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KICP in the News


Archive: Newsletters

KICP Newsletter, Vol. 2 No. 2

June 27, 2005

Awards and Distinctions
Promotions and Departures
New Fellows at KICP
Completion of SZA and First Light
New on the KICP Website
Conferences and Workshops

It has been a while since the last new letter and many changes have taken place. Notably Bruce Winstein stepped down as Director of the KICP Physics Frontier Center and Stephan Meyer has taken over this position as of May 16th. Below are some highlights of the past 6 months and upcoming events.

Your comments and suggestions on this newsletter as well as contributions to future newsletter are welcome.

Best wishes,
Monica, Stephan & Helen

Awards and Distinctions

Congratulations to John Carlstrom for being awarded the 2005 Robertson Memorial lectureship "For his pioneering use of interferometry to measure the anisotropy and polarization of the cosmic microwave background and its distortion due to intervening hot cluster gas."

John Carlstrom was also awarded the Magellanic Premium "For his role in measuring the anisotropy in the cosmic microwave background, and especially for his use of instruments based at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station. This work uses the properties of one of the very harshest and most remote of places on the earth's surface to measure the state of our universe, very long ago."

Congratulations to Nicolas Busca for receiving the Gaurang and Kanwal Yohd Prize which is given to a graduate student in the Physics Department for outstanding work in experimental Physics.

Promotions and Departures

Congratulations to our KICP Fellows,

  • Thushara Perera has accepted a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Massachusetts starting September 2005.
  • Erin Sheldon has accepted a Postdoctoral position at New York University starting Fall 2005.
  • Andrew Sonnenschein has received the prestigious Wilson Fellowship at FNAL and began this position in May 2005.
  • Tokonatsu Yamamoto has been promoted to Research Scientist in the Enrico Fermi Institute and will continue to be a key member of the Chicago Auger analysis group.

We are very proud of our students who are moving on either to other positions in Academia or elsewhere. Below is an incomplete list of departing students.

Graduate Students:

  • Stelios Kazantzidis (Visiting Grad) will accept a KIPAC Fellowship at Stanford University in the Fall.
  • Daisuke Nagai is graduating this summer. He will start a new position in the Theoretical Astrophysics and Relativity (TAPIR) group at Caltech as a prize fellow.
  • Iro Tasitsiomi will be graduating this year and starting in September she will be a Lyman Spitzer Fellow at Princeton.

Undergraduate Students:

  • Joe Bolte graduated this June and soon after will be joining the Chile-Chicago Materials Collaboration.
  • Maire Daly graduated this June and will be attending graduate school at Case Western Reserve University.
  • David Miller graduated this June and his immediate plan is to work with the ATLAS collaboration at the LHC at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. After that he will be attending graduate school at Stanford with the help of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.
  • Kevin O'Sullivan graduated this June and will attend graduate school at Stanford in the Fall.
  • Matthew Szydagis graduated this June and will be attending graduate school at the University of Chicago.

New Fellows at KICP

We have several new Fellows arriving this Summer and Fall.

  • Clarence Chang: from Stanford University arrived in Early June and will be working with John Carlstrom on SPT.
  • Simon DeDeo: theorist from Princeton University is arriving October 15th.
  • Daniel Kapner: experimentalist from the University of Washington, Seattle will arrive July 1st.
  • Jeffrey McMahon: experimentalist from Princeton University, will arrive in September.
  • Kathryn Miknaitis: experimentalist from the University of Washington, Seattle is arriving late in the summer.
  • Vasiliki Pavlidou: theorist from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will arrive late in the summer.
  • Konstantinos Tassis: theorist from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will be working with Andrey Kravtsov.
  • Jeremy Tinker: theorist from Ohio State University, will be working with Andrey Kravtsov.

Completion of SZA and First Light

The Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Telescope Array consisting of 8 telescopes was completed this past year and now fully functional. The team is working on calibration and data reduction tests. The first cluster detected by this array in SZ is Abell 1914. The initial SZE survey will begin shortly.

New on the KICP Website

Institute Highlights

We hope you have noticed the new Institute Highlights on the KICP web page. The three most recent highlights have been written by our graduate students:

Jennifer Chen prepared the piece on "Our Universe and the Forward March of Time" which describes her recent publication with Sean Carroll. Daisuke Nagai prepared the piece "Modeling Formation of Galaxy Clusters" describing the work that forms a significant part of his dissertation and Sarah Hansen prepared the piece "From 6th Grade to the CMB" which describes her experience with the Space Explorers Outreach program.

We encourage all graduate students and postdocs to consider the possibility of writing a similar short highlight when you or your group have a result that you think is worth highlighting. You do not need to have any experience with creating webpages. All we need are text and images which can be cut and pasted into a web-based form. Please email Monica ( or Helen ( if you would like to contribute an Institute highlight.


Leader of the COUPP @ KICP: Prof. Juan I. Collar

The COUPP (Chicagoland Observatory for Underground Particle Physics) Project has a new website. COUPP is a new experimental effort to search for particle dark matter. The Collar's group field of interest is non-accelerator particle physics, including low-background techniques and astroparticle physics. Most of the research projects presently undertaken by the group are in one way or another devoted to searching for astroparticles, new or old: neutrinos, axions, and WIMPs (Weakly Interactive Massive Particles).
The site was created by KICP webdeveloper Elena Galtseva.


