KICP Postdocs Symposia
Spring 2019 Postdocs Symposium
June 21, 2019 | 12:15 PM | ERC 401
12:15PM - 1:00PM   Lunch

1:00 - 1:30   Kirit Karkare
"High-Redshift Line Intensity Mapping with the SuperSpec On-Chip Spectrometer"
Tomographic line intensity mapping is a promising technique for measuring large-scale structure at redshifts higher than those accessible by traditional galaxy surveys. By detecting an emission line integrated over many faint sources, large cosmological volumes in three dimensions can be surveyed very quickly, potentially enabling access to orders of magnitude more modes for precision cosmology at z > 2. Targeting far-IR emission lines redshifted to the mm is particularly promising: they trace star formation in faint, early galaxies, and are detectable from the ground. But current mm-wave spectroscopic instruments do not yet have the sensitivity to detect these signals. SuperSpec is an on-chip mm-wave spectrometer that integrates the spectrometer and detector in just a few square cm of silicon. In this talk, I will describe the SuperSpec concept and our planned first deployment to the Large Millimeter Telescope this summer, where we will demonstrate on-sky performance by taking spectra of individual high-z galaxies. I will also discuss the potential for future SuperSpec instruments with an order of magnitude more sensitivity, and the cosmology and astrophysics that they would enable.

1:30 - 1:50   Amy Tang
"Nanofabrication 101"
Ever wonder how people make CCDs or bolometers? Computer chips inside your cellphone? How about Josephson junctions for making qubits? In this talk, I will give a brief overview on nanofabrication, the techniques used to make these extraordinary devices at an extraordinarily small scale. I will discuss the physics behind thin film deposition, lithography, and etching. Lastly I will present an example process flow for making kinetic inductance detectors for CMB.

1:50 - 2:10   Ryan McGeehan
"Design and fabrication of an on-chip spectrometer"
SuperSpec is a high sensitivity on-chip spectrometer for mm and sub-mm wave observations of high redshift dusty galaxies. The device deploys a filterbank architecture in which kinetic inductance detectors (KIDs) are coupled to resonant filters along a single microwave feedline. In this talk, I will discuss recent efforts to design and fabricate a new aluminum version of SuperSpec.

2:10 - 2:35   Karaoke Talk Meng-Xiang Lin (Hanjue's talk)
"The Galaxy-Halo Connection during the Epoch of Reionization with the CROC simulations"
We explore galaxy properties in the CROC simulation and show how star formation rates evolve and translate to the evolution of the stellar mass function as well as the UV luminosity function. We also use the relationship between the UV luminosity and halo mass in CROC to calculate the galaxy bias, or the excess clustering of galaxies compared with the underlying matter, and compare with observational results.

2:35PM - 3:00PM   Coffee break

3:00 - 3:25   Karaoke Talk Hanjue Zhu (Meng-Xiang's talk)
"Acoustic Dark Energy: Potential Conversion of the Hubble Tension"
We discuss the ability of a dark fluid becoming relevant around the time of matter radiation equality to significantly relieve the tension between local measurements of the Hubble constant and CMB inference, within the ΛCDM model. We show the gravitational impact of acoustic oscillations in the dark fluid balance the effects on the CMB and result in an improved fit to CMB measurements themselves while simultaneously raising the Hubble constant. The required balance favors a model where the fluid is a scalar field that converts its potential to kinetic energy around matter radiation equality which then quickly redshifts away. We derive the requirements on the potential for this conversion mechanism and find that a simple canonical scalar with two free parameters for its local slope and amplitude robustly improves the fit to the combined data by ∆χ2 ≈ 12.7 over ΛCDM. We uncover the CMB polarization signatures that can definitively test this scenario with future data.

3:25 - 3:55   Nadejda Marounina
"Internal Structure and CO2 Reservoirs of Habitable Waterworlds"
Water worlds are water-rich (>1% water by mass) exoplanets, that could form from volatile-rich material beyond the snow line but never attain masses sufficient to accrete or retain large amounts of H2/He nebular gas. This pathway for producing low-mass water-rich planets has played out as a robust prediction of planet formation simulations, leading to planets that could have a comet-like composition, with up to 50% of their mass constituted of astrophysical ices. If located at an appropriate orbital separation from their host star, water worlds may host a global surface water ocean. On the other hand, remnant cores of evaporated mini-Neptunes could be one of the dominant formation mechanisms for volatile-rich habitable zone planets around M dwarf stars. Habitable (liquid ocean-bearing) water worlds are especially timely because their larger sizes relative to terrestrial planets make them more amenable to observations with current and upcoming telescopes such as Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The classic calculations of the habitable zone consider Earth-like planets, where the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is stabilized by the carbonate-silicate cycle. Due to their important oceanic mass, the hydrostatic pressure at the oceanic floor of water worlds reach the stability field of high pressure polymorphs of water ice, hindering chemical interactions between the liquid water and the silicates. In the absence of a carbonate-silicate cycle, the solubility of CO2 in the ocean and the formation of CO2-rich clathrates determine the concentration of CO2 in the water world's atmosphere. We use GERG-2008 equation of state for CO2-H2O mixture and coupled models of planet interiors, clathrate formation, liquid-vapor equilibrium, and atmospheric radiative transfer to constrain the atmospheric and interior abundance of CO2, and corresponding habitable zone boundaries of water world exoplanets.

3:55 - 4:25   Cosmin Deaconu
"Radio Propagation in Ice, or: How I Learned to Start Worrying and Love FDTD"
Some of the experiments I work on (e.g. ANITA, ARA) try to detect the radio emission from ultra-high energy neutrinos interacting in polar ice. To understand our detector sensitivity, we have to to read glaciology papers and model the propagation of radio waves in ice. The detection of spooky "horizontal propagation," inexplicable by our simple models, has become surprising source of drama and intrigue in the in-ice radiodetection community. Can Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) simulations save the day? Might FDTD studies provide a path to a mundane explanation of the even spookier ANITA mystery events? What the heck is FDTD anyway? I will answer these important questions, or at least show some pretty animations.

4:25PM - 5:30PM   Reception

Related Links:
KICP Members: Cosmin Deaconu; Kirit S. Karkare
KICP Students: Meng-Xiang Lin; Ryan McGeehan; Amy Tang; Hanjue Zhu
Scientific projects: Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA)

Winter 2019 Postdocs Symposium
March 8, 2019 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401
12:00PM - 12:45PM   Lunch

12:45 - 1:00   Dimitrios Tanoglidis
"Shadows in the dark: searching for Ultra Diffuse Galaxies in the DES data"
Recent astronomical surveys have provided unprecedented sensitivity to extremely low surface brightness "ultra-diffuse" galaxies. These extreme galaxies have sizes comparable to that of the Milky Way (radii 1.5 -10 kpc), but stellar content ~1% of it (central surface brightness μ,0 ∼ 24 − 26 mag arcsec−2). This makes UDGs some of the most dark-matter-dominated systems known. It is currently unclear whether UDGs and more compact field dwarf galaxies have a common or whether their formation is fundamentally different. In this talk I will give a review of the current theoretical and observational literature and I will show how the Dark Energy Survey (DES) will be important for addressing the global distribution of environments for UDGs, as well as some preliminary results of this search.

1:00 - 1:30   Marco Raveri

1:30 - 2:00   Nesar Ramachandra
"Variational autoencoders for the emulation of cosmological functions"
Future cosmological surveys demand high precision requirements on the estimation of cosmological parameters. Substantial improvements on calibration have been achieved using fast emulators of cosmological functions. We present a novel approach to Gaussian process emulation by using an unsupervised learning algorithm of Variational Autoencoders. We compare it to the more classical principal component decomposition. A specific application of CMB power spectra is shown to achieve sub-percent level errors over wide ranges of cosmological parameters.

