Events, 2014
2014
DateEvents
February 14, 2014
9:00 AM
Postdocs Symposium
Winter 2014 Postdocs Symposium
February 20, 2014
6:45 PM
Talk
Adler After Dark: Bradford Benson, "Unveiling the Dark Universe with the South Pole Telescope"
March 6, 2014
4:15 PM
Talk
Physics colloquium: Juan Collar, "Present status of direct searches for dark matter"
March 8, 2014
Event
Mi Galaxia es Su Galaxia - My Galaxy is Your Galaxy
March 10, 2014
4:00 PM
Event
Statistics Colloquium: Josh Frieman, Fermilab and the University of Chicago, "Probing Cosmic Acceleration with the Dark Energy Survey: Statistical Challenges and Big Data in Cosmology"
March 19, 2014
2:00 PM
Event
BICEP2 extravaganza
April 3, 2014
9:00 AM
Workshop
Inflation MA meeting
April 5 - June 7, 2014
11:00 AM
Lecture
79th Compton Lectures: Elise Jennings, "Cosmic Cartography - Exploring an Expanding Universe"
April 7, 2014
11:00 AM
Event
Broader Horizons: Kathryn Schaffer, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
April 18, 2014
3:00 PM
Event
Kavli Foundation Webcast: Secrets of the Universe's First Light
April 25, 2014
9:30 AM
Postdocs Symposium
Spring 2014 Postdocs Symposium
May 15 - 16, 2014
Workshop
Workshop on CosmoSIS
May 15 - 17, 2014
Workshop
DES Supernova workshop
June 9 - 11, 2014
Workshop
High-Energy Messengers: Connecting the Non-Thermal Extragalactic Backgrounds
June 16 - 27, 2014
Summer School
Summer School on Education and Outreach
July 18, 2014
11:00 AM
PhD Thesis Defense
Eric Baxter, "Measuring Gravitational Lensing of the Cosmic Microwave Background by Galaxy Clusters"
August 10 - 16, 2014
Yerkes Institute
Renewable Energy: Back to the Sun, Yerkes Summer Institute
August 22 - 24, 2014
Workshop
Status and Future of Inflationary Theory
August 25 - 29, 2014
Workshop
COSMO-2014: International Conference on Particle Physics and Cosmology
September 15 - 19, 2014
Workshop
International conference: "Type Ia Supernovae: progenitors, explosions, and cosmology"
September 21 - 23, 2014
Cosmology Course
"Evolving Universe", Short Course for Museum & Planetarium Staff
September 29, 2014
2:30 PM
Event
KICP Welcome Event and Jamboree
October 4 - December 13, 2014
11:00 AM
Lecture
80th Compton Lectures: Tim Linden, "Shining Light on the Dark Side of the Universe"
October 8, 2014
4:00 PM
PhD Thesis Defense
Nicole Fields, "CosI: Development of a Low Threshold Detector for the Observation of Coherent Elastic Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering"
October 30, 2014
Workshop
2014 KICP GLPA Workshop: Swirls in the Sky the Science Behind the Headlines: BICEP2, B-modes and Observing from the South Pole
November 11, 2014
12:00 PM
PhD Thesis Defense
Alan Zablocki, "Constraining Neutrinos and Dark Energy with the Angular Clustering of Galaxies in the Dark Energy Survey"
November 18, 2014
4:00 PM
Event
Broader Horizons: Ali Vanderveld, Data Scientist at Groupon
December 5, 2014
9:30 AM
Postdocs Symposium
Fall 2014 Postdocs Symposium
December 27 - 29, 2014
Yerkes Institute
Robotics, Telescopes and S.T.E.A.M., Yerkes Winter Institute

Winter 2014 Postdocs Symposium
February 14, 2014 | 9:00 AM | LASR conference room | Postdocs Symposium
Postdocs Symposium
Symposium program:
9:00 - 9:30
Coffee/Breakfast
9:30 - 9:55
Doug Watson, "The Dark Side of Galaxy Formation"
9:55 - 10:20
Daniel Grin, "Some new isocurvature directions"
10:20 - 10:45
Toshihiro Fujii, "Observations of the Universe's Highest Energetic Particles"
10:45 - 11:00
Coffee Break
11:00 - 11:25
Austin Joyce, "Symmetry breaking in the sky"
11:25 - 11:50
Nan Li, "Simulations of Strong Gravitational Lensing"
11:50 - 12:15
Russell Neilson, "Detecting Dark Matter with Bubble Chambers"
12:15
Lunch

Adler After Dark: Bradford Benson, "Unveiling the Dark Universe with the South Pole Telescope"
February 20, 2014 | 6:45 PM | Adler Planetarium | Talk
Adler After Dark: Bradford Benson, "Unveiling the Dark Universe with the South Pole Telescope"
Talk
The South Pole Telescope (SPT) is a microwave telescope located at the geographic South Pole, which has been used to make the most-detailed measurements ever of the light left over from the Big Bang, the cosmic microwave background. I will give an overview of the SPT, and how astronomers are using data from the SPT to better understand the "Dark" Universe: a component of the Universe that makes up over 95% of its density, but whose physical origin is still largely mysterious to us.

