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​The Committee is responsible for the operation of the courses in the 11X sequence. The committee is charged with continuing to improve the courses and making them a unified whole so that the students see a coherent set of courses.

12X Coordinating:

​The committee is responsible for the overall syllabus of the Physics 121 course, the Physics 122 course, and the Physics 123 course, and for assuring that the lecture, tutorial, and laboratory parts of the courses work together. In the light of the changes that have been made in the syllabus, the committee will need to carefully assess the laboratory and tutorial sessions to assure that the changes have been appropriately implemented.

Again, with the advice of the instructors in the sequence, the committee will be responsible for: 1) Overseeing general laboratory policy; 2) Formulating examination and grading policy; 3) Overseeing the maintenance of the course Web site and grading systems; 4) Setting up and coordinating with the instructors for each course; 5) Advising the Chair on teaching assignments for the courses; and 6) Overseeing the allocation of Teaching Assistant resources within the courses.


​The Committee screens, selects, and recruits students to be admitted to the graduate program. It also assists with advising entering graduate students


​The individual in charge of aesthetics is responsible for planning, approving and implementing changes to improve the appearance and atmosphere of public areas in the Physics/Astronomy Building.

ASE Advisor:

​The ASE Advisor will serve as the designee of the Chair for issues involving grievances and discipline or dismissal of ASEs, and will consult with the Chair and the Graduate Committee on ASE issues as needed.


​The Committee selects the recipients of the Andersen, Boas, Dehmelt, Henderson, Karrer, Miller, Higgs-Osborn and Weis Awards, and any other student awards that may be offered. The Chair of the committee plans and supervises the award ceremonies and the Annual Awards Dinner, and is responsible for obtaining the award check certificates and providing the names of the award winners to the webmaster so that they may be posted.

CDO Advisor:

​The CDO Advisor works with the Career Development Organization which is the graduate student organization which assists the University of Washington physics and astronomy students in their career advancement. It organizes seminars and workshops specifically designed to focus on issues of career advancement for scientists. In conjunction with the Department of Physics, it annually hosts a Networking Day which brings representatives from the broader science and technology based community to the Department to interact with students in a one-on-one basis.

Chilled Water:

​The faculty member responsible for dealing with the chilled water systems monitors the functioning of the systems with the assistance of the Building Manager, assists the users of the system, and makes recommendations to the Chair as needed.


​The colloquium organizers arrange for, advertise, and supervise the weekly Colloquium. The organizer also arranges with the various groups in the Department to share in the support of the speakers, provide abstracts for weekly announcements, and manages the colloquium speakers' meeting schedules.

Computer Support:

​The Committee is responsible for advising the Chair on ways to meet the computing needs of the faculty, graduate students, and staff.

Course Assignments:

​The Committee is responsible for general teaching assignments. It works with the Graduate and Undergraduate Advisors, the Course Program Assistant, and the Senior Lecturer to ensure that courses are correctly scheduled and classrooms correctly assigned by the University.


​The Committee is responsible for the Department of Physics activities in the University's Development Campaign. The Committee works with the Chair to develop the Department's goals and contacts, and to help with events in which the Department pursues those goals.


​The Committee is charged with advising the Chair and the Department on:

  1. The recruitment and retention of women and minority faculty and students; and
  2. Steps needed to ensure that the Department provide an atmosphere in which all members are encouraged and enabled to be highly productive professionally while balancing the demands of family and career.

​The Committee is responsible for the Blair outing to introduce new graduate students to the Department and the Northwest. It works with the Physics Graduate Student Council in organizing the Final Friday Flings and advises on the Spring Barbecue.

The committee is also responsible for the Recruitment Weekend, with the assistance of chair of the Admissions Committee and the Graduate Program Assistant. This weekend has been the central element in our successful recruitment drives for the last few years.


​The Committee prepares, administers, and grades the written Qualifying Examination. After considering all available information, including course grades and faculty letters, it prepares a proposed list of students deemed to have satisfied the examination requirement for the Ph.D. and a list of students deemed to have partially satisfied the examination requirement. It also prepares a proposal as to whether another attempt is to be allowed for those students determined to have failed the examination. These decisions are submitted to a committee consisting of the Graduate Program Coordinator, the Associate Chair for Graduate Affairs, and the Department Chair for their concurrence.

The committee should move toward implementing a system in which there is a collection of questions (from previous exams, or other sources) from which the committee will compose the exams. The goal is to significantly reduce the work load of the Examination Committee.