Leader of the QUIET @ KICP: Prof. Bruce D. Winstein

QUIET (Q/U Imaging ExperimenT) is a collaboration of Chicago with Princeton, Caltech, JPL, Columbia and Miami. QUIET proposes to make very sensitive measurements of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation, using the technology of coherent correlation polarimeters. It takes advantage of a breakthrough developed at JPL for the packaging of the polarimeters ("radiometer on a chip") which allows their mass production so that thousands of detectors can be used.

This website is currently under review. For a preview of the QUIET's new website go to QUIET. The site was created by KICP webdeveloper Elena Galtseva.


Leader of the SPT @ KICP: Prof. John E. Carlstrom

South Pole Telescope: A new 10 meter diameter telescope is being constructed for deployment at the NSF South Pole research station. The telescope is designed for conducting large-area millimeter and sub-millimeter wave surveys of faint, low contrast emission, as required to map primary and secondary anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background. The SPT is a collaboration between the U of Chicago, UC Berkley, Case Western Reserve University, U of Illinois, and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and its primarily funded thought NSF OPP.

This website is still under construction but a preview is available at SPT. The site is created by KICP webdeveloper Elena Galtseva.

Conferences and Workshops

Future events:

Some Past Events:

Yerkes Summer Institute (YSI), August 6 - 12, 2005 @ Yerkes Observatory

In honor of the World Year of Physics, the theme of YSI 2005 will be "The Nature of Light". An initial list of laboratories that the Space Explorers will tackle includes: Measuring the Speed of Light With a TV, The Photoelectric Effect, Doppler Shift, and Spectral Line Broadening of Extragalactic Objects (PM) and "Observing Variable Objects (PM)".

Contact Randy Landsberg (E-mail: if you have questions or are interested in being involved. See what YSI is like at: Yerkes Summer Institute, 2004.

Big Bang & Beyond, 21st Century Cosmology, September 23 - 25, 2005

This intensive Short Course for Planetarium Staff is the third in the series. It will establish the framework of standard Big-Bang cosmology and provide insights into recent discoveries into its inner workings. Dragan Huterer, Stephan Meyer, Wayne Hu and Randy Landsberg are the course directors. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to participate in the discussions and break out sessions.

For more information contact Randy Landsberg (E-mail: or go to: Big Bang & Beyond, 21st Century Cosmology.

KICP Inaugural Symposium "New Views of the Universe", December 8 - 13, 2005

The symposium is being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago. On Thursday, December 8th there will be a welcoming reception, Friday plenary talks and a dinner in honor of what would have been the 60th anniversary of David Schramm's birth. Saturday, Sunday & Monday mornings are scheduled for plenary seminars, the afternoon will be the parallel sessions, Sunday the 11th is the banquet and on Tuesday morning are the closing plenaries. A final schedule will be circulated soon.

Gadgets & Gizmos at the January AAS Meeting (San Diego)

Randy Landsberg and Mark SubbaRao presented KICP research in 3D interactive format on the COSMUS-GeoWall throughout the 205th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society in San Diego, CA as part of the Gadgets & Gizmos Session. Hundreds of astronomers had the chance to fly through SDSS data, explore ultra high-energy cosmic rays, and observe dark matter as it evolved. Highlights included expert commentary by David Barnhill (Auger project) and Josh Frieman (SDSS). See all the COSMUS visuals (2D).

Maximo Ave, Dinoj Surendran, Tokonatsu Yamamoto, Randy Landsberg, and Mark SubbaRao created the following visualizations of showers created using Sergio Sciutto's AIRES package. The AIRES source code was modified so it output intermediate particle positions, and these were then processed with a Perl script to Partiview format.

Visualization of Astrophysical Data: Bringing Together Science, Art, & Education, May 25 - 27, 2005

The KICP hosted a workshop that brought together astrophysicists, visualizers, and educators to discuss the current status and to debate the future direction of astronomical visualization as a tool for research, education, and public outreach. The workshop website will have some of the presentations and and links to vizualizations. (Most of the talks have been published at the non-public site). The workshop was organized by Randy Landsberg (KICP & COSMUS), Josh Frieman (KICP), Andrew Hamilton (CU Boulder), Andrey Kravtsov (KICP), Mark SubbaRao (UChicago & Adler), Alex Szalay (JHU).

Several participants at the meeting felt that this was the beginning of a new inter-disciplinary community of scientists and educators which has tremendous potential for providing new visual content to the public via museums and planetaria.

Why So Few Women in Science? Defining the Problem and Taking Action, May 20, 2005

The purpose of the symposium was twofold: first, to educate and update the university community, including faculty, administrators and students, on the issues and research surrounding the problem of the severe under-representation of women in science (in particular the physical sciences), and second, to motivate concrete actions to address this problem at the University of Chicago. The speakers included Rachel Ivie (AIP), Kimberlee Shauman (UC, Davis ), Londa Schiebinger (Stanford University) and Timothy McKay (University of Michigan). This half day mini- symposium was co-sponsored by the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, the Enrico Fermi Institute, the James Franck Institute and the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics.The organizing Committee chaired by Evalyn Gates also included Sean Carroll Heinrich Jaeger and Eileen Sheu. The attendance at this very stimulating meeting was somewhat disappointing.

The full schedule of talks is available at: WIS-05. Copies of talks will eventually be linked to this website.

Archive: KICP Newsletters

2004: vol.1 No.3, April 1    vol.2 No.1, August 1
2003: vol.1 No.1, July 7    vol.1 No.2, October 27


UChicago Department of Physics
UChicago Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics
Enrico Fermi Institute

Other Kavli Institutes

Last update: June 27, 2005