Physics colloquium: Juan Collar, "Present status of direct searches for dark matter"
March 6, 2014 | 4:15 PM | KPTC 106 | Talk
Talk
I will review the most recent developments in the field of direct searches for dark matter, recently centered around the elusive WIMP (Weakly Interacting Massive Particle), concentrating on local activities. The difficulties involved in interpreting the results from the many searches in this active area will be discussed. I will present some personal opinions about the immediate future of the field.

Mi Galaxia es Su Galaxia - My Galaxy is Your Galaxy
March 8, 2014 | Adler Planetarium | Event
Mi Galaxia es Su Galaxia - My Galaxy is Your Galaxy
Event
Webpage

Meet Carlos Wagner, Alvaro Chavarria, and Claudio Ugalde & enjoy astronomy shows, activities, and talks in Spanish.

On Saturday, March 8, the Adler Planetarium, in partnership with Latino organizations and Chicago-area institutions, will host Mi Galaxia es Su Galaxia to welcome Spanish-speaking families for a celebration of the universal world of science. Mi Galaxia es Su Galaxia is a one-day event designed to encourage Latino families to experience science together in their own language. Participants will enjoy a range of scientific experiences presented in Spanish including sky shows, lectures and demonstrations. A diverse group of renowned Latino scientists and local volunteers will be on hand to conduct experiments, lead interactive activities and answer questions throughout the day.
"Mi Galaxia es Su Galaxia will celebrate the exploration our Universe in ways that go beyond borders and language barriers," said Michelle B. Larson Ph.D., president & CEO of the Adler Planetarium. "The Adler is honored to host an international group of renowned Latino scientists, passionate volunteers and local families for a celebration of science."

Mi Galaxia es Su Galaxia will feature special programming and presentations including:
Shows
Mi Galaxia es Su Galaxia will offer families the opportunity to view some of the Adler's most immersive shows in Spanish. The Adler's Grainger Sky Theater will transform into a virtual observatory in Cosmic Wonder as photographer, visual artist and Adler Astronomer Jose Francisco Salgado narrates the Adler's blockbuster sky show in Spanish. The Definiti Space Theater will feature One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure. This planetarium show follows Sesame Street's Elmo, Big Bird, and their friend, Hu Hu Zhu, as they explore the night sky. In the 3-D show, Exploding Stars and the Shape of Our Galaxy, audiences will investigate the Milky Way Galaxy and the Pinwheel Supernova. There will be a Q & A with astrophysicist Claudio Ugalde immediately following this show, which will be presented in the Samuel C. Johnson Family Star Theater.
Lectures
Mi Galaxia es Su Galaxia will welcome a renowned group of scientists who will engage one-onone with Adler visitors. Physicist and professor Juan Carlos Campuzano will describe what superconductors are, how they are made and how they impact our lives. Mexican astrophysicist and professor, Claudio Ugalde, will explore the explosive science of supernovas and how thermonuclear reactions operate in the Universe. Roberto Castillo Ladron de Guevara, lead engineer for the Observatory in Cerro Paranal, Chile, will chat live via Skype from the Very Large Telescope (VLT) to discuss how the placement of observatories in Chile by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is helping to revolutionize astronomical techniques.
Event Partners
For this event the Adler has partnered with Chicago-area institutions including The Field Museum, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Other event partners include Casa Mexico-USA, Aeromexico, Direccion General de Divulgacion de la Ciencia, Evanston Public Library, European Chocolate, Rosa's Horchata, the Mexican Tourism Board and Taco Veloz. "Mi Galaxia es Su Galaxia is a grassroots community effort led by the Adler Planetarium and made possible by the tireless efforts of Latino community members and supporters," said Isabel Carrera, Casa Mexico-USA, Education programs director. "This event is the first of many efforts across numerous institutions that will address the current needs of the Latino community."Learn more >>

Statistics Colloquium: Josh Frieman, Fermilab and the University of Chicago, "Probing Cosmic Acceleration with the Dark Energy Survey: Statistical Challenges and Big Data in Cosmology"
March 10, 2014 | 4:00 PM | Eckhart 133, 5734 S. University Avenue | Event
Event
The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2011 was awarded for the discovery that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. Yet the physical origin of cosmic acceleration remains a mystery. The Dark Energy Survey (DES) aims to address the questions: why is the expansion speeding up? Is cosmic acceleration due to dark energy or does it require a modification of Einstein's General Relativity? DES is addressing these questions by carrying out a cosmological survey of 200 million galaxies over 1/8th of the sky using a new, 570-megapixel, digital camera on a 4-meter telescope in Chile over the next several years. I will overview the DES project, which achieved 'first light' in September 2012 and which just finished its first survey season last month, and present some early results. In the process, I will discuss some of the "Big Data" challenges in processing and analyzing the data and highlight a number of the statistical methods being employed to extract useful cosmological information (machine learning, spatial N-point clustering statistics, cluster-finding algorithms, Bayesian classification, MCMC, etc).

