Finally, Professor Barone is a gifted materials physicist whose primary research focuses on the physical and chemical properties of graphene. Her density functional theory-based computational studies of graphene are widely known and highly cited. She is particularly interested in the potential of graphene-based electrodes to improve the storage capacity of batteries. She has also made important contributions to our understanding of the optical properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes, to the theory of NMR chemical shifts, and to the development of improved density functionals. Dr. Barone actively involves undergraduate students in her research.

May

Agnes Mocsy, Pratt Institute  Mocsy
Dr. Mocsy is an accomplished theoretical physicist working on a broad range of topics within the field of finite temperature QCD. She is a recognized expert on Quarkonium production in Heavy Ion collisions as a probe of the properties of the Quark Gluon Plamsa. She has also made original and ground-breaking contributions to other topic in her field including the phases of nuclear matter, correlations and flow, and the production of exotic atoms. She has authored review articles and several highly cited papers within her field.

Dr. Mocsy is also a leader of the community and an excellent mentor and teacher. She has lectured extensively throughout the world and is known as an excellent communicator. She is a passionate advocate for the sciences and has lobbied Congress for increased funding for Nuclear Physics. Dr. Mocsy has also organized several workshops and conferences including the Hot Quarks Conference, a meeting for younger members of the community.

In addition to her research, Dr. Mocsy works in creative and original ways to bridge the gap between science and the broader community. She has given public lectures, and since joining the faculty of Pratt Institute, she has worked to develop projects that allow students from non-science backgrounds to work with scientists for their mutual benefit. She aims to pass her enthusiasm about the fascinating discoveries in science on to her students and to provide the public the tool of scientific skepticism as a method for seeking truth in all areas of life. She has developed a variety of projects that bring together artists and scientists in order to develop a richer vision of nature. These projects include an animated video and web-site entitled “the Sound of the Little Bang.” The project was featured as an APS meeting highlight and went on to get picked up by dozens of international news sites. The video was viewed more than 35 thousand times.

April

Shohini Ghose, Wilfrid Laurier University  Ghose
Shohini Ghose is a very accomplished theoretical physicist with a truly international reputation.  She publishes in the top journals in her field and recently co-authored the first Canadian introductory astronomy textbook, which is now being adopted by several universities in Canada.

Dr. Ghose’s research is in the area of quantum information science.  She explores how the laws of quantum mechanics may be harnessed to develop next-generation quantum computers and novel protocols like teleportation.  Canada is a leader in this exciting new field and Dr. Ghose is playing an active role in building Canadian research expertise and reputation, and training the next generation of highly skilled workers for the high-tech sector.

One of Dr. Ghose’s other significant contributions is her vigorous promotion of careers in science to women.  She is the founder (2012) of the Centre for Women in Science at Wilfrid Laurier University, vice-chair of the Canadian Association of Physicists’ Committee to Encourage Women in Physics and chair of the local organizing committee for the 5th International Union of Pure and Applied Physics International Conference on Women in Physics.  Dr. Ghose is willing to speak to any audience on her research, science in general, and her life as a scientist, and she will be reaching a vastly larger audience this year as a TED Fellow–one of only 20 selected for 2014 out of more than 1,000 candidates worldwide.

March

Lisa Whitehead, University of Houston  Whitehead_web
Lisa Whitehead is in her third year at the University of Houston after serving a postdoctoral appointment at Brookhaven National Laboratory. She is an experimentalist in neutrino physics and is a member of both MINOS and DAYA BAY. Dr. Whitehead is a very active member of the collaborations with responsibilities as a Co-Convenor for Cosmogenic Isotopes for DAYA BAY as well as being a Co-Convenor of the νe appearance analysis group for MINOS. She has organized and hosted major collaboration meetings and shouldered other service activities such as being on the Fermilab User’s Executive Committee.

Dr. Whitehead has been active in advancing the situation for women STEM faculty at the University of Houston, and has a Department of Energy Career Award.  Whitehead is highly thought of by her students and has been a popular person on the seminar and colloquium circuit. She is also seen as one of the budding young leaders in experimental neutrino physics.

February

Karen Daniels, North Carolina State University  Daniels
In eight years at North Carolina State University Dr. Karen Daniels has built an exciting, diverse research program in nonlinear physics. She has proven herself to be a creative, engaging, and dedicated teacher in both the classroom and the lab. She has been a mentor and advocate for graduate students, undergraduates and middle school students.