The graduate student members are responsible for participating in discussions and decisions about general policy, but not in the preparation and administration of the examination. Nor are they to participate in the discussions and decisions about individual graduate students.


​The Committee advises the Chair on Departmental policies, program, search priorities, and budget. It reviews recommended faculty actions, including all faculty appointments, prior to faculty action. The Committee advises the Chair on raises for Professors and Research Professors.

General Education:

​The Committee is responsible for the review and development of general education courses, courses for teachers, and special courses for undergraduates. This includes Physics 110, 205, 207, 208, 210-2, and 214-6. In addition, the committee is responsible for Physics 405-413.

Giessen Liaison:

The individual in charge of the Giessen exchange serves to coordinate on behalf of the Department with Giessen University in Giessen and the Insternational Student Office.​


​The Committee is chaired by the Associate Chair for Graduate Affairs and has overall responsibility for the Graduate Program and has the Graduate Program Coordinator as Vice Chair. The Committee is responsible for evaluating the graduate curriculum and advising process on a regular basis. Changes to the program are recommended to the Executive Committee and the Department. The Committee is responsible for advising graduate students until the students are established with research supervisors. The Committee works with the Graduate Coordinator to deal with specific issues that may arise.

The Committee works with the Senior Lecturer to establish policies for recruiting and assigning teaching assistants and readers to courses. In addition it will monitor Department policies for all ASEs and assure compliance with the terms of the GSEAC/UAW Contract. The Committee will advise the Department Faculty, the Executive Committee, and the Chair on policies and procedures needed to comply with the Contract. It will review the aspects of the Departmental Web page dealing with the ASEs, and make recommendations for improving it.

Graduate Program Coordinator:

​The Coordinator carries out duties defined by the Graduate School and functions as liaison with the Graduate School. The Coordinator serves as the first line of communication with graduate students, collects each student's annual record of activities, monitors the students' progress, is responsible for the annual report on graduate student performance and degrees granted, and supervises the Graduate Program Assistant.

Instructional Quality:

​The Committee manages the collegial teaching evaluations. The Committee also monitors the quality of the evaluations, and recommends changes to the Chair. The Chair of the Committee works with the various Committees involved in teaching assignments.


​The Library Committee works with the head of the Physics/Astronomy Library to maintain and improve the library collection and services, and advises the head of the Library when reductions in the collection are necessary.

Majors Curriculum:

​The Majors Committee establishes and reviews the majors undergraduate curriculum. It is responsible for the review and development of the majors curriculum, provides for and monitors advising/mentoring of undergraduate majors.

PGSC Advisor:

​The Physics Graduate Student Council is elected by the graduate students to express and support their ideas in the department.

Professional Masters Program:

​The Committee is responsible for the review, development and coordination of the Professional Master's Degree Program in Applied Physics. The Committee is chaired by the MS Program Coordinator who is in charge of the admission of students to the Program with the concurrence of the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Research Experience for Undergraduates:

​Each summer the Department recruits students from around the country for a program which provides the participants with research experience in the various laboratories in the Department.

REU Program Web Site

Safety and Security:

​The Committee is responsible for maintaining a safe working environment and insuring compliance with University and Federal safety rules. Specific concerns include: cryogenics, hazardous materials and waste, radiation, and electrical and workshop safety. The Committee provides recommendations to the Chair for measures to protect the security of both personnel and property.

See the Safety page for forms and information.

Society of Physics Students Advisor:

​The Society of Physics Students is the undergraduate student organization which organizes activities for the undergraduate physics majors including meetings with colloquium speakers.

SPS Web Site

Summer Session:

​The Committee is responsible for curriculum, teaching assignments and budget proposals for Summer Session courses. The Committee submits a proposal for the next Summer early in each Autumn Quarter, and makes teaching assignments early in the Winter Quarter.

Teacher Education:

​The Teacher Education Advisor is the Department representative to the College of Education, and advises students in the College of Education interested in science teaching.

Technical Services:

​The Technical Services Liaison is responsible for advising the managers of the Instrument Shop and the Electronics Shop on ways to meet the needs of the faculty, graduate students, and staff. In addition the individual is responsible for representing the needs of the shops to the Chair.

Undergraduate Advisor:

​The Undergraduate Advisor serves in an individual capacity, supervising the Undergraduate Program Assistant and advising individual students as required. The Advisor also keeps track of University and various College rules, makes recommendations to the Department Chair and the Majors Committee as appropriate, and establishes standards for awarding credit for physics courses taken elsewhere.