More than 11,000 physicists gathered in Los Angeles recently for a meeting of the American Physical Society (APS). The international conference featured groundbreaking research spanning a variety of research institutions, including industries, universities, and major labs.
Among those in attendance was Annabelle Kong '20, a physics major at Bryn Mawr College, who was awarded the Future of Physics Days Award. Annabelle, who is from China, presented two research projects—"Interface Magnetism of Magnetic Multilayers with Interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya Interaction and Fabrication" and "Characterization of Magnetic-vortex Microdisks for Applying Force in Mechanobiological Systems"—at the undergraduate session.
“The March Meeting 2018 was definitely a new and exciting experience for me," says Annabelle, "as it was the first physics conference I ever attended and presented in. I had the chance to practice my scientific presentation skills as well as network with peers from different institutions, participate in workshops designed exclusively for undergraduate students, hear about possibilities of academic and career paths beyond the undergraduate experience, and most importantly, listen to inspiring talks at the frontiers of physics research.”
Annabelle conducted her research with Professor of Physics Xuemei May Cheng over the summer of 2017 with support from the Center for Engineering MechanoBiology. Professor Cheng has been a valuable mentor for Annabelle, encouraging her to present at the conference and preparing her for the presentations.
Reflecting on the experience, Annabelle says, “From presenting and participating in the March Meeting this year, I have gained a deeper comprehension of the research project I’ve been involved in and developed skill sets required to effectively share scientific findings, which cannot be achieved through learning in a traditional-classroom setting."
National Science Foundation funding and the Bryn Mawr Conference Travel Awards also supported Annabelle's first international conference experience.