Joint Spring 2021 Meeting of the Texas Sections of APS, AAPT and SPS Zone 13

Hosted by the Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Co-organizer: Texas Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers

April 8-11, 2021

If you have difficulties connecting to the program, please email Barbara Szczerbinska.


Important dates:

  • Call for Abstracts (parallel sessions and posters) and Registration: OPEN now.
  • Abstract submission deadline: March 19th, 2021, 5PM EST.
  • Conference registration deadline: April 6th, 2021.

We invite undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and researchers to present their work at our virtual conference. All contributed talks are 10min+2minQ&A. Cash prizes will be available for best student oral and poster presentations. 

APS Membership is not required to register or submit an abstract, however, everyone who wishes to register and submit an abstract must create a free APS account.

Keynote Speaker – April 10th, 4:00-5:00PM CT
Professor Steven Weinberg, University of Texas at Austin

Steven WeinbergSteven Weinberg is a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin. His research on elementary particle physics and cosmology has been honored with the Nobel Prize in Physics, the National Medal of Science, the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the American Philosophical Society, the Heinemann Prize for Mathematical Physics, and numerous other awards.  In 2020 he received a Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.  He has been elected to the National Academy of Science and Britain's Royal Society and other academies, and holds eighteen honorary doctoral degrees.  He has written over 350 scientific articles, and seven treatises on general relativity, quantum field theory, cosmology, quantum mechanics, and astrophysics.  Among his books for general readers are Dreams of a Final Theory and The First Three Minutes, and three collections of published essays, Facing Up, Lake Views, and Third Thoughts. Many of these essays first appeared in The New York Review of Books. His latest book for general readers is To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science.  For this writing, he has received the Lewis Thomas Award for the Scientist as Poet, and other awards. Educated at Cornell, Copenhagen, and Princeton, he taught at Columbia, Berkeley, M.I.T. and Harvard, where he was Higgins Professor of Physics, before coming to Texas in 1982.

Plenary Speakers:

Brad Conrad, Society of Physics Students

Brad Conrad Dr. Conrad serves as the Director of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) and Sigma Pi Sigma, the Physics Honors Society, for AIP were he works to support undergraduate physics and astronomy students, advisers, and departments. While he currently teaches part time at the George Washington University, Brad was a tenured Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Appalachian State University where he focused on Nanoelectronics. Brad earned his Undergraduate degree from RIT in Rochester NY, his Doctorate degree in Physics from the University of Maryland in College Park, and was an NRC Postdoctoral Fellow at NIST in Gaithersburg, MD.


Gabriela González, Louisiana State University
Einstein, gravitational waves, black holes and other matters

 Gabriela GonzalezGabriela González is a professor of physics and astronomy at Louisiana State University searching for gravitational waves with the LIGO team.  She was born in Córdoba, Argentina, and has a Ph.D. from Syracuse University.  She has received awards from the American Physical Society, the American Astronomical Society and the National Academy of Sciences. She has been a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration since 1997, served as spokesperson in 2011-2017, and participated in the announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves in 2016.  Her group works on LIGO instrument development, reducing noise sources, and data diagnostics.


Monica Plisch, Director of Programs at the American Physical Society (APS)

Monica PlischMonica Plisch serves as the Director of Programs at the American Physical Society (APS). She oversees APS initiatives in Education, Diversity, Careers and Public Engagement, and has worked for over a decade to build a portfolio of national programs that have been recognized for their positive impact in the physics community.  Among other roles, Plisch serves as director of the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC), a project of the APS and AAPT to address the national shortage of qualified K-12 physics teachers. She completed her doctoral studies in physics at Cornell University, and was elected a Fellow of the APS in 2016.


Bouakham Sriri-Perez, 2020 National PhysTEC Teacher of the Year, Fresno State Physics Department

Bouakham SririBouakham Sriri-Perez is a champion for Physics education and was recognized as the 2020 National PhysTEC Teacher of the Year.  Bouakham is a refugee born in the country of Laos.  The aftermath of the Secret War in Laos forced Bouakham and her family to escape and were housed in the Ubon Refugee Camp in Thailand, which led to their eventual resettlement in Fresno, California.  Her love of learning, strong work ethic, tenacity to overcome poverty, and her deep compassion for her students were all inspired by her family.

Bouakham established the Physics program from ground up at Duncan Polytechnical High School into a popular course that is required and well attended.  Soon after, she successfully advocated for 100% growth of the program by making Physics accessible to a broad range of students: female, English learners, and advanced placement.  Twice in her career, Bouakham successfully authored proposals that earned $10,000 each for classroom equipment.  She is committed to honing her craft by engaging in professional learning because she believes in being a lifelong learner and that when she learns, her students learn too. Her outstanding work and dedication are only eclipsed by the incredible passion and care she has for her subject area and her students.

Bouakham has much gratitude for all her teachers, professors, and mentors who recognized her potential and assisted in her journey as an educator.  She pays it forward by serving as master teacher in the teaching credential programs at Fresno State and Fresno Pacific University.  Many of her student teachers are successful Physics teachers themselves in the community.  Additionally, Bouakham is a mentor for new teachers in the greater Fresno area and undergraduates at UC Merced. When not grading labs and prepping for coursework, Bouakham is an avid gardener, a gourmet chef and a mother to 3 beautiful children she shares with her husband Keith.