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Dear Mr. Angelo Rapisarda,
My name is Vladimir Manea and I am the student from the Faculty of Physics in Bucharest to whom you have spoken the last week at the EPM meeting. I am sorry that I was unable to participate any longer on Wednesday or at all on Thursday, due to some problems I had to attend to at the Faculty. Nevertheless, I think I understood your point of view and the aims of the EP Magazine and could clarify my opinion in the following.
First of all, allow me to congratulate the EPM project and to thank you for getting involved to such an extent in this kind of activity, which I think is one of the few activities that have the potential of developing the students' communication and even creativity skills and aptitudes, at least at a novice and intermediate level. Also, thank you very much for receiving our participation at the Bucharest meeting the last week.
I understand that there are two kinds of possible cooperation between EPM and an academic institution, a partnership, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, a cooperation at the editorial level. I think that both would be useful for our Faculty and I will try to explain why in the following.
The faculties and departments of physics are experiencing a shortage of high school graduate applicants all around the World and, of course, also in Romania. The reasons are multiple, but one of the most important (which applies at least to our country) is that the communication between the university and the high school levels has dropped during the last years for the physics domain, and high school students have ceased to understand the importance of physics and the professional possibilities it has to offer. The immediate consequence is that most high school graduates choose to study Economics, Law, Foreign Languages, Computer Sciences, i.e. domains for which the professional field is obvious even to the average pupil. This is the reason for which we have decided it is important to increase the visibility of physics in our country and to encourage the young pupils who are interested in science to pursue a corresponding career. One of the ways by which we intend to do this is by creating a website (in Romanian only) with exactly this purpose. We are still working on it and I hope it will be launched on the World Wide Web by the month of May. The website will contain physics news and events, attractive lessons about interesting or intriguing phenomena, recorded and explained experiments found on the Internet or performed by the students of the Faculty of Physics in Bucharest etc. On this website we will also encourage our visitors to check out any other partner websites or magazines and it would be our pleasure, with your permission, to mention the EP Magazine and its website as our partner, which I hope would help increase the EPM visibility in Romania.
The launch and administration of the physics website would require the active implication of at least a number of students from our faculty who would be attracted by such an activity. These students who already agree to help the physics website could be interested in getting involved in the editorial work of EPM. Unfortunately, this is only a possibility, not a certainty at the current time and I cannot guarantee that any student would agree to get involved with EPM. I completely agree that EPM would be a good opportunity for any student (at least of the first two years of studies) to develop his communication skills, to learn how to create and then present a material in front of an audience, to learn the importance of documentation and the essential aspects involved in writing a scientific paper etc. Alas, the number of students is low (60, maybe 70 students a year) and this decreases the probability of finding some who are interested in extracurricular activities (and who are also competent enough).
I will nevertheless try to find interested and capable students and I will get back to you with the results as soon as I have a clear situation. Also, allow me to consult you in the future regarding the details of the editorial activities of EPM.
Faculty of Physics, University of Bucharest