Physics Focus

GAP held our first Physics Focus of the year on October 29th! We celebrated the achievements of three graduate students who recently published papers in their fields by hearing about their results and eating yummy snacks! We had three presenters, who presented the following publications:

Johnathan Michel – Structural hierarchy confers error tolerance in biological tissues. Published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in February of 2019.

Brian McMahon – Doppler cooled ions in a compact, reconfigurable penning trap. Published to the arXiv in September of 2019.

Noah DeTal – Synchronization behavior in a ternary phase model. Published in Chaos in June of 2019.

We hope to continue hosting Physics Focus events to highlight even more of our publishing graduate students. If you publish a paper and would like to be featured in our next Focus, please reach out to any one of our officers, who can be found on the About page.

General GAP Meeting

On October 22nd, the GAP held our first General Meeting with graduate students to announce upcoming events and get some feedback. This was also a time for graduate students to get together and socialize, with yummy snacks!

Items discussed:

  • Physics Focus:
    • A new event held once a semester to celebrate the accomplishments of graduate students who have recently published a paper! The event will host 3 graduate students, each giving a short 10-minute talk followed by questions from the audience. This is a great time to advertise your work and receive feedback!
    • Reminder: If you have published a paper, GAP wants to know about it!
  • Workshop interest:
    • We inquired about what types of workshops people would be interested in so we can bring someone in from C2D2 to help us out. We did get some feedback on this, so look out for events!
  • We are still looking for an outreach chair! If you are interested in outreach and would like to be the point of contact for the GAP, we would love to have you! Send an email to if you are interested.
  • A member of the United Campus Workers Union came to discuss a bit about union goals and a petition they are circulating in regards to lowering student fees. Please take a look here if you would like to see the petition and sign it.

Thanks to all the grad students who attended! We plan to have another general GAP meeting next month.

Second Mentoring Session of 2019

On 10/04/19, GAP held their second mentoring session of the year with the first-year students of the department. The overall theme was stress management, where GAP took the opportunity to hear how their first year has been going so we can figure out if there is anything that can be done to alleviate their stress or help them out in any way.

One thing we discussed was how to figure out if professors are looking for graduate students. GAP just published a list of the status of professors, which can be found here.

The focus of the mentoring sessions has broadly been about receiving feedback about how the first-year best practices are being implemented, something that GAP worked on last year. GAP is committed to following up with this best practices list, and if there is anything that is not being implemented, we will do our best to fix the situation.

Best of luck to the first years during the rest of the semester, and we will see everyone at the next mentoring session!