Her research covers a broad spectrum of applications, from the propagation of cracks in Jello to the transmission of forces in seismic faults. The topic provides exciting opportunities for students to design, build, and execute table-top physics experiments with real-world applications. Her lab encompasses a wide set of hands-on and computer techniques and a diverse group of students, including 23 undergraduates in the last eight years. Most of her publications since coming to NC State have a student as first-author. A paper with graduate student Eli Owens was named one of the “Best of 2011” articles published in EPL. She has developed collaborations around the world, leading to a von Humboldt Fellowship in 2011 to study in Germany. In the past year she has given invited talks at, among others, the Lorentz Center in The Netherlands, Harvard University and École Normale Supérieure.

In addition to teaching core undergraduate and graduate physics courses (with excellent reviews), Daniels created and taught an Honors seminar, designed a new graduate course in statistical mechanics, and taught a Scale-Up engineering physics class. On campus and off, she is a vocal supporter of women in science. A former precollege science teacher, Daniels has organized and presented at Expanding Your Horizons Conferences for middle school girls. She has served on the NCSU task force on Women Faculty, she co-organized the first two annual meetings of the Southeastern Conference of Undergraduate Women in Physics, she has been the keynote speaker for the annual NCSU Women in Science and Engineering banquet, and she has initiated a women-in-physics lunch in the department each semester.

January

Gabriela Gonzalez, Louisiana State University  GonzalezG
Gabriela Gonzalez, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Louisiana State University, is currently serving her second term as the Spokesperson for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. In this position, she oversees the work of over 900 scientists from 86 institutions and 17 countries, representing the Collaboration professionally to the scientific community and to the public. In the years before being elected as LSC Spokesperson, Gonzalez led the LIGO working group on detector characterization (instrumentation) and the working group on seeking gravitational waves from compact binary coalescences (data analysis), and held countless scientific and administrative positions in the LSC. What isn’t always as visible is the time and attention she invests in the people around her. Once you have come into her sphere of influence, she’ll always have time for you and care for you as a whole person — both as a physicist and a unique individual.
Through her demonstrated excellence in experimental instrumentation, data analysis, student advising, and education and public outreach, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration has grown and is scientifically thriving. The list of Dr. Gonzalez’s accomplishments would not be complete without a mention of her efforts to promote higher participation of women and underrepresented groups in the field. Under her leadership, the Collaboration has endorsed a statement to recognize the importance of diversity and pledge to work to increase the numbers of women and under-represented minorities in the Collaboration, appointed an LSC Ombudsperson office to serve the needs of the Collaboration, and created a working group charged to propose an action plan for improving diversity and further promote cultural and gender inclusiveness in the Collaboration.

Gonzalez is a fellow of the APS, the International Society of General Relativity and Gravitation, and the Institute of Physics. She has been awarded the APS Edward A. Bouchet Award (2007) and Woman in Physics Lecturer by the Australian Institute of Physics (2001).

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Experience of a Olympiad partcipant