BICEP2 extravaganza
March 19, 2014 | 2:00 PM | KPTC 106 | Event
BICEP2 extravaganza
Event
2-2:45 pm, KPTC 106
CMB/Inflation tutorial by Wayne Hu (for graduate students and other interested individuals)
3-4 pm, KPTC 106
Special KICP colloquium: Exciting results from BICEP2 by Clem Pryke, Chris Sheehy and Abigail Vieregg
4-5 pm, LASR conference room
Wine & Cheese celebration and discussion


Inflation MA meeting
April 3, 2014 | 9:00 AM | LASR conference room | Workshop
Workshop
Adgenda:
  • Quick Overview [John Carlstrom and Scott Dodelson]
  • Primordial Non-Gaussianity [Marilena LoVerde]
  • Theoretical Drivers/Milestones [Wayne Hu and Scott Dodelson]
  • B-Mode and/or other experiments [John Carlstrom and Abby Vieregg]
  • Ideas for implementing within KICP/PFC [John Carlstrom and Scott Dodelson]

79th Compton Lectures: Elise Jennings, "Cosmic Cartography - Exploring an Expanding Universe"
April 5 - June 7, 2014 | 11:00 AM | KPTC 106 | Lecture
Lecture
April 5, 2014 @ 11 am
April 12, 2014 @ 11 am
April 19, 2014 @ 11 am
April 26, 2014 @ 11 am
May 3, 2014 @ 11 am
May 10, 2014 @ 11 am
May 17, 2014 @ 11 am
May 31, 2014 @ 11 am
June 7, 2014 @ 11 am

The discovery that the expansion of the Universe is being accelerated by a mysterious force that cosmologists call "Dark Energy" has had an immense impact and is the most exciting area of research in Cosmology today. The 2011 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to three astronomers who found the first direct evidence of this acceleration by observing the brightness of exploding stars in the Universe. These astonishing observations have ignited a race towards an even bigger discovery - what is Dark Energy? Unravelling the nature of Dark Energy is one of the most important problems facing cosmologists and will answer profound questions about fundamental physics in our Universe.

In these lectures Dr. Jennings will describe the cutting-edge of current research which tries to make sense of Dark Energy and the accelerating expansion. Uncovering the nature of Dark Energy will require exciting cosmic detective work gathering evidence, formulating theories and testing new ideas in the largest laboratory available to us - the Universe. The lectures require no mathematical or scientific background; just bring your curiosity.

Broader Horizons: Kathryn Schaffer, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
April 7, 2014 | 11:00 AM | LASR conference room | Event
Broader Horizons: Kathryn Schaffer, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Event
Kathryn Schaffer completed her PhD at the University of Washington studying solar neutrino physics after primarily studying philosophy as an undergraduate. She came to Chicago as a KICP Fellow in 2005, working on data analysis for cosmic microwave background observations with the South Pole Telescope (SPT). In 2008, she decided to veer off course from the "research track," and discovered an unusual faculty position at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Since 2009, she has been full-time faculty at SAIC, teaching physics and cosmology to art and design students. She continues some research work as part of the SPT collaboration and also contributes to data analysis for nuclear non-proliferation research with a group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She will discuss the unusual career choices she has made, the pros and cons of taking a teaching-centered position (particularly one that involves teaching to non-science students), and some of the insights she has gained about science and science communication from working with and around artists.

Kavli Foundation Webcast: Secrets of the Universe's First Light
April 18, 2014 | 3:00 PM | Event
Kavli Foundation Webcast: Secrets of the Universe's First Light
Event
Webpage

THE FIRST PROOF that the universe underwent an almost unimaginably fast expansion when it was only a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second old has taken the world by storm. This sudden growth spurt was first theorized more than three decades ago. Yet only last month did astrophysicists reveal the first hard evidence that universe swelled from microscopic to cosmic size in less than the blink of an eye - an announcement so huge that some say dwarfs even the discovery of the Higgs boson.

On April 18, two of the scientists who made this groundbreaking discovery will come together for a conversation with two of the pioneering leaders of the field. Together, they will examine the detection of a distinctive, swirling pattern in the universe's first light, what the swirl tells us about that monumental growth spurt, and the many implications on the way we understand the universe around us.

About the Participants

JOHN CARLSTROM leads two experiments that study the universe's first light: the South Pole Telescope in Antarctica and the Sunyaev-Zeldovich Array in California. One of the foremost researchers in this field, Dr. Carlstrom is an expert at extracting information from patterns in light from the early universe. He is the Deputy Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics. Dr. Carlstrom is also the S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics at the University of Chicago.

WALTER OGBURN is a member of the BICEP2 team that made this important discovery. He also conducts work at The Keck Array, a suite of telescopes at the South Pole that also search for twists in the universe's first light. Dr. Ogburn is a postdoctoral researcher at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University.

