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SPS establishes chapter at Southeast University, its first in China

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Physics students at Southeast University assemble for the installation of the first SPS chapter in the People's Replic of China.  
Physics students at Southeast University in Jiangsu Province assemble for the installation of an SPS chapter, the first in the People's Republic of China.

Photo courtesy of AIP
 
   
In December 2010 a petition to charter a chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) was filed with the SPS National Council by Southeast University, in Jiangsu Province of the People's Republic of China. Following approval by action of the SPS Executive Committee, the chapter was installed on December 28, 2010, with Mark Cassar of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) representing SPS.

Physics students and faculty within the university’s distinguished Chien-Shiung Wu College played a leading role in preparing and filing the petition, which included 23 student signatures. Especially noteworthy are the efforts of Liang Le, a student at Chien-Shiung Wu College, and Professor Yun Ying, who helped Liang Le with the petition and organization efforts, and spent a great deal of time talking with the university president, dean, and faculty in order to gain support for installing the chapter. Professor Hongqi Xiong, Director of the Office of Academic Affairs, appointed Drs. Zhu Ming and Zhou Zhiyong as faculty co-advisors for the chapter, writing:

"To help more students transform themselves into contributing members of the professional community... we wish to initiate the Southeast Chapter of Society of Physics Students. I guarantee that we shall try our best to sponsor and maintain the daily operations of the Chapter and work cooperatively with it to foster an active atmosphere of learning among our students and promote the advancement and dissemination of physics."

New SPS members at Southeast University visit with AIP's Mark Cassar following the installation ceremony.  
Liang Le (left), a student at Chien-Shiung Wu College, and Professor Yun Ying (right) played key roles in the establishment of the Southeast University Chapter of SPS, the first SPS chapter in China.

Photos courtesy of AIP
 
   

Southeast University is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in China, and its origin can be traced back to 1902, when it was founded as Sanjiang Normal College. Then, it evolved as: Nanjing Higher Normal School, National Southeast University and National Central University. During the nationwide restructuring of institutions of higher learning in 1952, Nanjing Institute of Technology was established on the original site of National Central University. In May 1988, the university was renamed Southeast University. And in April 2000, Nanjing Railway Medical College, Nanjing College of Communications and Nanjing Geological School were merged into the university, whose main campus is located at the center of the ancient capital city of Nanjing, a sacred place for education since the Ming Dynasty.  At present, Southeast University has campuses such as Sipailou, Jiulonghu and Dingjiaqiao, covering a total area of 427 hectares.

Southeast University has become a comprehensive university of high reputation comprised of various Schools and departments of science, engineering, art, social sciences, law, economics, management, languages, etc., with engineering as its focus. The university boasts over 34 schools or departments, with 64 undergraduate disciplines in all. It also has 20 post-doctoral stations, and offers 95 PhD programs and 208 Master programs; and it holds a national lead in architecture, civil engineering, electronics, information technology, energy, power engineering, and transportation technology. The total number of faculty and staff is 6,000, including 1,300 full or associate professors, 450 doctoral supervisors, 9 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Academy of Engineering, and 28 "Cheung Kong Scholar" Professors. At present, the full-time students number over 27,000, of whom about 10,000 are postgraduates.

Chien-Shiung Wu College is named after Prof. Chien-Shiung Wu, one of the world's outstanding physicists, and an alumna of Southeast University. World-renowned physicist and Nobel Prize winner Prof. Ding Zhaozhong serves as Honorary President. The college was founded in September 1985, and the current number of students stands at around 500. Nearly eighty percent of the college's graduates choose to seek further studies. Since its inception, Chien-Shiung Wu College has educated more than one thousand professionals of all kinds, many of whom have made important contributions to the development of the country’s economy , education, technology and culture.

New SPS members at Southeast University visit with AIP's Mark Cassar following the installation ceremony.  
New SPS members at Southeast University visit with AIP's Mark Cassar (right) following the installation ceremony.

Photo courtesy of AIP
 
   

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association explicitly designed for students. Membership, through collegiate chapters, is open to anyone interested in physics. The only requirement for membership is that you be interested in physics. Besides physics majors, our members include majors in chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, medicine, and other fields.

Within SPS is housed Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society, which elects members on the basis of outstanding academic achievement. This unique two-in-one society operates within the American Institute of Physics, an umbrella organization for ten other professional science societies.

SPS has a number of chapters outside the United States---the first being the University of Ottawa in Canada, which was established in 1975. Since then chapters have been installed in the Philippines, Egypt, Mexico, and now, for the first time, in China. Other chapters installed in 2010 include the University of Texas at Brownsville, Augustana College in South Dakota, Quest University in Canada, and Evergreen College in Washington.

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