Talks & Events
Workshops & Events
Current & Future
EFI colloquium: Damiano Caprioli, "On the origin of the cosmic radiation - 70 years later (a tribute for Fermi's pioneering paper of 1949)"
A theory of the origin of cosmic radiation is proposed according to which cosmic rays are originated and accelerated primarily at the blast waves of supernova remnants and in relativistic jets of active galactic nuclei. One of the features of the theory is that it yields naturally a power law for the spectral distribution of the cosmic rays and explains in a straightforward way the heavy nuclei observed in the primary radiation.
PSD colloquium: Pierre-Louis Lions, College de France, "Mean Field Games: What? Why? How?"
Pierre-Louis Lions is one of the most well known mathematicians of our time. He graduated from the Ecole Normale Superieure in 1977, and received his doctorate from the University of Pierre and Marie Curie in 1979.
His main work is on the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations. He received the Fields Medal (comparable to a Nobel Prize) for his work in 1994. Lions was the first to give a complete solution to the Boltzmann equation with proof. He has received numerous other awards. Currently, he holds the position of Professor of Partial differential equations and their applications at the prestigious College de France in Paris as well as a position at Ecole Polytechnique.
In the paper "Viscosity solutions of Hamilton-Jacobi equations" (1983), written with Michael Crandall, he introduced the notion of viscosity solutions. This has had a great effect on the theory of partial differential equations. More recent work includes the theory of mean-field games, which promises to be highly influential in economics.
Pierre-Louis Lions has also been interested for a long time in mathematical finance writing seminal papers on a variety of subjects, such as the use of Malliavin calculus, Monte Carlo methods, applications of stochastic control, and convexity properties.
Physics colloquium: Marc Kamionkowski, Johns Hopkins University, "Heretical hypotheses in the hunt for dark matter"
We have known for a reasonable fraction of a century that most of the matter in the Universe is dark, and for several decades that it cannot be baryonic. The nature of this dark matter has, however, been elusive. The prevailing weakly- interacting massive particle (WIMP) hypothesis that have long been theorists preferred guess faces considerable pressure from an array of null searches, and this has led theorists to consider previously unpalatable alternatives. I will discuss the rise, and possible fall, of an idea that connected LIGOs discovery of black-hole binaries to dark matter. I will also discuss recent ideas (motivated in part by an intriguing recent experimental result) that involve particles with enhanced couplings to ordinary matter.
Midwest Workshop on Supernovae and Transients
The purpose of the workshop is to bring together the Midwest community interested in supernovae of all types, and Galactic and extragalactic transients in general, including kilonovae, fast radio bursts, TDEs, gamma-ray bursts, novae, X-ray binaries, and anything that varies on a short timescale. We will deal with all aspects of these objects, including the explosion mechanism, progenitors, evolution, nucleosynthesis, and radiation over all wavelengths from radio to gamma-rays.
Ample time would be given to students and postdocs, and significant time reserved for discussions.
The workshop is organized by the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago.
Broader Horizons: Stephen Hoover, Civis Analytics
Interested in a career in data science? What does a data scientist do, exactly, and how does a physicist or astronomer become a data scientist? Stephen is a data scientist at the Chicago-based company Civis Analytics, where he helps to build predictive modeling tools for Civis's software offerings and consulting work. He received his PhD in physics from UCLA, and went on to work with the South Pole Telescope group as a postdoc. He joined Civis Analytics in 2014, and in this talk, will discuss his transition from academia and the current nature of a data scientist's job.
Winter 2019 Postdocs Symposium
Sara Seager, "Exoplanets and the Search for Habitable Worlds"
Sara Seager, 2019 Brinson Lecturer
Sara Seager is an astrophysicist and planetary scientist at MIT. Her science research focuses on theory, computation, and data analysis of exoplanets. Her research has introduced many new ideas to the field of exoplanet characterization, including work that led to the first detection of an exoplanet atmosphere. She received her Ph.D from Harvard University in 1999. Before joining MIT in 2007, Professor Seager spent four years on the senior research staff at the Carnegie Institution of Washington preceded by three years at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. Professor Seager is on the advisory board for Planetary Resources. Professor Seager was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2015, is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, the 2012 recipient of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences, and the 2007 recipient of the American Astronomical Society's Helen B. Warner Prize. She has been recognized in the media, most recently in Time Magazine's 25 Most Influential in Space in 2012.
2019 Brinson Lecture: "Exoplanets and the Search for Habitable Worlds"
For thousands of years people have wondered, "Are there planets like Earth?" "Are such planets common?" "Do any have signs of life?" Today astronomers are poised to answer these ancient questions, having recently found thousands of planets that orbit nearby Sun-like stars, called "exoplanets". Professor Sara Seager will share the latest advances in this revolutionary field.
This event is co-sponsored by the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Workshop: "Astrophysics with the CMB-S4 Survey"
The purpose of the workshop is to bring together leading astronomers and astrophysicists to integrate the planned CMB-S4 Legacy Survey, a multi-band millimeter wave survey covering roughly half the sky at unprecedented sensitivity and observing cadence, with other directions in astrophysics. This includes the time variable sky as seen in solar system science, stellar variability, binary evolution, supernovae, tidal disruption events, and gamma-ray bursts, as well as high-redshift star formation and studies of feedback from black holes and star formation on the intergalactic medium, including galaxy cluster thermodynamics and reionization.
Broader Horizons: Nicole Larsen, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Nicole Larsen is a 2018-2019 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the US Department of Defense (and a previous KICP Fellow). In this talk, she will discuss the Venn Diagram of science and public policy - where they intersect, how policy benefits from science, and what a career in policy might have to offer a STEM PhD - and she will talk about her path from physics to policy and her day-to-day life in the federal government.
