Monday, November 14, 2011

Physics Conference at SLAC

November 11 and 12 was the California section meeting of the professional organization David is a member of, APS physics. While he has attended a previous APS section meeting, this was the first time Dave was among those who gave PowerPoint presentations of their research results. His colleagues have informed us that he did well, given this was Dave's first talk. Left to right in the first photo are UC Davis graduate students Brian Neal, John Crocker, and David M. Nisson.
The fact is that watching David give that talk was surprisingly emotional for me. The last time I found myself fighting tears of joy at David's happiness and success was the day in June 2010 that he walked across the UC Davis auditorium stage in his cap and gown. I assumed that the next time I'd have that same feeling would be when he earns his doctorate, but I was wrong. As David spoke, I found myself swallowing hard to keep from embarrassing myself with tears of pride and joy. My autistic son, (whom some authorities told me might never speak a complete sentence properly), gave an informative presentation on his research in condensed matter physics
Dave has definitely disproved his childhood doubters...

A week later the editor of the UC Davis Physics department online newsletter, Ms. Cindy Lewis, ran David's summation of the event:

Shouts out to the Traveling Team Physics, including Grad Student David Nisson, who recently attended and presented at (his first) 2011 California APS Section meeting. David shares his experience with us below.
“The 2011 California APS Section meeting was a great experience for me. My favorite part was giving my very first presentation. It was exciting to have a venue to present my first results on a study... Members of the audience told me that they enjoyed my presentation. There was a wide variety of topics in the parallel sessions. It was interesting to hear the results of other people working on condensed matter physics, including not only experiments but theoretical predictions. The plenary sessions were also very informative, including one about a new kind of measurement being used on high-temperature superconductors.”

“Of the 242 attendees of the 2011 CA-APS section meeting, 17 graduate students, researchers, and faculty represented UC Davis. The conference, which took place on  November 11 and 12 at SLAC, was well-organized by a team that included Thanh Ky Ly, Hendrik Ohldag, and Mary Moseley, among others. In addition to plenary talks, parallel sessions, and interesting panel discussion, the students' “Meet Your Rock Star” luncheon and a delicious dinner, where speaker Burton Richter of SLAC gave an eye-opening talk about the realities of energy policy, there were plenty of opportunities to simply meet new people and chat. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and no doubt some helpful collaborations were born.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


So, it's All Saints Day, 2011, and we're deciding between mass at our home parish of Saint Francis of Assisi in Sacramento:
or Catholic Newman on campus at UC Davis:

Also, tomorrow is all souls day, a day when we remember in prayer those who've journeyed on from this life...

Although they passed a few years ago, especially foremost in our prayers this year are: my dad (Dave's grandpa) Peter-Fenn Samuelson; Dave's and my great-aunt Julia Mackedon; Dave's and my great-aunt Lily Samuelson, and "Auntie Mary", the aunt of David's beloved godmother, Lauren Brietenbeucher. More recently,(and quite sadly because he was young), our friend Steven Nicholls passed on last year.

May they rest in peace.