MICHAEL TURNER (Moderator) is a theoretical cosmologist who works at the intersection of cosmology and elementary particle physics to understand the origin and evolution of the universe. Renowned for his work on inflationary cosmology, the characteristics of dark energy and the nature of dark matter, Dr. Turner is the Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics as well as the Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago.

ABIGAIL VIEREGG is an active member of the BICEP2 team. In addition, she works on The Keck Array and the ANITA experiment, which studies ultra-high energy cosmic neutrinos. A member of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, Dr. Vieregg is also assistant professor at the University of Chicago.

The Kavli FoundationLearn more >>

Spring 2014 Postdocs Symposium
April 25, 2014 | 9:30 AM | LASR conference room | Postdocs Symposium
Postdocs Symposium
Schedule:
9:30 - 9:35
Coffee / light breakfast
9:35 - 10:00
Richard Saldanha: Status of the DarkSide dark matter detector
10:00 - 10:25
Alvaro Chavarria: Status of DAMIC: A detector for low-mass WIMPs
10:25 - 10:50
Tongyan Lin: Flavored dark matter and the Galactic Center gamma-ray excess
10:50 - 11:00
Coffee break
11:00 - 11:25
Marilena LoVerde: Neutrinos and large-scale structure
11:25 - 11:50
Lindsey Bleem: Cluster cosmology with the South Pole Telescope
11:50 - 12:10
Lunch break
12:10 - 12:35
Stephen Hoover: Lensing B-mode measurements with SPTpol
12:35 - 1:00
Chris Sheehy: BICEP2 instrumental systematics

Workshop on CosmoSIS
May 15 - 16, 2014 | ACC 211 | Workshop
Workshop
Organizers: Sarah Bridle, Scott Dodelson, Douglas Rudd, Elise Jennings, Alessandro Manzotti, Joe Zuntz.

We are delighted that this meeting brings together such an enthusiastic group of scientists, and as a result we want to keep scheduled talks to a minimum, so we can all learn by doing, and so we can all shape the agenda according to the interests of the participants.

The talks on the first morning will be a brief overview of the system, and in the afternoon we propose to quickly move to active coding sessions with the past-cosmosis developers in the room (we hope by the end of the meeting all the participants will be cosmosis developers!).
The second morning will be in "unconference" format, where participants propose topics for small group discussion/talks/working, in real time.
Finally we would like to finish the workshop by bringing together some of the work that was started and making a plan for how to keep helping each other to get more out of cosmosis.
So do bring along your ideas for tools you would like to use, we're hoping you'll find cosmosis useful for writing your next (or current!) paper.

AGENDA
May 15, Thursday
9:00 Welcome - Josh Frieman
9:05 Talk: Overview and vision for CosmoSIS - Scott Dodelson
9:15 Hands-on: Installation of CosmoSIS, running the demos
10:00 Talk: Under the hood - Marc Paterno
10:10 Discussion
10:15 Coffee
10:45 Talk: How to add a new module: Worked example using CFHTLenS data - Joe Zuntz
10:55 Talk: How to add a new module: How to talk to the rest of CosmoSIS - Doug Rudd
11:05 Talk: How to add a new module: Where to put it, and how to get credit - Sarah Bridle
11:15 Discussion
11:30 Open floor: Brainstorm of new modules that could be added
11:45 Prioritisation of modules and getting into teams
12:15 Lunch
14:00 Hands-on: Writing new modules in teams
15:15 Open floor: Update on progress and sharing experiences so far
15:30 Coffee
16:00 Hands-on: Writing new modules continued
17:00 Open floor: Update on progress and goals for tomorrow
17:15 Planning for the unconference tomorrow
17:30 Close

May 16, Friday
9:00 Unconference (sessions schedule live on what people want to contribute/ hear about) (can include continuing working on modules)
10:15 Coffee
10:45 Unconference
12:00 Reality check: What can we realistically finish this afternoon?
12:30 Lunch
14:00 Hands-on: Finishing stuff
15:00 Reality check: What would we like to do going forward, after this meeting
15:30 Coffee
16:00 Hands-on: Last chance to finish stuff
17:00 Plans going forward

DES Supernova workshop
May 15 - 17, 2014 | Chicago, IL | Workshop
DES Supernova workshop
Workshop
The KICP at the University of Chicago will host a 3-day workshop dedicated to the Supernova program within the Dark Energy Survey (DES). This workshop will focus on
1) optimizing the strategy for the 2nd season (starting Fall 2014),
2) spectroscopic follow-up strategy, and
3) data analysis.

High-Energy Messengers: Connecting the Non-Thermal Extragalactic Backgrounds
June 9 - 11, 2014 | Chicago, IL | Workshop
High-Energy Messengers: Connecting the Non-Thermal Extragalactic Backgrounds
Workshop
Webpage

Photo Gallery
The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) at the University of Chicago is hosting a workshop this summer on the origin of the non-thermal extragalactic backgrounds. The goal is to bring together observers and theorists representing all the high-energy wavebands and particles: radio, GeV and TeV gamma rays, and extragalactic cosmic rays and neutrinos. Topics will include isotropic diffuse intensity measurements, resolved extragalactic source populations and their collective contributions below the individual source detection threshold, anisotropies, and propagation effects and secondary cascades.

