How the APS March Meeting Influenced Me

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After learning to rock a poster session, one undergrad is feeling confident about the future

American Physical Society March Meeting

March 14, 2016 to March 18, 2016

Baltimore, MD

Meeting host:

American Physical Society


Eli Adler

SPS Chapter:

Ithaca College students at the APS undergraduate student reception Photos courtesy of Ithaca College.

My name is Eli Adler, and I am a graduating senior at Ithaca College and the president of our SPS chapter. When students ask me for advice, I often encourage them to present at—or even just attend—the APS March Meeting. Choosing to present my research was essential to my growth in the scientific and professional community.

It is extremely tough to fit all the great science from a research project onto a limited-size poster or a ten-minute talk, but being able to effectively communicate science is an important skill. Scientists are doing incredible research all over the world, but research will go unnoticed if not properly communicated.

Public speaking can be uncomfortable for many people, including me. The only way to overcome this fear is to practice. Practice in front of your research advisor, friends, colleagues, or even a wall. Having a good presentation will help your confidence, and you might teach someone something they didn’t know or you might inspire someone to do similar research.

When giving a talk, you have ten minutes to tell your story and then answer some questions from the audience. With a poster presentation, other meeting attendees will either read your poster and then ask questions, or they will ask you for a summary of your research to start the conversation. I really enjoyed giving my poster presentation. I felt that I was able to teach people about science, and I became very confident in my abilities to communicate science.

Undergraduate students ask questions during a Q&A session at the 2016 APS March Meeting in Baltimore, MD.

The APS March Meeting also has specific sessions for undergraduate students that span multiple days, through the Future of Physics Days done in conjunction with SPS. Attending these sessions is a good way to discover the areas of physics that interest you. And while it can be intimidating to walk into a high-level physics oral session, talks by graduate students, professors, and research scientists may spark curiosity in a topic you didn’t know you had.

The APS March Meeting is a great way to develop your skills in the scientific and professional world, and I strongly encourage all students doing research to give a talk or a poster presentation!

Next up

2017 APS March Meeting

Next up

The next APS March Meeting will be March 13-17, 2017, in New Orleans, LA.

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