Past Outreach Events
Ben Montet - "Exoplanets/Stellar astrophysics"
Dan Fabrycky - "Exoplanets"
Maria Weber; Emily Gilbert - "Exoplanets"; Nadejda Marounina - "Exoplanets and habitability"
Cosmin Deaconu - "Cosmic Rays, Neutrinos, Dark Matter"
Gourav Khullar - "Cosmology, Extragalactic astrophysics, Dark Energy Survey, South Pole Telescope"
Leslie Rogers - "Exoplanets"
Yuanyuan Zhang - "KICP Astronomy and Cosmology"; Daniel Dutcher - "Cosmology with the South Pole Telescope"
Rick Kessler - "Astrophysics, Dark Energy"
Ross Cawthon - "Cosmology, Dark Energy"
Amy Lowitz - "Observational cosmology"
Ben Montet - "Exoplanets/Stellar astrophysics"
Akash Dixit - "Axion Dark Matter eXperiment (ADMX)"
Dan Fabrycky - "Exoplanets"
Maya Fishbach - "Gravitational Wave Astronomy"
Broader Horizons: Matthew Lightman, data scientist lead at JPMorgan Chase in Chicago
Organizer: Andrew Neil
Please join us for our next Broader Horizons talk this Thursday, April 12 at 5 PM in ERC 576. Our speaker is Matthew Lightman, currently data scientist lead at JPMorgan Chase in Chicago. Matthew holds a Ph.D in physics from Columbia University, where his research focused on particle physics simulations.
Broader Horizons is a talk series that explores opportunities outside of academia for physics and astronomy PhDs. Following the talk, there will be a Q&A session and discussion.
Speak Up for Science
Speak Up for Science! On Saturday April 14, The Field Museum is holding a science fair and rally to advocate for science, its advancement, and its protection. Share your voice with legislators and demonstrate how important science is in your life. The Museum is offering free basic admission to Illinois residents all day. Soapbox Science Chicago, an outreach group led by Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Maria Weber, will be on hand at the Community Science Fair. Soapbox Science is an international effort to champion women in STEM by helping them to share their message and work with the public through conversation and scientific debate.
Broader Horizons: Jennifer Helsby, Freedom of the Press Foundation
Organizer: Andrew Neil
Jennifer is Lead Developer of SecureDrop at the non-profit organization Freedom of the Press Foundation. SecureDrop is an anonymous whistleblowing platform used by dozens of major news organizations for safe communications between journalists and their sources. Prior to joining Freedom of the Press Foundation in 2016, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Data Science and Public Policy at the University of Chicago, where she worked on applying machine learning methods to problems in public policy. She will discuss her transition from cosmology to public interest technology.
KICP/A&A Education and Public Outreach Celebration and Open House
Join us on Tuesday May 29 from 3-4:30pm in ERC 401 to celebrate the contributions of KICP and A&A members in the wide variety of Education and Public Outreach (EPO) programs that take place within our departments. Looking to get involved in EPO, or want to volunteer for more? Great! We will have representatives present from all of our initiatives.
Come mingle, eat, drink, share your EPO stories, and find out more about how you can volunteer for our EPO programs. Drop in at any time.
Organizer: Maria Weber
Soapbox Science is an international, grass-roots science outreach organization that brings cutting edge research to urban settings while also promoting the visibility of women in science. We place inspirational female speakers on soapboxes (literally!) and encourage them to engage in and start conversations with the public about their work. This is a free event where our female scientists will interact with visitors to Navy Pier, busker style, telling them about everything from ecology to mathematics to astrophysics.
This summer, 30 Soapbox Science events are being held across the world. Chicago will be the first ever United States location. Our event will occur on Saturday July 21 from 12-3pm at Chicago's iconic Navy Pier. We have selected 12 outstanding Chicago-based early career women in STEM, who are ready to wow Chicagoland with their ground-breaking research.
Soapbox Science is not just about the speakers. Without a supportive team of committed, enthusiastic people, a Soapbox event simply cannot happen. Each event relies on an animated team of up to 20 volunteers. Volunteers play a crucial role in rounding up the public, chatting to them informally about science, and supporting the speakers by managing props. But perhaps the most important role of the volunteers is gathering data so we can effectively monitor the success of the event: volunteers carry out the bulk of our streamlined evaluation process, through interviews, observations and counting footfall.