Example focus questions:
* Is there a coherent scenario which explains all the current observations in terms of established extragalactic source populations?
* What are the next steps (experimental + theoretical) to move past current uncertainties/degeneracies?

We are planning a three-day workshop for about fifty participants convening on the campus of the University of Chicago. Each day will consist of plenary presentations with plenty of time for discussion in large and/or small groups.

Workshop Topics
- Radio, gamma rays, neutrinos, UHECRs
- Isotropic diffuse intensity measurements
- Resolved extragalactic source populations and their collective contributions below the individual source detection threshold
- Anisotropies
- Propagation effects and secondary cascadesLearn more >>

Summer School on Education and Outreach
June 16 - 27, 2014 | Chicago, IL | Summer School
Summer School on Education and Outreach
Summer School
Webpage

Photo Gallery
The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) at the University of Chicago will host a Summer School on Education and Outreach from June 16 to June 27, 2014.

This two-week summer school will immerse early career researchers in education and outreach (E&O) and allow them to gain experience and exposure to best practices by working with other scientists, E&O professionals, and museum staff on real projects. The core of the summer school will be a one-week practicum where students will be embedded in an existing E&O program and work with their mentors to develop K-12 lab activities, museum programming, visualizations, or a citizen science activity. The school will also provide a concise introduction to E&O basics through lectures and panel discussions on key topics (e.g., National Science Foundation, NSF, broader impacts), case studies of exemplary programs (e.g., the Brain Scoop), and field trips to Chicago area institutions including the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry (MSI), the Digital Media Lab/YOUmedia and the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum. Because communication is central to effective E&O (and science), the school will kick-off with a special one-day science communication workshop presented by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. The school will culminate with presentations by the participants on the results of their practicum experiences to their peers and a panel of E&O experts and faculty from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).Learn more >>

Eric Baxter, "Measuring Gravitational Lensing of the Cosmic Microwave Background by Galaxy Clusters"
July 18, 2014 | 11:00 AM | TAAC 67 | PhD Thesis Defense
PhD Thesis Defense

Renewable Energy: Back to the Sun, Yerkes Summer Institute
August 10 - 16, 2014 | Yerkes Observatory, Williams Bay, WI | Yerkes Institute
Renewable Energy: Back to the Sun, Yerkes Summer Institute
Yerkes Institute
Photo Gallery
Instructors: Louis Abramson, Andrew Belcher, Walter Glogowski, Chen He, Ross Cawthon, Randy Landsberg, Samuel Meehan, Kyle Story, and Kat Ziegler.

The 2014 KICP Yerkes Summer Institute explored different aspects of renewable energy. The "Biofuels: The Green Machine" lab investigated photosynthesis as well as producing biodiesel and ethanol. The "Catching Sunlight: Solar Cells" laboratory involved the students constructing solar cells that utilized berry juice and then testing the effects of lighting conditions on the electricity production of commercial photovoltaic cells. "A Wind Ensemble: Motors and Generators" explored the construction of horizontal axis wind turbines and Savonius turbines and then hydroelectric generators. Evenings were devoted to examining the night sky with the observatory telescopes and to a game of energy Jeopardy.

Status and Future of Inflationary Theory
August 22 - 24, 2014 | Chicago, IL | Workshop
Status and Future of Inflationary Theory
Workshop
Webpage

The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) at the University of Chicago is hosting a workshop this summer on inflationary theory. The goal is to gather a small group of researchers working in inflationary cosmology for several days of informal presentations and discussion relating to the status of theories of the inflationary universe. Topics of particular focus are model building, challenges for inflationary theories, connections to fundamental physics, and prospects for refining our understanding with future datasets. This meeting is a satellite conference of COSMO 2014. The meeting will be complementary to the COSMO conference in that it will be small, informal, and relatively narrow in scope.Learn more >>

COSMO-2014: International Conference on Particle Physics and Cosmology
August 25 - 29, 2014 | Chicago, IL | Workshop
COSMO-2014: International Conference on Particle Physics and Cosmology
Workshop
Webpage

Photo Gallery
The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) at the University of Chicago will host the International Conference on Particle Physics and Cosmology (COSMO 2014) on August 25-29, 2014, held at the University of Chicago's Gleacher Center.Learn more >>

International conference: "Type Ia Supernovae: progenitors, explosions, and cosmology"
September 15 - 19, 2014 | Chicago, IL | Workshop
International conference: "Type Ia Supernovae: progenitors, explosions, and cosmology"
Workshop
Webpage

The Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA), the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP), and the Flash Center for Computational Science at the University of Chicago will host an International conference on the observations and simulations of thermonuclear "Type Ia Supernovae: progenitors, explosions, and cosmology" on on September 15-19, 2014. The conference will be held at the University of Chicago's Kersten Physics Teaching Center (KPTC).

