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SPS News - Staying Connected Virtually
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SPS News Issue 173: March 31, 2020


Virtual Opportunities through SPS National

We are hosting live video talks through Zoom throughout the coming weeks. If you are unable to make any of the talks, no problem! All talks are recorded and posted to our YouTube channel.

Previous Talks: 

Tuesday, March 17: Susan White, Interim Director of the Statistical Research Center at AIP.  Titled  "You Can't Handle the Truth." 

Tuesday, March 24: Greg Good, Director of the Center for History of Physics. Titled “Space Weather in the Time of Pandemic.”

Next Talks

Wednesday, April 1 at 3:30 PM EST: Colleen Countryman, Assistant Professor & SPS Zone Councilor at Ithaca College. Titled "The Development and Assessment of Instructional Mobile Apps for Physics Students." To join us, follow the link: (Meeting ID: 174 609 426) at the appropriate time!

Wednesday, April 8 at 3:00 PM EST: David J. Helfand, Professor of Astronomy at Columbia University and American Institute of Physics Board Chair. Titled "Where Did All That CO2 Come From?" To join us, please follow the Zoom link: (Meeting ID: 340 378 103) at the appropriate time!


National Council Voting

Have your voice be heard by voting for your regional representatives for the National Council! Voting will be opening in the beginning of April for the following positions:

  • SPS Zone Councilors for zones 1, 3, 4, 9, 13, and 14 (three-year terms)
  • Associate Zone Councilors for all 18 zones (one-year terms)
  • Sigma Pi Sigma President (two-year term)

Each SPS Chapter is allotted one vote per position within their zone. Please discuss your candidate selections as a chapter and designate someone to cast the ballot for your chapter. Keep an eye out for an announcement from us when voting opens!


Sigma Pi Sigma Inductions Go Virtual


With schools and universities closing for the semester and moving to online learning, we know your previous plans for Sigma Pi Sigma inductions may have changed.  SPS National encourages schools to induct their new Sigma Pi Sigma class virtually. We have gathered some resources to help you with this, including a virtual induction ceremony script, PowerPoint template, and requests for Zoom meetings through SPS. If you have any questions or requests for resources for inductions this year, please feel free reach out to us at


March Madness - SPS Style


@SPSNational is holding bracket-style competitions across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for physics topics that you can vote on! Theme's so far have included “Bad Physics Movies” and this week's theme of "Favorite Physics Courses".

Ant-Man was voted the winner (or is it the loser?) of the "Bad Physics Movie" bracket - make sure to vote for your favorite physics course this week to keep it in the running!

Follow us on social media to keep up to date:

Twitter: @SPSNational

Instagram: @spsnational

Facebook: The Society of Physics Students @SPSNational


Upcoming GRE testing dates have been postponed or canceled due to concerns around COVID-19. Below are some updates from ETS.

  • The April 4 Physics GRE has been canceled. Impacted students will receive refunds and do not need to take additional action at this time. Look for 2020-21 testing dates in April 2020 with registration opening on July 1, 2020.
  • The GRE General Test is now available to take at home! You can find more details here.
  • In some cases, the GRE General Test has been postponed. You will be notified by email if your exam is postponed.
  • ETS is waiving all rescheduling fees. You may reschedule your GRE General Test because of health concerns without penalty. Check out the details on the ETS website before rescheduling.

You can always consider rescheduling the GRE if it helps you adjust to the many changes this semester.  Check out the Grad School Application Timeline to help you plan.


Upcoming Scientific Meetings - Students Welcome

APS April Meeting 2020, April 18-21: IN-PERSON MEETING CANCELLED

In-person meeting is cancelled. APS is working to set up an online virtual meeting. Meeting updates can be found  here.


The situation is being reassessed and CLEO will update when a decision is made.  Find conference and registration updates here.    

ASA 179 Meeting, May 11-15: RESCHEDULED FOR DECEMBER 2020

Find meeting information and updates here.   

AAS 236 Meeting, May 31 – June 4: CANCELLED IN-PERSON MEETING

Meeting is still happening virtually. Find more information and updates here.

SPS offers Travel Awards of $300 to members presenting their research at AIP member society meetings. A limited number of awards will be offered. Apply Today !

SPS members attending and reporting on professional physics meetings are eligible to receive $300 as an individual and $250 per person as a chapter in travel reimbursement. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Apply Now !


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