March Meeting Task Force

APS leadership is forming a March Meeting Task Force to examine how we can continue to provide optimal experiences for all participants, better respond to the emerging needs of various communities involved, address future growth, and connect people and speakers around the world.

Susan Coppersmith of the University of New South Wales and Barbara Jones of IBM Research - Almaden will serve as Task Force Co-Chairs.


Throughout its existence, the APS March Meeting has continued to grow, largely organically, in size, complexity, and cost. Starting in 2017, attendance has increased at more than 10% per year. While this speaks to the success of the March Meeting, such growth has also created challenges. For example, the number of oral contributed sessions cannot easily be accommodated in most convention centers. Also, the growth of APS membership and its units, as well as the evolution of physics itself, has created increased demands for invited sessions. Together, these issues have created tension among the participating units.

In order to convene a must-attend meeting, provide optimal experiences for all participants, better respond to the emerging needs of the various communities involved (especially students and early-career scientists), address issues of future growth, and accommodate new technologies to connect people and speakers around the world, APS needs to open-mindedly examine a range of issues related to the March Meeting. Questions to be addressed include:

  • What motivates various cohorts, e.g., students, postdocs, private sector, international, etc., to attend the March Meeting?
  • What can prevent them from attending? Should a representational chair line be introduced?
  • Should the March Meeting be split into component - unit - parts?
  • What criteria should be used in the selection of future venues?
  • What technologies/capabilities should be anticipated or adopted for meetings of the future?
  • What opportunities exist to create synergies between the March Meeting and the Physical Review journals?
  • How should the program schedule be optimized for the best attendee experience?
  • Should the tradition of all APS members being allowed to present at the meeting continue?
  • Should plenary sessions be scheduled without programmatic competition?
  • What criteria should be used when allocating sessions to participating units?
  • What should be the balance of contributed, focus, and invited sessions? What is the role of poster sessions? Can they be made more attractive to accommodate contributed papers?
  • What criteria should be used in the setting of registration fees? Should participating units continue to receive a financial return from the March Meeting?
  • If so, how should the share(s) be determined?