Conference Topics:
* Progenitors, rates, and pre-explosion physics
* Explosion mechanisms and simulations: mergers, double detonations, single degenerates, sub-chandra's, and failed explosions
* Exceptional quality data: 2011fe, STIS UV
* Thermonuclear weirdos, SNIax, the fast and the furious
* Nucleosynthetic yields from supernovae and their effect on galaxy chemical compositions
* Host galaxy <-> luminosity relationship
* Radiation transport for SNIa
* Data-driven models for SNIa lc+spec
* SNIa and cosmology ChallengesLearn more >>

"Evolving Universe", Short Course for Museum & Planetarium Staff
September 21 - 23, 2014 | Chicago, IL | Cosmology Course
"Evolving Universe", Short Course for Museum & Planetarium Staff
Cosmology Course
Webpage

Photo Gallery
In our eighth short course KICP researchers will share the most current research about the cosmos focused on the theme of change and evolution. The course will feature a practicum, where teams of participants develop sky show presentations, which will be juried on the final day.

Who Should Attend: Museum & Planetarium Staff
What to Expect:
- A better understanding of the BIG Picture of cosmology
- To meet and talk with researchers at the forefronts
- To visit the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum to see innovative ways to bring current cosmology into a museum
- Practicum sessions that will allow you test drive programming ideas developed during the course
- Tools and resources to bring forefront research into your home institution

Course Description The heavens fixed no more. Discoveries made over the past decade have revealed that the Universe and objects within are changing on timescales from shorter than a microsecond to longer than a billion years. From our own solar system and other planetary systems to stars, galaxies and clusters of galaxies astronomers are chronicling an evolving and evermore interesting universe with their sophisticated instruments.

Though astronomers since antiquity have realized that new objects sometimes appear in the night sky, they considered the cosmos to be timeless and unchanging. Even as recently as the 1920s, astrophysicists had difficulty comprehending a universe that was not eternal. Now we know differently. Change is the rule. Planets form and orbit other stars; stars explode in violent supernovas; galaxies and black holes merge; and the Big Bang set it all in motion.

Astronomers now regularly witness many of these phenomena -- fleets of space satellites and ground based telescopes monitor the sky in real time, detecting transient events like solar flares, gamma ray bursts and supernovae within hours. Telescopes in Antarctica are mapping the spacetime ripples from the Big Bang, the Universe's most dramatic period of evolution. These events let us observe new physics in extreme conditions which are only ever reproduced on Earth in massive computer simulations revealing how galaxies collide and stars explode.Learn more >>

KICP Welcome Event and Jamboree
September 29, 2014 | 2:30 PM | LASR | Event
KICP Welcome Event and Jamboree
Event
* 2:30 - 4:00 KICP Jamboree (LASR Conference)
* 4:00 - 6:00 BBQ (LASR North Lawn)

The purpose of the Jamboree is to allow all of KICP members who are currently conducting research to briefly introduce themselves and their work to the entire KICP community. This includes all Senior Members, Senior Researchers, Fellows, and Associate Fellows. Because we have a lot of members and limited time, the jamboree will take the following, tightly controlled, format:
* Each Senior Member will receive 90 seconds and be allowed 1 or 2 (no more!) powerpoint slides to briefly introduce themselves and their research.
* All Fellows, Associate Fellows, and Senior Researchers will receive 60 seconds and 1 powerpoint slide.
* We would also like to request that KICP Graduate Students briefly introduce themselves.

80th Compton Lectures: Tim Linden, "Shining Light on the Dark Side of the Universe"
October 4 - December 13, 2014 | 11:00 AM | KPTC 106 | Lecture
Lecture
October 4, 2014 @ 11 am
October 11, 2014 @ 11 am
October 18, 2014 @ 11 am
October 25, 2014 @ 11 am
November 1, 2014 @ 11 am
November 8, 2014 @ 11 am
November 15, 2014 @ 11 am
November 22, 2014 @ 11 am
December 13, 2014 @ 11 am

Everything you see around you -- the chair you are sitting on, the grass beneath your feet, and the air you breathe, has a common feature. These objects emit and absorb light. This feature enables us to see, hear, touch, taste and smell the world around us. However, astronomers have discovered over the last 40 years that most of the 'stuff" in the universe does not actually interact with light! An astounding 95% of the universe's matter and energy takes an invisible form that cannot be explained by any of the currently known particles. Now, the hunt is on to uncover the nature of these novel substances, aptly named "dark matter" and "dark energy".

In these lectures, I will describe the cutting edge research which aims to understand the nature of dark matter and dark energy. This exciting field spans from observatories placed deep under the ice at the South Pole, to particle detectors on board the International Space Station, to simulations running on some of the world's largest supercomputers. Revealing the dark side of the universe will reshape our understanding of both the history and future of the universe, as well as our place within it.

