Recently, Jared Coles and Tamara Young, two individuals within the University of Utah’s chapter for the Society of Physics Students (SPS), were elected to positions within the society. The SPS is the student organization within the American Institute of Physics. Governed by a National Council comprised of elected positions from each of the eighteen zones, the U is part of Zone 15, which includes Utah, parts of Idaho, parts of Montana, and parts of Canada.
Coles, past president of the U’s SPS chapter, has been named an associate zone
councilor for the 2019-2020 academic year. He will be serving on the Sigma Pi
Sigma Chapter Engagement Committee. Coles is a fourth-year undergraduate
student working on an honors degree in applied physics and has served the local
SPS chapter for the last two years in officer positions from secretary to
He works with associate professor Shanti Deemyad to study structural and
magnetic properties of materials in extreme conditions and plans to complete
his senior thesis in 2020.
Young, SPS advisor for the U’s chapter, will be serving the second year of a three-
year term as zone councilor. They recently were appointed co-chair of the SPS
Governance Committee and have served as the academic advisor in the
Department of Physics & Astronomy for more than five years; they were the SPS
advisor for the last three. Young has a BS in Physics from Utah State University
and an MS in Physics from the University of Utah. Their master’s thesis was on
astrophysical fluid dynamics and planet formation. They will be returning to
graduate school this fall with the goal of completing a Ph.D. in Physics Education
Young and Coles will be traveling to a national physics convention—PhysCon—in
Rhode Island in November to represent the U at the National Council meetings.
Cosmic Triptych for CSME's REFUGES Program
The U’s SPS chapter has been recognized as an outstanding chapter for several years in a row. In 2018, Teddy Anderson, past president, initiated an art project with SPS and the U’s Center for Science and Mathematics Education’s REFUGES program. Called the “Cosmic Triptych,” the art was featured in the SPS Observer, winter, 2019. The triptych was used as the cover art for Sigma Pi Sigma thank-you cards in 2018-2019 and was also highlighted on the inside cover of the spring 2019 issue of the Spectrum, the Physics & Astronomy Department’s newsletter.