Register by May 5 for the 2015 Physics Department Chairs Conference
APS and the American Association of Physics Teachers are pleased to announce that the 2015 Physics Department Chairs Conference will be held June 5-7, 2015, at the American Center for Physics in College Park, MD. Registration opens in February. For more, see the Department Chairs Conferences web page.

Conference: Constructing Great Instructional Lab Experiences
The second Advanced Laboratory Physics Association conference on Laboratory Instruction Beyond the First Year of College will be held on July 22-24 at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD, and the theme is “Constructing Great Instructional Lab Experiences.” The conference focuses on labs beyond the introductory sequence and features many hands-on workshops, as well as invited talks, panel discussions, breakout discussions, and poster sessions on a wide variety of laboratory instructional issues. Also, equipment vendors will provide commercial workshops. The conference immediately precedes the 2015 AAPT Summer Meeting and the Physics Education Research Conference, which will also be held in College Park. More information is at the AAPT Advanced Labs website.

APS Award for Improving Undergraduate Physics Education
Created by the APS Committee on Education, the award recognizes departments and programs that support best practices in education at the undergraduate level. Programs will be recognized for a three-year term, acknowledged on the APS website, awarded a plaque, announced in APS News, and recognized at the APS April Meeting. These awards are intended to acknowledge commitment to inclusive, high-quality physics education for undergraduate students, and to catalyze departments and programs to make significant improvements. Nominations for the award are being accepted until July 15. See the APS Award for Improving Undergraduate Physics Education page.

APS Excellence in Physics Education Award
The award recognizes and honors a team or group of individuals (such as a collaboration), or exceptionally a single individual, who have exhibited a sustained commitment to excellence in physics education. Nominations are being accepted until July 1, 2015. Visit the Excellence in Physics Education Award page for more information.

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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Michael Lucibella
Art Director and Special Publications Manager: Kerry G. Johnson
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik

April 2015 (Volume 24, Number 4)

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Articles in this Issue
New Director of ARPA-E on Transformative Technology
Breeding a Better Robot
Manufacturing Revolution May Mean Trouble for National Security
Planning Africa’s First Synchrotron
National Academies Studies Institutional Influences on Ethics
Programmable Materials
Physicists Look at Animal Behavior
What Makes a Physicist?
NSF and Congress Seek Rapprochement
Sole Physicist in Congress Prepares to Defend Science
APS March Meeting: Know When to Fold 'em
Members in the Media
This Month in Physics History
Education Corner
International News
Washington Dispatch
The Back Page