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2000 Meeting Minutes

Last Meeting's Minutes

From the 2000 Annual PIRA Business Meeting held a the

Summer AAPT Conference in Guelph, Ontario.


The Meeting was called to order at 8:30 PM, July 31, 2000 by PIRA President, Brad Shue.

There were 30 people in attendance.

Karl Trappe moved that we waive the reading of last years minutes; Zig Peacock seconded the motion and it was approved. We then voted approval of last years minutes.

Committee Reports:

Apparatus Committee: Greg Puskar gave the report. He described upcoming workshops for the Winter and Summer meetings in San Diego and Rochester. Dean Hudek asked for feedback on the Lab Workshop and the matter was discussed. The general opinion seemed to be that it should be split between introductory labs and advanced labs with about two thirds devoted to the introductory labs. Dave Maiullo mentioned the Modern Physics Demo session and asked for comment on it. We discussed what was meant by "Modern Physics" and what sorts of things might be appropriate to such a session. It was also suggested that we have an invited session on Optics in Rochester to take advantage of the strong industrial and academic activity in the subject in the surrounding area. Also discussed was a session on Integrating Computer Simulations and Demonstrations. Robert Clark mentioned researching the history of demonstrations. Greg added that several people were working in this area and possibly we link their studies up via the web. Greg closed his report with a description of the Apparatus competition.

DCS Committee: Chair, Jerry Zani reported that DCS has been keeping up with AJP &TPT, updating the bibliographical information as articles in those journals reference demonstrations in the PIRA list or discuss new demos. Jerry suggested the printed bibliography be updated every decade or so while the web based bibliography would be updated biannually. Vacek Miglus suggested listing those updates as changes. Jerry suggested the DCS committee meet the next day to discuss developing the Astronomy section, and possibly add another committee member to help with this. The PIRA 200 was discussed and several people pointed out that it might be updated taking into account equipment that has become obsolete and other matters. Jerry Hester suggested editing it. Keith suggested the DCS committee would be the appropriate place to handle it. Karl moved that we direct the committee to do so and the motion was seconded and approved.

Professional Concerns: Dean Hudek discussed the topic of this year's cracker barrel and mentioned that it had to be moved to accommodate the Third Eye Demonstration Show. We also had a conflict with the local Physics Department's Open House. Dean said he was interested in improving the image of Bachelor and Master's degrees in Physics.

Web Site Committee: Machele Cable said that Wake Forest had offered us as much disk space as we need for the official PIRA site. She said the PIRA Handbook and Constitution would be online as well as a membership area (for member's only). Brad suggested mirror sites and Machele said this would be easily done. She pointed out that the PIRA Web ring is for links only and provides no storage. Brad asked whether we wanted a new Web committee. It was moved Roger Key with Karl seconding the motion) and voted on that we appoint Machele Web Master for PIRA.

Constitution Committee: Tony Papirio did the last update. Roger asked if AAPT has a copy. Cliff Bettis will edit the handbook and constitution suggesting editorial corrections and updates and send it around to our officers for discussion.

Nominating Committee: Doug Johnson was chair this year and unfortunately could not attend the meeting but did provide us with a slate of candidates.

Newsletter: Jerry Hester pointed out that he had been having difficulty in getting people to contribute. Brad suggested reducing the number of yearly issues to 4 per year. Karl said he thought that was so stated in the constitution. (Secretary's note: actually the constitution is currently mute on that point but the handbook states no less than 6 per year). Jerry Hester appealed for contributions pointing out that they did not have to be elaborate pieces of writing and could include for example: new demos, outreach activities, renovation of facilities, new equipment or moving to a new building. Annie Atiyeh asked for a show of hands of people willing to submit articles. Several members committed themselves to writing articles for the newsletter. The membership list was discussed. It had unfortunately become corrupted by multiple computer crashes and needs to be rebuilt. It was decided to ask for membership information in the Resource Corner of the Announcer. Vacek suggested trolling for members school by school. Brad tabled that idea.

There were no more PIRA Committee reports.

The Annual Report to the AAPT was discussed and it was noted that it should be written by the President in accordance with our constitution.

Announcements: Roger Key said the Lab Committee was meeting the next day to talk about planning for Lab Focus II.

Treasurer's Report: Jerry Hester says we have $1292 in the bank and had taken in more money in the resource room by taking in new members and selling t-shirts and other items. Sam moved we extend membership one year without dues. Instead, we decided to put off dues until we rebuild our membership database. New members will pay dues as usual.

Introductions: we went around the room introducing ourselves.

Elections: The balloting was postponed to allow for mail ballots as the newsletter had not been able to give the necessary notice in advance to the general membership. On the ballot were: Dave Sturm and Cliff Bettis for VP and Machele Cable and Tom Defayette for Secretary. Dean Moved that we ballot by mail and the motion was seconded and approved. Machele and Cliff gave their nomination speeches.

Zig presented a poster of Sam to the general approval of the now somewhat unruly crowd (it was getting late). Zig also suggested that a locally purchased fishhead mask be declared the offishal PIRAnna.

Some sobriety returned to the meeting when Stan Micklavzina brought up his concerns about advertising banners on the PIRA Web ring. Stan is very upset by them and would like no ads saying it makes us look unprofessional. Other people were concerned as well. Machele explained where the ads came from and how webring.com worked. Andy Graham suggested just listing all sites on the official site was enough. Jerry Zani says web rings are very popular and that it is a good way to get some exposure for PIRA. Machele said she was looking for ways to eliminate the ad banners. Jerry Zani mentions the web ring gives us a world wide presence. Jerry Hester points out that the ads put the web ring in violation of his school's computer use policies. Sam suggested that we let Machele research the issue. Annie Atiyeh asked whether we were going to put up the membership list on the web site. The general answer was "no" because of the threat of spam. The discussion of the membership list was postponed until we have an uncorrupted list.

Sam asked for session proposals for a paper session on Labs next year. Jerry Zani suggested invited talks on Innovative Labs. Vacek suggested Introductory Labs. Jerry said he wanted to think about the title.

Zig moved we adjourn. The motion was seconded and heartily approved as it was past 10 PM.