The PGSA is a common platform for all the graduate students in Physics & Astronomy Department here at MSU. Its purpose is to foster interaction within and among the grad students for all academic (and beyond) interests . It is a non-profit organization that promotes and emphasizes the true atmosphere for learning and working here -- by arranging regular talks by students and faculty members, interactive sessions, workshops, etc. Apart from academics, the PGSA is a venue to increase social interaction and activities among the grad students . Through regulary meetings and the occasional arrangement of pizza-party events, the PGSA promotes and supports the multicultural atmosphere here at MSU, and helps students to get some fresh air after a long, hard-working and pressurized week. "
In Fall 2013, the Physics Graduate Student Association (PGSA) at MSU began a High School Outreach program, designed with the goal of visiting local high schools (public and private) several times throughout the academic school year. In these outreach visits, several graduate and undergraduate members would go to the high school and interact with students, using interactive demonstration presentations, a brief preparation lecture regarding the day's lesson topic, and then full student participation in selected laboratory activities.
Our Outreach mission is to make contact with high school students and introduce them to interactive, hands-on physics experiments and demonstrations, so as to inspire curiosity in the world around them and encourage them to pursue interests in the sciences.
Depending on the needs of the school, we tend to visit with 4-6 PGSA representatives (graduate students), with plans to stay for several class periods. Our intentions in these outreach events is to make contact with as many students as possible, so we try to invite students from other science and math classes to join our activities. We try to orchestrate our visits and the lab activities to follow the standard curriculum progression.
The PGSA Journal Club aims to expose graduate students to a wider variety of current physics research than what they typically get from their own research groups. They learn about new physics from their peers in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. It is also a forum for students to get experience communicating science to their peers and to a more general audience.
The Journal Club meets approximately bi-weekly to discuss a paper selected by the presenting student from the list of the papers suggested by the Faculties and available in this website. Typically the selected paper is of general interest to the presented and is either a seminal/classic paper from the presenter's sub-field or a new paper creating a lot of buzz. The presentation should be directed at an audience outside the presenter's sub-field and extensive Q&A and discussion is encouraged.
The presenter receives feedback on his/her presentation based on a standardized evaluation form that the audience fills out. At the end of the semester all regular participants will vote to select the best 3 presentations. The first prize will be $200, second prize will be worth $150, and third prize will be worth $100.