UMD Cosmology Conferenceggutowsk | May 31, 2010
Last week I got to work and after only 2 days was off to a conference. This time it was the Advances in Theoretical and Observational Cosmology meeting at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. Beth and I travelled together, although she left after one day and I stayed for two. Overall, I had a good time–the talks kept me engaged despite getting up very early and staying up later than I should have.
I met several people whose papers I’ve cited or read, including James Bullock, Fabio Governato, and Rosemary Wyse. I also met Joe Fowler of Princeton who knows Steve Boughn and Bruce Partridge, both Princeton alums and now professors (or in Bruce’s case professor emeritus) at Haverford. I also chatted with several other folks who gave talks and hung out with several UMD grad students doing physics and/or astronomy. It’s always interesting to hear about the projects grad students are involved in.
The conference had a much broader scope than I had anticipated, which is not at all surprising in hindsight. This meant a lot of the talks, particularly the theoretical ones, went a bit over my head. But in many cases I was able to follow along in a general sense and take notes which I followed up on later. In the end, I learned a lot about the larger context of the work I’m doing, from high redshift theoretical work to the near-field observational cosmology I’m used to.
I don’t have any cool pictures to share, but following in Maya and Oliver’s footsteps, a few highlights:
- There was sushi and shrimp cocktail at the reception the first night!
- I learned that the resolution of the Planck Observatory is 1 lunalapin (a unit of measure they made up). That’s equivalent to the body heat emitted by one rabbit on the moon. Get it?? (Hint: luna=moon, lapin=rabbit)
-I got a ride to the train station from Zackaria Chacko, particle physicist at UMD, after my taxi failed to show. I would’ve missed the train if it hadn’t been for his kindness! He also knows Stephon Alexander, a physics professor at Haverford, and is friends with a Bryn Mawr alum, so we bonded a bit.
I would count this conference as a successful experience. A lot of great science was presented and I had the opportunity to interact with several of the scientists behind it! Now it’s full speed ahead on my own work.