35 International Olympiads
Journey of a lifetime: The 34th International Physics Olympiad
By Hamood Arham – The weakest link of the team that represented Pakistan at the 34th IPhO, now wilting
away doing a BS in Physics at Michigan State University
I was walking down the hallway of the Physics building at Michigan State University when something
suddenly caught my eye. It was a backpack. Like all other backpacks it had the requisite zippers and the
shoulder straps. However, there was something unique about this bag. There was a familiar insignia emblazoned
on its front. To the backdrop of the map of Taiwan, the sign proudly proclaimed “34th IPhO 2003” (with the
faces of Newton and Einstein filling in the zeros of 2003). The subheading “34th International Physics
Olympiad” in English and Taiwanese characters finished the logo. Seeing the Olympiad logo after over three
years and more than 12000 km away from Taipei was a nice surprise. Pleasant memories of an experience of a
lifetime flooded my senses. I felt obliged to go over and talk to the owner of the backpack.
It was a typical hot summer day when Dr. Abdullah Sadiq, Dr. Masroor Ikram, Umair Sadiq and I set out
from Islamabad. Our flight to Taipei was from Lahore and we had a long drive ahead of us. The other three
members of our team, Wajahat Faheem Khan, Talal bin Akram and Ahmed Qureshi were going to join us at the
airport. I was feeling nervous excitement and was wondering if the whole Olympiad experience was going to be
as good as people had made it sound. The drive to Lahore was punctuated with discussions revolving around
Physics. One particular discussion that I recall had something to do with determining the radius of the earth
from the shadow cast by an object due to the sun. Needless to say, I pretended to be asleep for most of the
journey to Lahore.
All five of us team members were very thrilled about representing Pakistan at the Physics Olympiad. In a
sense, our journey had started over a year ago when we had appeared for the NPTC initial screening test and
now we were almost at the finish line. The stories regaled to us by the veterans of the Turkish and Indonesian
Olympiads had been tantalizing and I was finding it hard to believe that I was now joining their ranks.
The Olympiad was a ten day long fun-filled extravaganza (minus the five hours each for the theoretical and
experimental exams on the third and the fifth days). The Welcome Party on our first night was remarkable with
acrobatics and traditional dance displays. The Opening Ceremony was presided by the President of Taiwan,
Chen Shui-bian, who said, “Like the Olympic Games, the IPhO brings together the best and the brightest from
around the world for a fair competition. Regardless of who claims the ultimate victory, the friendships you
make among your fellow contestants will be the most precious award.”
The Olympiad was very well organized with visits to museums, national monuments, amusements parks and
scenic locales. Separate accommodation had been arranged for the students and the team leaders. No more
determining earth’s radius from sunlight or other such discussions. However, when we did meet up with the
professors for dinner receptions, Dr. Masroor Ikram always had useful suggestions for taking better photographs
from the cameras by controlling the background light. All the students had been housed at the Grand Taipei
Hotel and we traveled in a convoy of buses from one place to the next. It seemed as if the dozen buses with
nearly 250 students from 54 countries were on a nonstop whirlwind tour of Taiwan. We were also treated to
talks by Nobel laureate Prof. Samuel C.C Ting and Prof. Paul C. W. Chu, President of Hong Kong University of
Science and Technology.
The part of the Olympiad that I enjoyed the most was meeting people of my age from all over the globe and
listening to all sorts of English accents. With so many participants and so few days it was impossible to get to
know everyone personally. However, we got to spend a lot of time together with the other students during the
bus rides and the sightseeing trips. 36 International Olympiads
The Olympiad experience was enhanced greatly by the efforts of the dedicated guides appointed with each
team. Our guide was Stella Yu-Wen Wang who was always making sure that we reached everywhere on time
and did not get lost in the city. After all, none of us knew the local language and it would have been a chore
navigating our way back to the team hotel.
It was with a heavy heart that I boarded the bus taking us to the airport to fly out of Taiwan. It had been a
priceless experience and my only regret was that it had ended so soon. The driveway leading to our hotel had
been decorated with large, brightly-coloured flags with the Olympiad logo. On the last night after the closing
ceremony, we had all rushed to grab them as souvenirs. The onlookers were taken aback by the enthusiasm with
which the flags were being pulled down, but it only showed how much all the participants had enjoyed the event
and how eager they were to take away mementos of it with them.
The organizers provided us with t-shirts, backpacks, personal pouches, lapel pins and other such clutter with
the Olympiad logo stamped on them. They even printed out special Taiwanese postal stamps with our pictures
on them. It was such a backpack that caught my eye in Michigan that day. The owner, from Taiwan, had been
involved in the organization of the event and while we had not met during the course of the Olympiad, we had a
good time walking down memory lane together.
(Hamood Zafir Arham participated in NPTC 7 during the year 2002/2003. He represented Pakistan at the 34th International Physics
Olympiad held in Taipei, Taiwan in August 2003. After his A Levels Hamood won the University Distinguished Scholarship at
Michigan State University to cover 4 years of undergraduate study. Hamood plans to graduate from Michigan State University with a
BS in Physics in May 2008 and start graduate school in Physics the fall of the same year.)
Dr Sarwar Khan with some other participants in
16th IBO 2005, China
Dr Sarwar Khan with President IBO and
Pakistani IBO team in Argentina
Dr Sarwar Khan with Pakistani IBO Team in Saskatoon Canada, 2007 37 International Olympiads
A Memoir of 17th IBO, Argentina
Annam Asif
For the past few years many science competitions and Olympiads are being organized in different parts of
the world. The basic purpose of such events is to bring students from different countries at one place so that
they can compete with each other in their respective fields of knowledge. Such a competition, the International
