Letter from the Chair

Dear alumni, colleagues, and friends,

This is my first letter to you as the new Chair of the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy. Let me begin by thanking my colleague Professor Dan Reich, not only for his years of devoted service and wise leadership as our former Chair, but also for all of his help in preparing me to step into his large shoes. He has left the department in great shape.

While many of my colleagues have offered a combination of congratulations and condolences as I begin my new job, I must say that I begin my tenure as Chair with unalloyed enthusiasm. I’m sure that as you read through this newsletter, you will understand why I am so enthused. We have an award-winning team of faculty, research scientists, postdocs, and students who continue to push back the frontiers of knowledge in physics and astronomy. We are in the midst of a sea-change in the way we teach our undergraduate students and train our graduate students, with a focus on active learning and early immersion in research. Much of this is made possible by the support of you and other friends of the department, for which we are truly grateful. I invite our graduates to keep in touch, share advice, and let us know of news and accomplishments.

Despite our success, we will never rest on our laurels. Indeed, my colleagues and I are now taking a fresh look at where we want to be as a department in the coming years. Part of the answer is that we will reap the rewards of the projects and facilities that we are developing today. However, we must also chart a path forward that leads in new directions: how can we help lead the most exciting areas of physics and astronomy five or even ten years from now?

Let me close by thanking you for your interest in our department, and for all of your support. We have an exciting future ahead, and I am pleased that you are a part of it.

Best,
Timothy Hackerman, Chair
The Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy