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Sigma Pi Sigma

  1. Nov 6, 2008 #1
    I just got invited to Sigma Pi Sigma and I'm wondering if it's worth paying the fees to join. It does not seem to be very selective (it says GPA > 3.0), so I'm not really sure if it means much being in it.

    The way I see it, I am paying $45 for something to fill one of the "Honors and Achievements" slots on my grad schools apps...

    Can anyone share their experiences with being in SPS?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2008 #2


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    I don't know anything about the society, but if the only reason you are contemplating joining is so it "will look good on your CV," then I don't think it's the right society for you.
  4. Nov 7, 2008 #3
    Sorry for sounding cynical. As far as I know, the chapter doesn't have a lot of activities at my university, so that would be the only reason to join.
  5. Nov 7, 2008 #4
    Do you think that maybe you could change that? THAT would be even more useful to your CV. When I was an undergraduate student, our SPS chapter (society of physics students, of which our sigma pi sigma was an extension) wasn't too active after my first year... and how did I change this my third? I decided to nominate myself treasurer... and I made plans to reinstate old activities (like having the fall picnic sponsered by SPS), have new activities (like pizza-and-movie-nights with the faculty in our lecture-hall, etc.)... and fundraisers (like liquid nitrogen ice-cream, etc.). In addition, our department had a brunch every year for Sigma Pi Sigma inductees where they received their pins... it was a bit like a rite of passage in your junior year, saying you were doing well in upper-levels. Could something like this be a possibility in your department, perhaps even if you have to (very politely of course) suggest it?

    Otherwise... yeah, I guess it's a line on the CV... but I don't think we ever looked for it on applications to our graduate program (my best familiarity with regards to "hiring").
  6. Nov 7, 2008 #5


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    When I was a student, I become involved in the student chapters of various technical societies, but it wasn't until I became a professional that I really became involved. I would hope we can change that for students.

    Each student chapter needs both a good/strong student leaders as well as a strong faculty advocate.

    IMO, it is worthwhile to join a professional scientific and technical organization, even if only at the entry level. It does open up opportunities of which one might not otherwise aware.
  7. Nov 7, 2008 #6


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    We need to distinguish between the SPS chapter and the Sigma Pi Sigma chapter, in which the latter is the honors society of SPS. As in any situation, the "value" of joining such volunteer society or organization depends entirely on what members put into it. My SPS society at UW-Madison when I was there was quite active, so it was a good thing to join.

    However, having said that, the Sigma Pi Sigma chapter, of which I've been a member since 1985 (oh no! I've just dated myself!) is not that useful. I haven't had anything of significance that I would attribute to them (I get their newsletter once in a while). I suppose it depends entirely on me if I want to be more active in their activities and events, but I don't see any need for it at the moment.

    Again, the value of these things depends on what you're willing to put in. If you single-handedly build a SPS chapter into a vibrant one at your school, then I'd say that is an accomplishment worth putting into your resume. It shows that you have some "managerial" skill to get people together to accomplish something. That could be of value later on.

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