Attendance Explodes at the Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics

This past weekend six simultaneous sessions of the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics were held across the United States. The conferences were held on the campuses of Stanford University, Case Western Reserve University, Yale University, the University of Tennessee, Texas A&M University, and the University of Washington. The Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics was first held in 2006 at the University of Southern California. That year, 29 undergraduate women attended. This year there were 800 women in attendance at the six sessions.

The goal of the conferences is to encourage women college students to pursue graduate study in the sciences. Participants heard about the latest research, presented by established women physicists. They mingled and networked with students and faculty from other colleges and universities, and toured the facilities open to graduate students at the participating universities.

Meg Urry, the Israel Munson Professor of Physics and Astronomy, chair of the physics department at Yale, and the department’s first tenured woman, explained the goals of the conference: “They need encouragement and support and the opportunity to network with other women in physics. We’ve found the conference particularly useful for bringing women into physics and retaining them. At Yale, the percentage of physics majors who are women is roughly double the national average. In my view the conference is a big reason why.”

Filed Under: STEM Fields


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