State of the Department

Tu-nan Chang, Chair and Professor

It has been another good year for the Physics and Astronomy Department at USC. Many of our faculty, staff, and students have been recognized for their outstanding contribution and achievement as highlighted elsewhere in this Newsletter. In particular, our junior faculty have enjoyed a tremendously successful year, we anticipate a search for a new faculty member in the coming year, and the number of our Ph. D. candidates has increased noticeably.

On the alumni front, the department hosted a luncheon last year on December 2 for those in Southern California whom we were able to contact. Over twenty alumni showed up and had a great time together. Since we plan to schedule occasional alumni events like this, please watch out for the next notice and join us if you can. Ultimately, we would like to plan a reunion at USC for Physics and Astronomy Alumni. We welcome your suggestions and will also appreciate your help if you would like to volunteer time and effort for such an event.

I would also like to share with you the good news on the tremendous progress we have made this year on the upgrade of our undergraduate laboratories. As I have reported to you previously, our able technical staff, under the leadership of Ty Buxman, Director of the Undergraduate Affairs Office, started a systematic project about three years ago to upgrade the laboratory facilities. With this comprehensive planning in place, the College at USC has funded a proposal for a substantial equipment grant this year. As a result, we are able to upgrade most of the old equipment in the undergraduate labs (including oscilloscopes, multimeters, optical benches, and PCs) as well as initiate some new developments. We are also now prepared to implement a full scale multimedia instruction program as many of our faculty have chosen to integrate state-of-the-art technology into their lectures.

You will also find a reprint of an article on the history of the department, courtesy of Professor John Nodvik. Finally, I would like to thank those of you who have contributed generously to the department and I wish you a pleasant summer. Please stay in touch (213) 740-1133 and

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