Ateneo Physics Department launches the Ateneo Physics Archives: an interview with the Physics webmaster

A flowering plant that rarely flowers (scientific name?). It can be found on the road from Faura Hall on the way to the Science Education Complex.

Below is an interview of Ateneo Physics News with Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr., Chief Blogger and Multimedia Marketing Director of the Ateneo de Manila University’s Department of Physics.

Question 1.  What exactly is the Ateneo Physics Archives?

The Ateneo Physics Archives is a blog for publishing abstracts of physics-related researches in Ateneo de Manila University from the foundation of Ateneo de Manila to the present.  The researches need not come from the Physics Department.  They can be from other the departments of the School of Science and Engineering: Biology, Chemistry, DISCS, ECCE, Environmental Science, Health Science, and Mathematics.  Physics is related to these fields in many ways.  For example, Biology uses electron microscopes which are based the wave properties of electrons.  Chemistry is also applied Quantum Mechanics.  Computer 3D animation requires the theory of Mechanics and Optics. Engineering is applied physics.  Climate change computations in Environmental Science are based on heat transfer through conduction, convection, and radiation.  Health science requires understanding of  electromagnetics of heart pumping and bone mechanical stresses.  And Mathematics is the language of physics from vector calculus to group theory to differential geometry.

The abstracts can also be from from Management, Economics, History, Philosophy, and Theology.  Newton’s laws of motion has been applied to Management.  Econometrics is a mathematical science which uses concepts in Hamiltonian Mechanics.  History of Science is a field by itself, and prominent among them is Pierre Duhem, a Catholic chemist.  Aristotle, who studied metaphysics in Philosophy, also wrote on physics–the concept of time and motion, and the theory of falling bodies.

Question 2.  Oh, why is Theology there?

Physics is the foundation of Theology.  St. Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae, for example, is filled with many discussions in physics, such as on the nature of light–whether it is a body or not–a question which is still not fully answered today as we progressed from the luminiferous aether to Maxwell’s electromagnetic waves to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and to wave-packet collapse of the photon.  If we don’t understand the physics of light, how can we understand the Nicene Creed: “And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father”? By the way, Light of Light or Lumen de Lumine is the motto of Manila Observatory.

Question 3.  What is the benefit to other departments in posting their abstracts in Ateneo Physics Archives?

The question that each researcher in Ateneo should be asking is this: “If I type the keywords of my abstract in Google search form, will I find the web page that contains my abstract in the first page of Google’s search results?”  If you can’t find your abstract on the web, your research is doomed to oblivion.  The abstracts may also be published in the websites of other journals, but is the abstract visible enough to search engines like Google?  Google has an algorithm that gives web pages value according to many rules, such as the following: “Is the key phrase in the url address?  Is the key phrase in one of the major headings?  Is the key phrase found in the abstract?  Are the tags common key phrases or unique to the abstract? How many websites link to the abstract?  How big are these websites?”  The science of answering these questions is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO.

The Ateneo Physics Archives is built on WordPress blogging platform, which is Google friendly: address urls are human-readable, and blog posts are almost immediately visible on the web after you publish it.  In Ateneo Physics Archives, we also take care in getting the significant tag phrases, which are Statistically Improbable Phrases (SIPs).  The more contributions there are to Ateneo Physics Archives, the greater its web page rankings its postings get, and the more likely it will land in the first page of Google search results for specific key words.

The Ateneo Physics Archives also takes care in categorizing the entries per department and classifying them into different subcategories: Book, Book Chapter, Conference Local, Conference International, Journal Local, Journal International, Thesis BS, Thesis MS, and Thesis PhD.  The titles of the headings are also coded by the initials of the publication source and year of publication.  This makes it easier for departments to keep track of their publications.  Also, since Ateneo Physics Archives is not self-hosted but runs on WordPress cloud–a multitude of anonymous computers–we can be assured that the data is always there in the cloud.

 Question 4.  What will happen to the official Ateneo Physics Department website in the School of Science and Engineering?  

We cannot tinker with the layout of the original website for doing so would destroy the branding of the School of Science and Engineering.  A departmental website which sticks out like a sore thumb compared to other departments is a bad marketing decision.  But since Ateneo Physics Department has so much content to publish (e.g. Ateneo Physics News and Ateneo Physics Archives), we have to think outside of the box by making several interlinked websites with their own mission and vision, but with one common theme layout, in order to strengthen the Ateneo Physics brand.  These websites will have the official department’s website as the common hub or launching point.

Question 5.  What are other web marketing initiatives that the Ateneo Physics Department shall undertake in the future in order to promote the Ateneo Physics brand? 

We have the Ateneo Physics Facebook where we get news from our alumni, make announcements, and post pictures.   But the problem with Facebook is that it is not friendly to search engines and it is difficult to find content that you posted.  I am now thinking of shifting to Flickr for the department’s pictures.  The pictures can be tagged in Flickr, and anyone who searches those tags would land on the department’s Flickr page.  We will soon have the Ateneo Physics channel in You Tube, but definitely not this semester.  We still have to invest in good video equipment, study video editing, and write good storylines.  I am ambivalent towards Twitter.  I think that maybe for next year.

By mid-July, we shall launch the Ateneo Physics Teacher.  It’s a blog on “how to’s”.  Here are sample contents: How do you teach coordinate system transformation?  How do you clean the bell jar of the vacuum laboratory?  How do you operate a LIDAR?  This blog shall become the repository of the Physics Department’s teaching tradition.  Videos of lecture-demonstrations from the Ateneo Physics Channel will be linked here.  The aim of the Ateneo Physics Teacher is help teachers from all over the Philippines and the rest of the world teach physics.  By doing so, we help promote the Ateneo Physics brand in order to attract the best teachers and students to the Ateneo Physics Department.

Question 5.  Are there references that you like to recommend to those who are also interested in web marketing and branding?

Lately, I have been reading lots books on management, marketing, and branding.  I think, the most helpful book is the book I read this week:

Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman, Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) that Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2011), 282 pages.

The Physics Department is in the business of selling ideas so that other people will buy the idea, i.e. change his view of the physical world we live in.  We want to convert the world, one student at a time.  And that time starts now.

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About ateneophysicsnews
Physics News and Features from Ateneo de Manila University

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