Biology Olympiad, was held in Argentina from 9-16 July, 2006 and I was one of the fortunate ones to be
selected to participate in it through various stages of screening tests at the national level. It was the first ever
participation of Pakistan in any international biology competition at the high school level. Our team consisted of
five members: Muhammad Sherkoh Qaisarani, Iram Mohsin and me along with Dr. Sarwar and Dr. Farwa, who
were our leader and deputy leader respectively.
We departed for our destination on 7th July and after a very hectic, tiring, yet enjoyable journey of about 2
days, ultimately landed at Rio Cuarto, where the entire event was going to be held. The very next morning, the
participants of all the countries were first separated from their leaders to the respective hotels where they
provided us the schedule of the upcoming week along with some accessories for the exam. The next morning
we left for the opening ceremony in the cultural theatre.
In the opening ceremony, participants of all the countries, wearing their national dresses and holding their
flag went on stage where a very enthusiastic audience, consisting of members of IBO committee, judges and
chief guests welcomed them. It was really a very great feeling for all of us when the name Pakistan was
announced. The audience’s response on the first ever participation of Pakistan in an IBO was also very thrilling.
It was a great privilege for us to represent our country in front of fifty other countries. After that a cultural
dance, with themes and songs of typical Argentinean culture were presented, which were thoroughly enjoyed by
everyone, competitors as well as judges. Next in the ceremony, was the address of the President of IBO who
informed us about the rules and regulations of the competition and also about the main aims of holding events
like IBO.
We had our practical exam the next day, consisting of four parts, each about an hour long. The four sections
of the practical exam were related to Biochemistry, Plant Biology, Animal Biology and Biotechnology. The
written test was held on the very next day and consisted of two sections. Though we all did well in the theory,
we had a bit of a problem in the practical exams because we hadn’t been exposed to that much practical work
during our coursework as well as the training in our own country. Then, after the test was over, we were
ultimately free from all burdens.
After a hectic and studious routine of three consecutive days, finally we started enjoying our stay. We
interacted with the other teams, discussed their educational system, culture and lots more. We were given a tour
of the city, Rio Cuarto, where we got a chance to visit some important buildings and places, schools, shopping
malls and closely observed the way of life of the citizens. We also spent some time pleasantly in playing games
but the most interesting part of our stay was the hiking. Though it was exhausting, it was great fun.
Thus, the IBO was not only a competition to make the young generation aware of the challenges in the
field of biology, but also a platform where all the students from different parts of the world can interact. Lastly,
we had the closing ceremony in which medals were awarded to the students for their extraordinary performance
and by the grace of Almighty; my team mate Muhammad Sherkoh was able to win a bronze medal for our
country. That was a very cherishing moment as he had lighted the name of his country through his diligence.
Maybe, if I had worked a bit harder, then I would have been one of those fortunate to win. In the later half of
the ceremony, the hosts again presented some cultural dances and the President of the IBO also addressed us in
which he congratulated the organizing community of 17th IBO for arranging such a healthy and successful 38 International Olympiads
event, and the students for showing discipline and good interaction. At the end, the competitors said goodbye to
each other and also exchanged small gifts as a token of their regard and remembrance.
Simply stating it, to participate for the first time in the IBO as a Pakistani was really an awesome
experience, a wonderful opportunity and a great platform for me through which I was not only exposed to the
new advancements in biology and to the challenges of advancing science, but also learned about the education
system of other countries. I made some good friends there who I stay in touch with regularly My IBO
experience has also motivated me to do my level best in upgrading our national education standard. The
pleasant memories of those days, the knowledge I gathered and the company of my friends made it an
unforgettable experience. I would advise upcoming students who want to do something more productive and
beneficial than their routine studies and tasks, to participate in such competitions.
(The author, Annam Asif is currently a student of M.B.B.S. (1st year) at Rawalpindi Medical College, Rawalpindi. She was in premedical
when she took her NSTC-2 screening test after doing matriculation from Siddeeq Public School. By the grace of Almighty, she
qualified to participate in the 17th IBO held at Rio Cuarto, Argentina from 9 to 16th July 2006)
Dr Khalid M khan and Dr Shaiq ali with Pakistani
IChO team in South Korea, 2006
Pakistani IChO Team is passing through the crowd
in Moscow, Russia, 2007
Mr. Ahmed Mahmood Qureshi with first Pakistani
IMO team in 46th IMO in Mexico, 2005
Dr A D Raza Choudary, DG SMS with Pakistani
IMO Team in 47th IMO in 2006 39 International Olympiads
Pakistani IMO Team with deputy Team Leader Mr Ahmed Mahmood Qureshi in Hanoi Vietnam, July,
2007
Mr. Yaser Raza Khan, Honoable Mention holder of
first Pakistani team in 32nd IPhO in Turkey 2001
Dr Abdullah Sadiq and Dr Masood Ul Hassan with
Pakistani 33rd IPhO Team in Bali Indonesia, 2002
Dr Abdullah Sadiq and Dr Masroor Ikram with
Pakistani IPhO Team in 34rd IPhO 2003, Taiwan
Dr Abdullah Sadiq and Dr Masroor Ikram with
Pakistani IPhO Team in 35th IPhO 2004, 40 International Olympiads
Dr Abdullah Sadiq and Dr Kashif Sabih with
Pakistani 36th IPhO, 2005, Spain
Dr Abdullah Sadiq and Dr Ibrahim Qazi with
Pakistani IPhO Team in 37th IPhO in Singapore,
2006
Dr Ibrahim Qazi and Editor-in-Chief with Pakistani
Team in 38th IPhO Isfahan Iran, July, 2007
Winners of NSTC-3 and Participants of
International Science Olympiads 2007 posing with
Dr Muhammad Aslam, Rector PIEAS, Dr S
Mahmood Raza, Advisor HEC, Dr Abdullah Sadiq,
Chair STEM Careers Project, Dr Ibrahim Qazi,
NPTC Coordinator, Dr Nasim Irfan, Coordinator
NPTC, Dr Khalid M Khan, Coordinator NCTC
and Editor-in-Chief NAAM on 4th August, 2007 at
GIK-I

Need for Education Olympics

Olympiads in various fields of education are gaining popularity. Some of the most popular are International Maths Olympiad, International Physics Olympiad. Others are IChO,APhO,IEO,IOAA,IOA,IJSO,IOI etc.

  1. Some of the very good points noted by IISc regarding Olympiads in India
  2. Junior Olympiads need to be conducted at the level of Class 9 to enable a  olympiad culture at school level and forming an input base.
  3. Rewards for Olympiad level participants need to be enhanced.
  4. Good Syllabi at 10+2 level and IITJEE prep helps a lot for Indian Students in Olympiads.
  5. Training at Zonal level especially experimental skills needed and should done round the year.

Weak link for Students of Physics Olympiad

Atleast from AP & Telengana many students suffer from poor experimental skills at the level of 10+2 according to my observation and experience.

  1. Physics is a science of Measurement.
  2. “When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarely, in your thoughts advanced to the stage of science.”― William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin
  3. HC Verma always emphasises role of expts and conducts many such initiatives.
  4. I quote from HBCSE documents:

Emphasis on experimental science
One of the unique aspects of the Olympiad programme is its significant emphasis on experimental
science. Most talent nurture programmes or competitive examinations in the country focus purely
on theoretical aspects of a subject, thereby creating a learning environment in which the student is
hardly encouraged to hone his/her experimental skills. By exposing students to innovative and
novel experiments and training them in the methods of experimental science, the Olympiad
programme strives to address the problem of acute need of motivated bright students in research
laboratories across the country. The Olympiad laboratories at HBCSE are equipped to the level of
international standards, much beyond the typical facilities found in Indian schools and colleges.
Several experimental kits developed at HBCSE have been distributed to a number of schools across
India and also through the IAPT network.

5. Olympiads are a good opportunity for the students of this age group, to interact with their international counterparts to understand the cultural and scientific environment of the different nations.

Progress in Hita’s NSEP prep

I am happy with the progress as of now in Hita’s prep.

  1. We plan to prepare a summary/compendium of formulas today.
  2. A session on AC Circuits by MP Singh proved to be helpful.
  3. Semiconductor Devices need to be revised maybe with the help of KVN Pratap Reddy.