2:00 - 2:15   William Wolf
"Instabilities in Cosmological Models Beyond LCDM"
Explaining the observed accelerated expansion of our universe is an important challenge within the current theoretical framework of physics. This question has inspired the development of theories beyond the standard Lambda-CDM paradigm that invoke dynamical models of dark energy or more direct modifications of gravity. In this talk, I will discuss the presence of ghost, gradient, and tachyonic instabilities within these models and how they impact their viability. I will also look at how we can use canonical transformations to highlight the relationship between these three pathological instabilities.

2:15 - 2:30   Hanjue Zhu
"Cosmic Reionization On Computers: Reionization Histories of Present-day Galaxies"
The gas content in the present day intergalactic medium (IGM) between galaxies is highly ionized. The history and sources of this ionization is one of the outstanding question in studies of galaxy formation. One of the interesting topics in reionization studies is ionization histories of individual galaxies, including the Milky Way. We examine the reionization history of present-day galaxies in numerical simulations from the Cosmic Reionization On Computers project. We use three $40,h^{-1},{m Mpc}$ reionization simulations to study the neutral fractions at positions of particles that belong $z=0$ halos during rapid global reionization, $6lsim zlsim 9$. We find a systematic trend of reionization redshift with mass - present day halos with higher masses have earlier reionization times.

2:30 - 3:00   Reed Essick
"Non-parametric Inference with Gravitational-Waves and Other Things I think About"
I'll discuss a few uses for non-parametric inference within the context of well resolved Gravitational-Waves events that I'm currently working on, focusing on inferring the Equation of State of dense nuclear matter but also describing preliminary work on detecting anisotropic merger distributions. With the third observing run (O3) starting in April, I'll also discuss how this work connects to my general excitement and fear of the coming data.

3:00 - 3:30   Coffee break

3:30 - 4:00   Brian Nord
"AI in astrophysics and the ethics of AI applications"

4:00 - 4:15   Joao Caldeira
"Quantum Machine Learning for Astrophysics"
While the era of quantum supremacy is not upon us yet, recent developments make it clear that, like winter, it is coming. In this talk I will present preliminary results, roadblocks, and successes in training machine learning models for classification of astrophysical objects with quantum annealers. We hope that the lessons learned will prove useful as computers with more qubits become available.

4:15 - 4:30   Georgios Zacharegkas
"Galaxy-galaxy weak lensing with HOD"
One of the most powerful probes of the relation between dark matter halos and the galaxies they host is galaxy-galaxy weak lensing. Modeling this phenomenon requires very careful treatment of the various contributions to the final signal from central and satellite galaxies. At small scales the main contribution comes from matter distribution inside the lens dark matter halo. Correlations with neighboring halos start to dominate at large scales. We use the framework of the Halo Occupation Distribution (HOD) to fit the model to data and constrain the mass of the lens halo. Our data for the lenses consists of redMaGiC galaxies over a wide range of redshift, 0.2 < z < 0.8. We demonstrate that with our numerical tools we are able to constrain the model parameters and deduce the mass of the lens halo. The same tools can be applied to a wide variety of lenses, thus enabling us to explore the relation between dark matter and galaxies of different types.

4:30 - 5:00   Meng-Xiang Lin
"Separate universe and consistency relation beyond slow-roll inflation"
We clarify the difference between various gauge-invariant quantities typically used in inflation. We show that whereas inflationary consistency relations are calculated to the unitary curvature $zeta_u$, the separate universe condition is determined by the synchronous curvature $zeta_s$. Due to this difference, the separate universe is not enough to have consistency relations, which we illustrate with an explicit example. In addition, we show that the comoving curvature, typically used for evolving primordial perturbations after inflation, does not always coincide with the unitary curvature outside the horizon. This difference must be taken into account when translating inflationary quantities to initial conditions for the universe during radiation and matter domination.