KICP Summer Institute: City of Tomorrow
Our world is changing rapidly. What will tomorrow look like? As we strive to take care of this planet, we also look to the stars, to other planets. We explore the far reaches of space for our curiosity, for discovery - also, possibly for another home for our species. How would we provide energy for a civilization on another planet? How do we approach ethics and justice in this new civilization? This year, teams of student researchers will design unique proposals for energy infrastructure on three kinds of extraterrestrial systems - a planet, a moon, and a space ship.
Activities and Events
- Study and design technologies for the generation and distribution of power for a civilization.
- Perform a Model United Nations and discuss the social impacts of resource allocation.
- Visit Adler Planetarium and Museum of Science and Industry for research
- Work alongside physicists, geophysicists, and astrophysicists.
- Experience the University of Chicago campus.
Facilitators and Organizers
- Faculty and Students from University of Chicago Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP)
- Office of Special Programs
88nd Compton Lectures: Amy Lowitz, "Nuts and Bolts Cosmology"
Saturdays, September 29 - November 17, 2018, 11AM.
Kersten Physics Teaching Center, 5720 S. Ellis, Room 106
For almost as long as there have been humans, they have looked to the sky in an effort to understand their place in the universe. Some of the oldest surviving records of cosmological thought come from the early Mesopotamians and describe a flat, circular Earth embedded in a cosmic ocean. Our study and understanding of the Universe has come a long way since then; we now build massive and highly sensitive instruments to measure the Universe, and we know a great deal about what the Universe is made of and how it has evolved over the past 13.8 billion years. Still, many open questions remain and drive the development of ever more sensitive measurements.
In this lecture series, we will address the current state of observational cosmology, with an emphasis on microwave cosmology and on the instruments used to measure the cosmos. A discussion of the history of the field will provide context and motivation for current measurement efforts. In addition, I will talk about the 'nuts and bolts' of how light detectors and telescope cameras are built. Finally, we will conclude the series with a peek into the future, both of the field and of the Universe itself.
"On the Future: Prospects for Humanity" with physicist Martin Rees
World-renowned scientist Martin Rees offers his look at the future of humanity and science in this talk based upon his new book On the Future: Prospects for Humanity. Rees argues that humanity's future is bound to the future of science, and our prospects hinge on how successfully we harness technological advances to address the challenges to our collective future. If we are to use science to solve our problems while avoiding its dystopian risks, Rees shows how we must think rationally, globally, collectively, and optimistically about the long-term future. Advances in biotechnology, cybertechnology, robotics, and artificial intelligence - if pursued and applied wisely- could empower us to boost the developing and developed world and overcome the threats humanity faces on Earth, from climate change to nuclear war. Rees offers fascinating insights into cutting-edge science and technology while providing a unique perspective on the critical issues that will define the future of humanity on Earth and beyond.
Presented in collaboration with the Chicago Public Library.
Doors to the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium open at 5 p.m. and seating is available first come, first served. The event is free but registration is recommended. Books are available for purchase from Seminary Co-op Books and the author will autograph books at the conclusion of the program.
Astronomy on Tap
As the temperatures drop outside, come cozy up with a beer and hear all about some really ~cool~ space topics. You thought Chicago winters were cold? Come hear from a researcher who works in Antarctica and will have none of your whining. And what's more festive than some 'cosmic candles'? Hope to see you here at Marz Brewing on Tuesday, December 11, at 7 pm!
Quick previews for our two talks:
Space itself is stretching in all directions. Will I eventually be ripped away from my couch while watching Netflix? Probably not, but it could happen. Taylor Hoyt, a PhD student at the University of Chicago will discuss the forefront of our understanding of the history of the universe and how we use that knowledge to predict the fate of our universe. These cutting edge cosmological models are rooted in Einstein's Theory of General relativity and are calibrated to extremely precise measurements made by the NASA Hubble Space Telescope, the Chicago-led South Pole Telescope, the European Planck Satellite, among many other technological feats that are the markers of our current era of "precision cosmology."
Have you ever wanted to fly a balloon 25 miles above Antarctica in order to search for some of the most energetic particles in the universe using radio waves coming out of the ice? (We know you were all thinking about it!) Cosmin Deaconu, a postdoc at the University of Chicago, is part of the ANITA experiment, which does exactly that. Come learn about ultra-high-energy particles, long-duration ballooning, the ANITA mystery events, and working on the harshest continent of them all!