American Physical Society
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Information for Students

Welcome Students!

In this section, find specialized resources for students in Middle School, High School, and College Level sections.

In our Middle School section, you can:

  • Get advice on coursework which will help prepare you to pursue careers in Physics fields.
  • Find suggested readings to find out more about the lives of famous Physicists.
  • Discover resources to help you to explore Physics, at home and in the classroom.

In our High School section, you can:

  • Get advice on coursework and activities which will help prepare you to pursue careers in Physics fields.
  • Learn about fun ways to explore science while connecting with other students.
  • Find information about Federal Student Aid and Physics programs, scholarships, and clubs.

In our College section, you can:

  • Get advice on how to tailor your undergraduate Physics program to prepare you for specific fields.
  • Find information about how to build skills and make connections through student organizations and job shadowing.
  • Discover resources for helping you decide on a graduate school, or finding and landing that perfect job if you are interested in entering the workforce upon graduation.
Anne Catlla

Anne Catlla - Postdoctoral Associate

Anne Catlla's career in applied mathematics was a kind of fluke. When she started her undergraduate at the University of Kansas,  she started in engineering,  but after deciding it was not for her,  she moved to the education department. That too proved to be not a good fit,  and she declared a math major,  because she already had taken several math classes that she enjoyed.

When a physics professor asked her to stay and do research for him,  she agreed and enrolled in the masters program in math at the University of Kansas. She was attracted to applied mathematics because of its inclusive nature. "I think that mathematicians and physicists and applied mathematicians all will look at the same phenomena and ask different questions. The questions that a mathematician asks will be perhaps more abstract. The questions a physicist asks tend to be more interested in what was coming out of the system. I was interested in the math,  but I was also interested in the system. That drew me to applied math,  because I felt at the time like this was bridging the gap, "

After earning that degree she went on to Northwestern to earn her Ph.D.

Women are still a rare sight within math and physics departments. Although Catlla says she never faced explicit discrimination,  she did notice some minor things. "It's so much more subtle. It has to do with feeling very singled out. There were math and physics courses I took where I was the only woman. You might have a question,  and you're sitting there,  thinking to yourself,  "is this a stupid question?" And then,  if I ask the stupid question,  I'm not just the person who asked the stupid question,  I'm the woman who asked the stupid question. And so I think that that kind of pressure,  I've definitely felt many times."