Meeting Minutes

March 14, 2017

Business Meeting Minutes

  1. The meeting was called to order at 5:50 pm by the incoming chair, Tim Zwier. Other DCP officers attending the meeting were David Nesbitt (outgoing chair), Scott Anderson (chair-elect), Robert Gordon (secretary/treasurer), and Robert Continetti (councilor). Tim thanked the current Executive Committee members and congratulated the newly-elected vice-chair, Laura Gagliardi, and member-at-large, Stephen Bradforth, both of whom were not present. He also thanked the members of the Nominating Committee for the 2016 officers (Jeff Owrutsky (chair), Marsha Lester, and Laurie Butler).

  2. The Chair congratulated Albert Stolow, recipient of the 2017 Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics, Emily Carter, recipient of the 2017 Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics, and Tilman Pfau, recipient of the 2017 Herbert P. Broida Prize in Atomic, Molecular or Chemical Physics. The Chair also thanked the people who served on the selection committees for these prizes.

  3. The Chair congratulated the newly honored 2016 DCP APS Fellows (Eric R. Bittner, Vladimir Chernyak, Frédéric Merkt, David H. Parker, Mary T. Rodgers, Charles A. Schmuttenmaer, Xue-Bin Wang, and Jianzhong Wu). In addition, he thanked the members of the Nominating Committee for the 2016 Fellows (Alexander Harris (chair), Alenka Luzar, and David Osborn) and announced the members of next year’s Nominating Committee (Alenka Luzar (chair) and David Osborn). [Note added on March 20: Nancy Makri agreed to be the third member of this committee.]

  4. The Chair congratulated the winner of the 2017 Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics (Yuval Shagam) and the two runners up for this award (Patrick Walsh and Yang Yang). He also congratulated the winners of the 2017 DCP Young Investigator Travel Award (Shaowei Li, Rasmus Karlsson, Pauf Neupane, and Patrick Walsh).

  5. Marsha Lester gave a report on new initiatives by JCP/AIP, including:

    1. A special session featuring JCP Editor’s Choice papers was held this year for the second time, and five authors presented talks based on their selected papers. Although the talks were well-attended, additional effort is needed to advertise this event, such as a special email to the DCP membership and inclusion in the APS announcement of noteworthy events at the conference.

    2. JCP is continuing to support the Plyler Prize. The outgoing chair of the DCP executive committee each year will serve on the Plyler Selection Committee.

    3. JCP is continuing its program of special topic issues, with three already published and five more planned for this year.

  6. Fund raising to endow the Jankunas Award is continuing, though slowly. So far, 17,850 has been raised toward the goal of 50,000. Although GE stepped up with funding for the 2017 Langmuir Prize, future funding of this prize is in doubt.

  7. Robert Gordon gave an update on membership of DCP. The Membership as of Dec. 31, 2016 was level (1,683 members) with the number in the two previous year. Although the sharp rate of decline of the number of members experienced in the 1990’s has slowed significantly, the fraction of DCP membership in APS continues to fall. This decline has continued despite efforts to recruit attendees at the focus sessions and by direct appeal to authors of contributed papers. An extended discussion about how to increase membership ensued. Suggestions included the following:

    1. Target young members with initiatives such as lunch with the speakers and career mentoring sessions.

    2. Invite young faculty or grad students to organize focus sessions.

    3. Organize recurring focus sessions in selected topics such as DFT, nanoscale dynamics, and nonadiabatic processes, so that the DCP March meeting becomes known as the meeting to attend in these areas.

  8. Robert Gordon gave an update on the finances of DCP. In the 2015 calendar year, DCP revenue exceeded revenue by 8.0K, with a year-end balance of 68.2 K. The previous year we had a deficit of 4.9K. These fluctuations were caused mainly by travel to the march meeting and the number of travel grants awarded.

  9. Tim Zwier presented an overview of DCP programming at the 2017 March meeting, which featured five focus symposia, an award session, the JCP Editor’s Choice session, and three cross-listed topic sessions.

  10. Scott Anderson presented a draft for the 2018 March meeting. He discussed four focus symposia (self assembly of nanoporous materials (MOFs, COFs, etc.), sub-nano clusters as the smallest and highly-tunable interface, enhanced spectroscopies (cavities, force detection, photonics, …), and excited state and non-adiabatic dynamics), and has invited organizers for each. Based on discussion at the meeting, he agreed to add a fifth focus on DFT, from quantum to statistical mechanics. Additional possible sessions include Single molecule dynamics/biodynamics, ultrafast (bio)dynamics, machine learning for chemical physics, and ab initio MD. Potential joint topics include molecular and nano magnets — joint with GMAG — and ultracold collisions — joint with DAMOP.

  11. Laura Gagliardi compiled a list of possible topics for 2019, including single molecule magnets, modeling periodic systems with wave function-based methods, the genome of porous materials, catalyst design (combined experimental and theory, design of novel inorganic photovoltaic materials, excited states dynamics, and merging multireference methods and density functional theory. She also proposed to organize a round table discussion or luncheon on women in physical sciences: challenges and opportunities.

  12. Tim Zwier concluded the meeting with a discussion of broad objectives for the coming year. These include: raising money for endowing the Jankunas Award and the Langmuir Prize; building the brand: how best to engage community and raise membership numbers; promoting chemical physics as an academic discipline with shared curricula and on-line courses; improving the status and prospects for graduate programs in chemical physics, perhaps in conjunction with the explosive growth of computer science programs; enhancing the DCP web page, possibly with on-line tutorials.