Nicole Fields, "CosI: Development of a Low Threshold Detector for the Observation of Coherent Elastic Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering"
October 8, 2014 | 4:00 PM | ACC 211 | PhD Thesis Defense
Nicole Fields, "CosI: Development of a Low Threshold Detector for the Observation of Coherent Elastic Neutrino-Nucleus Scattering"
PhD Thesis Defense
PhD Committee Members: Juan Collar, Paolo Privitera, Carlos Wagner, David Biron

"Nicole's thesis describes the development of a detector capable of measuring the process of coherent elastic scattering of neutrinos off nuclei. This is the same process expected to mediate dominant interactions from WIMP dark matter candidates. First proposed 40 years ago, it hasn't been experimentally confirmed yet. Nicole's thesis discusses a full feasibility study with a prototype, and the installation of the detector at the SNS source in Oak Ridge National Laboratory".
- Juan I. Collar, PhD advisor

Thesis Abstract: I present the development of an experimental setup designed to measure CENNS (coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering), a process that has never been experimentally observed. CosI (Coherent Neutrino Scattering with Cesium Iodide) uses a sodium doped cesium iodide detector intended to be able to observe CENNS at the SNS (Spallation Neutron Source) in Oak Ridge, TN. This thesis describes the experimental design and construction of the CosI apparatus, while sited at the University of Chicago. This thesis also presents the screening of materials for radioactivity in conjunction with simulations of the background contributions from various experimental components to CosI. Background measurements were performed at the University of Chicago with a 2 kg prototype CosI crystal, and those results are presented here. I also present neutrino signal calculations for the full size 15 kg CosI crystal which is to be installed at the SNS. Finally, the feasibility of a CENNS detection at the SNS using the CosI apparatus is discussed.

This thesis also makes a contribution to the ongoing search for WIMP (weakly interacting massive particle) dark matter. I present a data-driven method for applying a surface event correction to CoGeNT (Coherent Germanium Neutrino Technology) data. After applying this correction, I then calculate new dark matter limits using the 807 day CoGeNT data set. In addition, I also perform a two dimensional maximum likelihood analysis of low energy CDMS (Cryogenic Dark Matter Search) data. The maximum likelihood analysis reveals a strong preference for a population of nuclear recoil events in the CDMS data set.

2014 KICP GLPA Workshop: Swirls in the Sky the Science Behind the Headlines: BICEP2, B-modes and Observing from the South Pole
October 30, 2014 | Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana | Workshop
2014 KICP GLPA Workshop: Swirls in the Sky the Science Behind the Headlines: BICEP2, B-modes and Observing from the South Pole
Workshop
Webpage

Lindsey Bleem, Jason Henning, & Randall H. Landsberg

The goals of this workshop are to demystify the recent front page news about the detection of B-mode polarization in measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and to enable participants to craft a "science minute" presentation applicable to their home institution. A concise science overview talk will be followed by a break out session where teams will sketch out a "science minute" and then present their ideas to the other participants and the scientific experts. We will explore why the South Pole is the best place on earth for CMB observations, the different flavors of B-modes (or "swirls") encoded in the CMB's polarization, and the profound impact that these observations may have on our understanding of the Universe and inflation.Learn more >>

Alan Zablocki, "Constraining Neutrinos and Dark Energy with the Angular Clustering of Galaxies in the Dark Energy Survey"
November 11, 2014 | 12:00 PM | TAAC 67 | PhD Thesis Defense
Alan Zablocki, "Constraining Neutrinos and Dark Energy with the Angular Clustering of Galaxies in the Dark Energy Survey"
PhD Thesis Defense
PhD Committee members: Joshua A. Frieman, Scott Dodelson, Wayne Hu, Don York

"Over the last decade, cosmological observations have placed increasingly stringent upper bounds on the masses of neutrinos, while observations of neutrino oscillations imply a lower bound. Alan's thesis provides a detailed forecast of the constraints that the Dark Energy Survey (DES) will be able to place on neutrino mass in the next few years, accounting for uncertainties in dark energy and in the relative amplitude of galaxy clustering. He finds that DES has a good chance of shedding light on the pattern of neutrino masses (the mass hierarchy), an exciting possibility. His results will be of broad interest to cosmologists."
- Joshua A. Frieman, PhD advisor

