Spring 2021 Newsletter

The OSAPS Spring 2021 Meeting will be hosted by John Carroll University on April 9-10 (Virtual)

With the continued effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OSAPS spring 2021 meeting, hosted by John Carroll University will be virtual and free for attendees. This year’s theme is “Physics Research and Applications in Space”. The meeting will start on Friday 9 April and end on Saturday 10 April. Plenary presentations will be given by David Crisp (NASA/JPL), K. Renee Horton (NASA/MAF), Jillian M. Scudder (Oberlin College), and Vedha Nayagam (Case Western Reserve University/NASA/GRC). Astronaut Carl E. Walz will be the after-dinner speaker. SPS Zone 7 will hold a conference in conjunction with the spring meeting. Details of the section meeting can be found on the meetings webpage

Abstract submission for contributed oral and poster presentation can be accessed on the meetings page. Deadline for submission has been extended to Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The registration deadline is Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

Note, you do not need to be an APS member to submit an abstract or register for the meeting. Non-APS members will first need to register for an APS account, after which point, they can login to register for the meeting. Student members can join APS for free for the first year.

*Undergraduate and Graduate Research Poster Awards:

The OSAPS will give two awards at this meeting: for the best undergraduate and best graduate poster presentation, as determined by a committee of section faculty at the meeting. Each of the awards carries a $100 purse and a commendation from the section.

*Doc Brown Young Investigator Award:

Please submit nominations for the early career Doc Brown Young Investigator Award.

Nominees should be lecturer or pre-tenured faculty at an institution within our OSAPS region. Deadline for submission is passed already for this meeting, but Chairs (and all), encourage your colleagues to nominate!  

More information about these and other section awards is posted on the section website.

Report from the Fall 2020 Meeting hosted by the Ohio State University on October 16 – 17 (Virtual)

OSAPS_newsletter.jpegDue to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OSAPS fall 2020 meeting at the Ohio State University was moved online. The meeting was free to attendees and held using the Zoom platform. With theme “Heavy ion collisions and Astrophysics”, contributed talks from various aspect of physics were given. The meeting was held alongside with SPS Zone 7 ( 

The conference began on Friday 16 October at 1 p.m. with a welcome address by Professor Michael Poirier, the Ohio State University Physics Department Chair. This was followed by the first plenary presentation in high energy nuclear physics given by Professor Helen Caines of Yale University, STAR Collaboration Spokesperson. Subsequently, Professor Roy Lacey of Stony Brook University talked about the phase diagram of quantum chromodynamics. Contributed parallel talks continued in the afternoon with three categories: ultrahigh energy nuclear physics – experiment; physics education, lasers, and condensed matter physics; and new direction. Poster session was held at 6 pm with each presenter having a Zoom breakout room where participants could visit.

From Left to Right: Prof. Helen Caines; Prof. Roy Lacey; Prof. Amy Connolly; Dr. Tuguldur Sukhbold; Prof. Thirumalai Venkatesan

The meeting continued on Saturday 17 October with plenary session in astrophysics. Poster awards for graduate and undergraduate category were given at the beginning of the session.  Kristyn Brandenburg of Ohio University and member of OSAPS executive committee was presented with the graduate poster award for her poster entitled, "The Design, Validation, and Future Plans for a New Neutron Detector at Ohio University" and Skyler Wright of  Miami University was the undergraduate poster recipient for his poster entitled, "Fast Quantum Control of Bose-Einstein Condensates for Inertial Sensing Applications". Each student received a prize award of $100.

Professor Amy Connolly of Ohio State University gave the first talk of the plenary in astrophysics. Dr. Tuguldur Sukhbold of Ohio State University followed. The meeting continued with three parallel sessions until the afternoon. The meeting was slated to conclude at 2 p.m. with the final plenary presentation by APS 2020 Distinguished Lectureship award Prize winner Professor Thirumalai Venkatesan of National University of Singapore. Unfortunately, Professor Thirumalai was unable to attend the meeting. 

During the OSAPS meeting, Zone 7 SPS held their conference on Friday 16 October at 3 p.m. alongside. They continued with virtual board games in the evening and virtual scavenger hunt on Saturday afternoon. 

Total number of registrants at the fall virtual meeting was 115.  There was a total of five plenary talks, 39 oral presentations, and 16 posters. Unlike previous years, the total number of posters were lower while the total number of oral presentations increased.

The fall meeting was organized by Professor Michael Lisa, with support from the Department of Physics at the Ohio State University.

Elections, Bylaws Update and Section Name Change

OSAPS Bylaws Update and Section Name change

The bylaws were amended to reflect a name change requested by the Executive Committee. The name of the OSAPS has long been an issue for the section, as leadership does not feel the name is representative of the OSAPS members from neighboring states (Michigan and Eastern Indiana). The OSAPS Executive Committee unanimously agreed to a more inclusive name representative of the OSAPS region: Eastern Great Lakes Section.  The objective has been changed to include the states included in the Eastern Great Lakes Section (Ohio, Michigan, Eastern Indiana). Articles VI and VII were amended to include appropriate language for duties and election of the Section Councilor/Assigned Councilor. Article VIII.6 (Council Observer) was removed because the Assigned Councilor position has been established to serve this role. Article XIII was deleted and restated as Article VII.4 in the appropriate section for this language.  Article VII.6 was re-written for clarity; related to the Chair Line succession and the Past Chair position.

OSAPS Executive Committee Spring Elections

OSAPS annual election cycle was held last winter. Newly elected members of the OSAPS Executive Committee are given below 

  • Vice-Chair: Bhubanjyoti Bhattacharya, Lawrence Technological University, MI 
  • Member-at- Large:  E. Carlo Samson, Miami University, OH
  • Student Member: Tracy Edwards, Michigan State University, MI

Thank you to all the candidates and everyone who voted.  

We also want to thank our outgoing Executive Committee officers for their generous and excellent service. Anthony Roy Day will end his one-year term as past Chair this spring. We thank him for numerous years of service to the Executive Committee. Andrea Richards will finish a three-year term as Member-at-Large and Krystin Brandenburg will complete a one-year term as Student Member. 

There will be elections next spring for the positions of: 

  • Vice-Chair
  • Secretary
  • Member-at-Large
  • Student Member

Please consider nominating candidates (including yourself) for one of these important positions. Nominations should be sent to the Chair of the OSAPS Nominations Committee: Jay Mathews.

Honors and Awards Committee News

Nominations for either the Howard Maxwell Award for Distinguished Service or the William Fowler Award for Distinguished Research in Physics are accepted for consideration throughout the year. Nominations should be submitted to the Chair of the Honors and Awards Committee, Mike Crescimanno at

Upcoming Meetings

Spring 2021 April 9-10 John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio (Virtual)
Fall 2021 October 22-23 University of Mount Union, Alliance, Ohio

If you would like to explore the possibility of hosting a future meeting, please contact Vice-Chair, Niklas Manz.

Help Spread the Word about OSAPS

Not all APS members living in Ohio, Michigan, and Eastern Indiana are OSAPS members. Talk to your colleagues and let them know that membership in OSAPS is free and allows the section to continue in its efforts of providing quality meetings and active communications with its members through mailings, newsletters, and email. OSAPS offers physicists the opportunity to attend multi-disciplinary meetings to discuss important research with your colleagues within the region, and it provides an excellent opportunity for both undergraduate and graduate students to present their research results. As most members reside or work in this area, participation in sectional meetings has the additional benefit of economy; this is particularly important for students. To join OSAPS, go to or contact a Membership Representative at 301-209-3280.

Current OSAPS Executive Committee

Chair: Cynthia Aku-Leh (05/20 - 04/21) 

Chair-Elect: Jay Mathews (05/20 - 04/21)  
University of Dayton

Vice-Chair:  Niklas Manz (05/20 - 04/21) 
College of Wooster

Past Chair: Anthony Roy Day (05/20 - 04/21) 
John Carroll University

Secretary: Ulrich Zurcher (05/19 - 04/22) 
Cleveland State University

Treasurer: Donald Priour (05/20 - 04/23) 
Youngstown State University

Member-at-Large: Andrea Richard (05/18 - 04/21) 
Michigan State University

Member-at-Large: Zifeng Yang (05/19 - 04/22) 
Wright State University

Student Member: Krystin Brandenburg (05/20 - 04/21) 
Ohio University

Non-voting Officials and Special Appointees:

Honors & Awards Committee:

  • Mike Crescimanno, Youngstown State University (Chair)
  • Uma Ramabadran, Kettering University
  • Julie Roche, Ohio University

Archivist: Perry P. Yaney, University of Dayton

This OSAPS newsletter was edited by Cynthia Aku-Leh, OSAPS chair.

The articles in this newsletter represent the views of their author(s) and are not necessarily those of the Unit or APS.

Back to Top