5:00 - 5:30   Yu-Dai Tsai
"Multi-messenger Searches for Dark Matter: Quiet Kilonova, Light Black Hole, and Neutron Star Merger Distribution"
Dark matter-induced neutron star implosions could give astrophysical signatures including light (~ 1-2 solar mass) black hole mergers, quiet kilonova, and potentially, fast radio bursts. The implosions can significantly change the spatial distribution of the neutron star merger events in galaxies, allowing us to explore some dark matter parameter space 5 - 10 orders of magnitude in cross-section beyond the reach direct detection experiments. The implosions also explain peculiar pulsar distribution near the galactic center. We explore all these signatures and detail an updated search for kilonovae in the Dark Energy Survey and a Dark Energy Camera telescope proposal, partly motivated by finding a quiet kilonova. This work is based on arXiv:1706.00001 (PRD '18).

5:30 - 6:30   Reception

Related Links:
KICP Members: Joao Caldeira; Reed C. Essick; Marco Raveri; Yu-Dai Tsai
Scientific projects: Dark Energy Survey (DES); Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO)

Fall 2018 Postdocs Symposium
October 26, 2018 | 12:00 PM | ERC 401
12:00PM - 1:00PM   Lunch

1:00 - 1:30   Anne Gambrel

1:30 - 2:00   Yonatan (Yoni) Kahn
"Indirect detection of axion dark matter with neutron stars"
I will argue that axion dark matter may be detectable through narrow radio lines emitted from neutron stars. Neutron star magnetospheres host both a strong magnetic field and a plasma frequency that increases towards the neutron star surface. As the axions pass through the magnetosphere, they can resonantly convert into radio photons when the plasma frequency matches the axion mass, making the radio photon signal an analogue of indirect detection for axions. I will show sensitivity projection from a proposal recently submitted to the Green Bank radio telescope, which shows that a few hours of observation may provide sensitivity competitive with future ADMX runs in the mass range near 4 x 10-6 eV.

2:00 - 2:30   Dan Baxter
"Achieving Ultra-Low Background Detectors to Search for Dark Matter"
The quest to directly detect dark matter interactions has ushered in the era of ultra-low background experiments, able to search for unprecedentedly low event rates. This rapid advance in sensitive detector technologies must be matched by comparable advances in background controls and modeling. I will talk about some of the background controls being implemented today by various collaborations and show some clever new calibration techniques being used to better characterize detector performance.

2:30 - 3:00   David Martin
"The BEBOP radial velocity survey for circumbinary planets"
Planets orbiting two stars - circumbinary planets - are astrophysical gems. These triple systems expand our knowledge of both planet and binary formation, exhibit rapid, observable orbital dynamics and provide a unique observational probe of the habitable zone. However, our present knowledge is largely limited to a biased sample of a dozen transiting planets. I will demonstrate efforts to expand this field using radial velocities, by presenting the BEBOP survey. With over 7 years of HARPS and CORALIE data, we can reach a precision of a couple of metres per second. Using this, I will show work to answer fundamental questions about the circumbinary abundance, multiplicity and inclination distribution, with the latter being a key probe of various three-body dynamical processes. Applications will also be made to radial velocity reconnaissance of the future TESS and PLATO missions.

3:00 - 3:30   Coffee break

3:30 - 4:00   Colby Haggerty
"Relativistic Hybrid Simulations of Cosmic Ray Generation and Transport "
The generation and transport of Cosmic Rays (CR) is an inherently multiscale phenomenon. Linking the dynamics of a cold thermal background plasma with low density, relativistic CRs through the shared magnetic field requires modeling the physics of both populations. To better study these problems, we have developed a kinetic ion, fluid electron hybrid code to include relativistic ion dynamics (dHybridR). With dHybridR, we perform the first simulations of non relativistic collisionless shock, self-consistently accelerating relativistic ions. We document the effects of the transition of accelerated particles to relativistic velocities and we show that the shock develops a CR induced precursor which modifies the macroscopic shock quantities (i.e. compression ratio and shock speed). In addition to CR generation, we present simulations of CR transport and the associated streaming instabilities. We show that for weak CR currents, simulations initially agree with linear theory and that the thermal population is indirectly heated through landau damping.

