Meeting Minutes

March 6, 2018

Business Meeting Minutes

  1. The meeting was called to order at 5:45 pm by the outgoing chair, Tim Zwier. Other DCP officers attending the meeting were Scott Anderson (incoming Chair), Laura Gagliardi (incoming Chair-Elect), David Nesbitt (Past-Chair), Robert Gordon (Secretary/Treasurer), Stephen Bradforth (Member-at-Large), Jeff Owrutsky (Member-at-Large), and Robert Continetti (Councilor). Tim thanked the current Executive Committee members and congratulated the newly-elected Vice-Chair, Albert Stolow, and Member-at-Large, Zahra Fakhraii, both of whom were not present. He also thanked the members of the Nominating Committee for the 2017 officers (Marsha Lester (chair), Spiridoula Matiska, and Mark Ediger).

  2. Scott Anderson, the incoming Chair, congratulated David Jonas, recipient of the 2018 Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics, and thanked the members of the prize selection committee (Terry Miller, David Nesbitt, Albert Stolow, Munira Khalil, and John Paul Maier).

  3. The Chair congratulated the newly honored 2017 DCP APS Fellows, Mischa Bonn, Eberhard K. U. Gross, Han Htoon, Vitaly V. Kresin, Andrei Sanov, and Roland Wester, three of whom (Gross, Kresin, and Sanov) were present. In addition, he thanked the members of the Nominating Committee for the 2017 Fellows Committee (Alenka Luzar (chair), Nancy Makri, and David Osborn) and announced the members of next year’s Nominating Committee (David Osborn (chair), Nancy Makri, and Mary Rodgers).

  4. The Chair congratulated the winner of the 2018 Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics (Marissa Weichman) and the four runners up for this award (Erin Duffy, Naihao Chiang, Mahima Sneha, and Mathew Murray). He also congratulated the winners of the 2018 DCP Young Investigator Travel Award (Sriteja Mantha and Bing Gu).

  5. David Chandler, in his capacity as associate editor of JCP, gave a report on recent initiatives of the journal.

    1. A special session featuring JCP Editor’s Choice papers was held this year for the third time, with five authors presenting talks based on their selected papers.

    2. JCP supported the Plyler Prize for a third year.

    3. JCP is continuing its program of special topic issues, with six more planned for this year.

  6. Robert Gordon gave an update on membership of DCP. As of Dec. 31, 2017, the DCP membership was 1,625, down from 1,683 the previous year. Although the sharp decline experienced in the 1990’s has slowed, the fraction of DCP membership in APS continues to fall approximately linearly. This decline has continued despite last year’s efforts to recruit attendees at the focus sessions and by appeal to authors of contributed papers.

    A number of these proposals (A - C) are already being implemented. Regarding item D, it was pointed out that the image of DCP is determined, at least in part, by the selection of focus topics at the March meeting and special issues of JCP. The endowment requirements for a lectureship (item G) would be difficult to fulfill at present.

    It was proposed that the Members-at-Large, who presently have no specified functions, be engaged in outreach and recruiting activities, with periodic conference calls set up to stimulate ideas and monitor progress.

    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, clusters, excited state dynamics, and nonadiabatic processes, so that the DCP March meeting becomes known as the meeting to attend in these areas.

    4. Modernize the focus of DCP to attract more investigators outside the areas of gas phase research.

    5. Forge connections with other divisions of APS, such as DLS, DMP, and DAMOP, as well as with European societies and American topical meetings (e.g., Telluride). Establishing a sub-divisional structure of DCP was also suggested.

    6. Increase the visibility of the Jankunas Award by selecting the winner at the March meeting following oral presentations by the finalists.

    7. Establish a DCP distinguished lectureship.

  7. Robert Gordon gave a financial report. In the 2017 calendar year, DCP expenses exceeded revenue by $69K with a year-end balance of $75,100. Since 2005 the year-end balance fluctuated between a high of $82.8K and a low of 51.9 K. These fluctuations are caused mainly by variations in the number of executive committee members traveling to the March meeting, travel to the Sorters Meeting, and the number of young investigator travel grants awarded.

    Fund raising to endow the Jankunas Award is continuing, though slowly. So far, $19,225 has been raised toward the goal of $50,000. It was suggested that advisors of award winners and finalists be solicited for donations. [Note added by Robert Gordon: Former executive officers and members-at-large should be solicited by the current executive committee.]

    Funding of the 2017 Langmuir Prize by GE has stalled, and discussions with the ACS journal Langmuir have been initiated by Tim Zwier. APS Honors has agreed to allow DCP to fund the 2019 prize out if its own funds, while fund-raising efforts to continue.

  8. Robert Continetti presented a brief report of the APS Council meeting, in which he stated that women are under-represented among the newly elected APS Fellows. He urged the DCP Fellowship Committee to pay a more active role in canvassing the APS membership for women nominees.

  9. Scott Anderson presented an overview of DCP programming at the 2018 March meeting, which featured five focus symposia, an award session, the JCP Editor’s Choice session, and two cross-listed topic sessions.

  10. Laura Gagliardi presented a draft for the 2019 March meeting. Proposed topics were: single molecule magnets, modeling periodic systems with wave function-based methods, the genome of porous materials, catalyst design, design of novel inorganic photovoltaic materials, excited states dynamics, merging multireference methods and density functional theory, and unconventional electronic structure theories. She also proposed to organize a round table discussion or luncheon on women in physical sciences: challenges and opportunities. Additional topics mentioned in the ensuing discussion included controlling dynamics near conical intersections (Albert Stolow) and coherence and controllability of large-molecule dynamics (Robert Gordon).

  11. Scott Anderson presented a list of possible topics for the 2020 meeting complied by Albert Stolow, including ab initio ‘on the fly’ trajectory methods for observables, ultrafast X-ray spectroscopies, coherent Raman microscopies for biology and materials, new measures of chirality, cold molecule spectroscopy and dynamics, dynamics of liquid water, frequency comb ultrahigh precision spectroscopy, and protein folding.

  12. Scott Anderson 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, finding ways to engage the DCP 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, and enhancing the DCP web page, possibly with on-line tutorials.