GeoSci Seminar: Christina Richey, NASA JPL, "The Europa Clipper Mission"
The Europa Clipper Mission, in formulation for launch in 2023, will investigate the potential habitability and recent activity of Jupiter's moon Europa through investigations that will study the space environment, surface, and interior. The mission will send a solar-powered, radiation-tolerant spacecraft into an initially highly-elliptical orbit about Jupiter and then will conduct more than 40 flybys of Europa, most reaching closest approaches of 25-100 km. The payload comprises a suite of science instruments that together will support three key objectives:
1. Ice Shell & Ocean:Characterize the ice shell and any subsurface water, including their heterogeneity, ocean properties, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange
2. Composition: Understand the habitability of Europa's ocean through composition and chemistry
3. Geology: Understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity, and characterize high science interest localities
This talk will focus on the science objectives and instruments being utilized to achieve those objectives, the unique team structure and dynamics, and the current work of the team as they prepare to enter the building phase of the mission.
EFI Colloquium: Zohar Komargodski, "The Power of Conformal Symmetry"
Many physical systems enjoy conformal symmetry (exact or approximate) in various circumstances. We review the consequences of conformal symmetry for the kinematics and the dynamics of the theory. We show how from purely algebraic considerations exact results about the critical exponents can be obtained. We also review recent progress on the properties of conformal plasmas.
The Excited State - Improv Comedy Show feat. Prof. Brian Nord PhD
Friends in the Chicago Science Community:
We're excited to announce the next performance of "The Excited State" improv comedy show. This month"s Special Guest is Prof. Brian Nord (Fermilab and University of Chicago Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics).
Science has never been so fun... or scientists so funny! "The Excited State" is an improv comedy show. The performance takes audiences on a hilarious---and utterly improvised---journey of discovery through scientific history, breakthroughs, and common misconceptions. The troupe is comprised of Chicago's most outgoing scientists from UChicago, UIC, IIT, Fermi Lab, Argonne and elsewhere. Each performance features a "Special Guest" from the scientific community.
IDEA Day - Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in Astronomy
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Journal Club (DEIJC) presents "IDEA Day", an afternoon of talks and dialogues at Astro-KICP, on the afternoon of May 23rd, 2019 (12:30-5pm). This event - the first of its kind organized by early career scientists - is supported by the Chicago Center for Teaching's Inclusive Pedagogy Grant 2018-19. This event is open to all members of the community, and is designed to foster community learning on the issues that marginalized astronomers and physicists face in academia.
The afternoon's speakers include:
a) Ashley Walker, undergraduate student at Chicago State University, on "The Miseducation of Black Junior Astronomers", highlighting the astrophysical contribution of black undergraduate and graduate students.
b) Dr. Khanh Nghiem, Clinical Psychologist at Student Counseling Services at UChicago, on "Mental Health at UChicago and Diversity Considerations'."
c) Keynote Speaker - Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz, Astronomer, Adler Planetarium, on "Choose Your Own Adventure: Developing A Values-Oriented Framework for Your Career'."
We are offering lunch (noon), coffee (afternoon) and other drinks and snacks (post-keynote reception). Please RSVP here, for food count and info on dietary restrictions.
For questions or concerns, please contact the organizing committee:
LSST Dark Matter Workshop
Dark matter constitutes roughly 85% of the matter density of the Universe, and represents a critical gap in our understanding of fundamental physics. Despite extensive experimental efforts, the only robust, positive empirical measurement of dark matter continues to come from cosmological and astrophysical observations. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) offers a versatile platform to investigate dark matter. This workshop will focus on new ideas for probing the fundamental nature of dark matter with LSST and other future observations.
Potential discussion topics for this workshop Include:
- Warm and self-interacting particle dark matter
- Compact objects
- Ultra-light and fuzzy dark matter
- Near-field cosmology
- Gravitational lensing (weak, strong, and micro)
- Galaxy clusters
- Large scale structure
SCAM-2019: SNIa-Cosmology Analysis Meeting
The era of large photometrically identified samples of Type Ia Supernovae (SNIa) has begun, opening the door to a variety of cosmological probes. This workshop will focus on analysis methods being applied to current data sets (e.g., CfA, CSP, DES, Foundation, PS1, SDSS, SNf, SNLS) and new methods anticipated for future data sets (e.g., LSST, WFIRST). We will discuss how current methods need to evolve for the challenge of much larger SNIa samples, and also discuss the challenges of developing new analysis methods. This meeting will include presentations with significant discussion time. We have limited travel support for early career scientists.
Conference: Cosmic Controversies
Are we close to a fundamental cosmological paradigm, or is a major disruption imminent?
Is cosmology on the verge of a fundamental description of the Universe from a tiny fraction of a second after the big bang until today based upon LCDM, or is it on the cusp of major disruption and re-organization of our understanding of the Universe? Eight cosmic controversies - the value(s) the Hubble constant, viability of CDM, cause of cosmic acceleration, validity of inflation, the existence of a dark matter particle, clarity about the multiverse, origin of ordinary matter, and other loose ends in the paradigm - have much to say about the direction cosmology will take in the next decade and may the answer the question above. Our cosmology conclave will focus on these controversies and address how best to resolve them.
... and what tools are critical for making progress in cosmology in the coming decades?
Eight, 90-minute afternoon panels featuring a moderator/chair and 3 speakers. Forty-some 25-minute invited morning talks that inform the panels, and contributed posters. Evenings include a public event, a banquet and a poster session reception.