New Physics Chair Takes the Helm

Mei-Yin Chou is the new chair of Georgia Tech's School of Physics. The professor of theoretical condensed matter physics begins her new post this month. She follows Ron Fox, who will remain at the School as a Regents' professor of physics.

"I'm delighted that Mei-Yin has accepted the position as chair," said Provost Jean-Lou Chameau. "She is an exceptional scholar and has great leadership potential. I am excited about the future of the physics program under her leadership and look forward to supporting her drive toward continued success."

Chou said one of the first orders of business will be to continue the growth of the School. Work is being done to build a biophysics program that she hopes to have in place within the next few years.

"In the past, the traditional way of looking at bio-related phenomena has been by using the biologist's point-of-view," she explained. "But there's a way physics can contribute: mainly by using experimental techniques developed for physics as well as applying methods in theoretical physics to the study of biological systems."

Working with the faculty, Chou said the School plans to identify one or two more areas for expansion as well as strengthen existing research groups by hiring faculty members who "define the field."

The School of Physics currently has 27 full-time academic faculty members. Chou said she hopes to increase that to about 40 in five to seven years.

"Physics must continue to play a vital role in the institutional development of Georgia Tech by performing frontier research and by providing an outstanding educational environment," she said. "Our strengths are that we have very good faculty members and scientists. This is a good intellectual group. We want to improve the community so faculty and students will feel this is a productive environment. I'm a strong believer that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts."