Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Invited talk suggestions, APS March Meeting 2008

Along with Eric Isaacs, I am co-organizing a focus topic at the March Meeting of the APS this year on "Fundamental Challenges in Transport Properties of Nanostructures". The description is:
This focus topic will address the fundamental issues that are critical to our understanding, characterization and control of electronic transport in electronic, optical, or mechanical nanostructures. Contributions are solicited in areas that reflect recent advances in our ability to synthesize, characterize and calculate the transport properties of individual quantum dots, molecules and self-assembled functional systems. Resolving open questions regarding transport in nanostructures can have a huge impact on a broad range of future technologies, from quantum computation to light harvesting for energy. Specific topics of interest include: fabrication or synthesis of nanostructures involved with charge transport; nanoscale structural characterization of materials and interfaces related to transport properties; advances in the theoretical treatment of electronic transport at the nanoscale; and experimental studies of charge transport in electronic, optical, or mechanical nanostructures.
The sorting category is 13.6.2, if you would like to submit a contributed talk. Until Friday August 31, we're still soliciting suggestions for invited speakers for this topic, and I would like to hear what you out there would want to see. If you've got a suggestion, feel free either to post below in the comments, or to email me with it, including the name of the suggested speaker and a brief description of why you think they'd be appropriate. The main restriction is that suggested speakers can't have given an invited talk at the 2007 meeting. Beyond that, while talks by senior people can be illuminating, it's a great opportunity for postdocs or senior students to present their work to an audience. Obviously space is limited, and I can make no promises, but suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Mike Crommie or Steve Louie from Berkeley would be a great choice for their recent Azo work.

Incoherent Ponderer said...

I am wondering how many PI's would, when asked to give an invited talk at APS, decline and recommend their postdocs or students to give talks in their place - and how many of those do so only because of scheduling conflict, rather than because of altruistic reasons?

No implication whether everyone should be actively pushing junior scientists into the spotlight, just wonder how many people do it.

former student said...

incoherent ponderer,
In my experience, very few. The national meeting (for the subject to which my area of work belongs) I recently attended had a 2:1 ratio of invited:contributed talks in my areas of work, and apparently some of the professors organizing these wanted to skew the ratio further in favor of the invited talks. This sort of defeats the purpose of a national meeting. There was precisely one talk that I knew of which was by a junior researcher instead of the senior one.

I hope the APS talks are not so badly skewed.

Doug Natelson said...

Anon, thanks for the suggestions. IP, FS - it seems like a fair fraction (half? more?) of the nominations we've received are of students and postdocs rather than PIs, FWIW. Also factor in that if you gave an invited talk last year, you generally can't give one this year. It's not quite like paper authorship, but having one of your students or postdocs give an invited talk about your group's work essentially counts as exposure for you. The invited talks that really seem to count at promotion time, even more than national meetings of professional societies, are the ones at international meetings, workshops, and at major university departments.

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No implication whether everyone should be actively pushing junior scientists into the spotlight, just wonder how many people do it.