Graduation 2012

I just realized that I forgot to do the annual congratulatory post for our graduates this year. I plead jet lag– my flight back from DAMOP didn’t get in until after midnight, and graduation was first thing Sunday morning. I didn’t march in the procession for only the third time– instead, I snuck around back to stand with the faculty and congratulate the graduates as they went by.

This has been a long and incredibly stressful year for reasons that I can’t really go into, so I’m not that sorry to see it end. This is no reflection on this year’s graduating physics majors and minor, though, to whom I wish all the best in their future endeavours. So, congratulations Ana, Anna, Chris, Erin, Hillary, Rob, and Tim. Good luck in everything that you do, and if you happen to make a billion dollars, don’t forget that the Science and Engineering Center badly needs renovation…

Comments

  1. #1 CCPhysicist
    June 16, 2012

    Am I correctly interpreting the names to conclude that you graduated 4 female physics majors and 3 male ones?

    What is it about a small, selective college like yours that leads to this result? Were they all intending to be physics majors when they applied? How many do you lose (and to where)? That is, what is YOUR pipeline like?

  2. #2 Chad Orzel
    June 16, 2012

    Am I correctly interpreting the names to conclude that you graduated 4 female physics majors and 3 male ones?

    One of the males was only a physics minor. But yes, those are the numbers.

    What is it about a small, selective college like yours that leads to this result?

    Sadly, it’s just a statistical fluctuation, as far as we can tell. We’ve had one other class that was 50% female (4/8), but the year after that, we graduated an all-male class (13/13). When I looked closely at the numbers a few years back, our percentage of female majors was bang on the national average reported by AIP, and I don’t think that’s changed much if at all. Individual years are subject to large fluctuations, though, because our number of majors is low (average of about 7 over the last ten years, which is well above the median for undergraduate-only institutions).