Thesis Abstract: We determine the forecast errors on the absolute neutrino mass scale and the equation of state of dark energy by combining synthetic data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) and the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Planck surveyor. We use angular clustering of galaxies for DES in 7 redshift shells up to $zsim 1.7$ including cross-correlations between different redshift shells. We study models with massless and massive neutrinos and three different dark energy models: lcdm ($w=-1$), wCDM (constant $w$), and waCDM (evolving equation of state parameter $w(a)=w_0 + w_{a}(1-a)$). We include the impact of uncertainties in modelling galaxy bias using a constant and a redshift-evolving bias model. For the $Lambda$CDM model we obtain the best upper limit for the sum of neutrino masses from DES+Planck of $Sigma m_ u < 0.08$ eV (95\% C.L.) for a fiducial mass of $Sigma m_ u = 0.047$ eV, assuming perfect knowledge of galaxy bias. For the wCDM model the limit is $Sigma m_ u < 0.10 $ eV. For a wCDM model where galaxy bias evolves with redshift the upper limit on the sum of neutrino masses increases to 0.19 eV. The upper limit on $Sigma m_ u$ does not change much when we allow $w$ to vary with redshift, once we include a redshift-evolving galaxy bias model, with a limit of $Sigma m_ u < 0.20$ eV. DES will be able to place competitive upper limits on the sum of neutrino masses of 0.1-0.2 eV and could therefore strongly constrain the inverted mass hierarchy of neutrinos. In a wCDM model the 1$sigma$ error on constant $w$ is $Delta w= 0.03$ from DES galaxy clustering and Planck. Allowing $Sigma m_ u$ as a free parameter increases the error on $w$ by a factor of $sim$2, with $Delta w=0.06$. In a waCDM model, in which the dark energy equation of state varies with time, the errors are $Delta w_0 = 0.2$ and $Delta w_a = 0.42$. Including neutrinos and redshift dependent galaxy bias increases the errors to $Delta w_0 = 0.35$ and $Delta w_a = 0.89$. The resulting uncertainty in galaxy bias parameters varies between 3-5 \% for all our cosmological models that include massive neutrinos.

Broader Horizons: Ali Vanderveld, Data Scientist at Groupon
November 18, 2014 | 4:00 PM | LASR conference room | Event
Broader Horizons: Ali Vanderveld, Data Scientist at Groupon
Event
Ali Vanderveld received her PhD in Physics from Cornell University in 2007, focusing on theoretical cosmology. After two postdocs, first at Caltech and then at KICP, she fell in love with Chicago and wanted to try something new. As such in 2013 she obtained a data scientist position at Groupon, where she now uses the same skills and tools that she once used to study the Universe to study the world of ecommerce. Her work involves answering complex questions with massive heaps of historical data, along with using machine learning techniques to optimize the business. She will discuss the pros and cons of this career change, the day-to-day life of a data scientist in tech, and how one might prepare to make such a transition.

Fall 2014 Postdocs Symposium
December 5, 2014 | 9:30 AM | LASR conference room | Postdocs Symposium
Postdocs Symposium
Schedule:
9:30 - 9:35
Coffee / light breakfast
9:35 - 10:00
Elise Jennings
10:00 - 10:25
Vinu Vikram
10:25 - 10:50
Daniel Scolnic
10:50 - 11:00
Coffee break
11:00 - 11:25
Jason Henning
11:25 - 11:50
Benjamin Farr
11:50 - 12:10
Lunch break
12:10 - 12:35
Jason Gallicchio
12:35 - 1:00
TBA

Robotics, Telescopes and S.T.E.A.M., Yerkes Winter Institute
December 27 - 29, 2014 | Yerkes Observatory, Williams Bay, WI | Yerkes Institute
Robotics, Telescopes and S.T.E.A.M., Yerkes Winter Institute
Yerkes Institute
Photo Gallery
Instructors: Julieta Aguilera, Walter Glogowski, Chen He, Randy Landsberg, Ian Remming, Ted Ressel, Richard Saldanha, Erik Shirokoff, Alanna Simone.

The Yerkes Winter Institute (YWI) is a three-day residential science immersion experience held at the historic Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. It offers high school students in the Space Explorers Program the chance to delve into STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) through experiments, nighttime telescope observing and by working side-by-side with practicing scientists. YWI 2014 continued the year-long theme of robotics, building on the fall quarter work on mechanics (e.g., levers and gears), and seeding the winter/spring quarter projects which will focus on programming and engineering challenges. The students cycled through three daytime labs in small groups devoting over three hours to each lab. Two labs utilized "Sphero", a small spherical commercial robot that can be programmed to move and display colors. One involved programming a Sphero to navigate a maze, while the other used them as a remote probe of surface variations, similar to how a robot might explore the surface of a distant planet. In the third lab the Space Explorers constructed simple insect-like bug-bots and engineered them to compete in a sprint and bot Sumo wrestling.
Evening activities included observing with the Yerkes telescopes and two creative S.T.E.A.M (Science Technology Engineering ART and Math, or STEM + Art) projects. Both involved using technology to make art, the first with long camera exposures and Sphero's controllable lights and the other with bug-bots and more traditional media (i.e., pens and paper). Celestial art was examined with the 24-inch telescope, which was used to observe distant red giant stars and star clusters. In addition to OSP staff, there were nine instructors: three senior members of KICP, an Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum staff member, a postdoctoral fellow, a public school teacher, an artist, and two graduate students. The Yerkes Winter Institute is one of two annual residential science immersion experiences that the Space Explorers participate in - the 2015 Yerkes Summer Institute is scheduled for August 2-8, 2015.