4:00 - 4:30   Noah Kurinsky
"Challenges for Direct Detection of Electron-Recoiling Dark Matter"
I will give a brief overview of the measurement techniques and background challenges associated with the latest light dark matter experiments with a focus on the work being done in the Chicago area with DAMIC, SENSEI, and SuperCDMS, and discuss the path towards detecting fermionic dark matter down to the substructure limit (~4 keV). I will focus on the current limits set by semiconductor technologies, and then discuss how we improve the sensitivity of semiconductors and move below the eV-scale bandgaps. This talk will be part overview, part advertisement, and part crazy ideas.

4:30 - 5:00   Kimmy Wu

5:00 - 5:30   Christine Simpson
"Big challenges from little galaxies?"
I will give a brief overview of the challenges that dwarf and satellite galaxies present to LCDM and/or galaxy formation. I'll discuss the role simulations play in this area and what problems have been solved (some have!) and what issues remain. If there is any time left, I will discuss a few avenues forward for resolving these issues with numerical simulations and observations.

5:30 - 6:30   Wine & Cheese Reception

Related Links:
KICP Members: Daniel Baxter; Anne Gambrel; Yonatan Kahn; Noah Kurinsky; Christine Simpson; Kimmy (Wai Ling) Wu

Spring 2018 Postdocs Symposium
May 11, 2018 | 12:30 PM | ERC 401
Organizers: Chihway Chang, Marco Raveri

12:30 Lunch
13:00 Start of talks (5 x 10+5 min)
  • 13:00 - 13:15 Eric Oberla: Radio Arrays for Ultra High Neutrino Detection at the South Pole
  • 13:15 - 13:30 Rito Thakur: Playing with Sub-mm Photons
  • 13:30 - 13:45 Dan Scolnic: Host Galaxy Issues for Type Ia Supernova Cosmology
  • 13:45 - 14:00 Faustin Carter: Wirebonds? Really? For Ten Minutes?
  • 14:00 - 14:15 Chihway Chang: Cosmic Shear Archaeology
14:30 Coffe break
15:00 Other talks (5 x 10+5 min)
  • 15:00 - 15:15 Kimmy Wu: Fitting LCDM to SPT-SZ and SPTpol Data
  • 15:15 - 15:30 Andrew Long: It All Decays - The Depressing Fate of Life, the Universe, and Everything
  • 15:30 - 15:45 Ryan Thomas: Work on the DAMIC Project at Chicago
  • 15:45 - 16:00 Nicole Larsen: Mini-Broader Horizons Talk
16:15 Snacks and drinks

Related Links:
KICP Members: Ritoban Basu Thakur; Faustin Carter; Chihway Chang; Nicole Larsen; Andrew J. Long; Eric Oberla; Marco Raveri; Daniel M. Scolnic; Kimmy (Wai Ling) Wu
KICP Students: Ryan Thomas

Winter 2018 Postdocs Symposium
February 23, 2018 | 1:00 PM | ERC 401
Organizer: Christopher Tunnell

1:00 PM
2:00 PM
Lightning talks
3:40 - 4:00 PM
4:00 PM
5:00 PM
Dinner and networking/socializing

Related Links:
KICP Members: Christopher Tunnell

Fall 2017 Postdocs Symposium
October 20, 2017 | 9:30 AM | ERC 401
Organizer: Christopher Tunnell

09:30 AM
Andrew Long, "WIMPzillas through the Higgs Portal"
10:00 AM
Kimmy Wu, "Constraining Inflation with BICEP/Keck Array and the South Pole Telescope"
10:30 AM
Macarena Lagos, "Landscape of cosmological models"
11:00 - 11:25 AM
11:25 AM
Kirit Karkare, "Beam Systematics in Degree-Scale CMB Polarization Measurements"
11:55 AM
Reed Essick, "Challenges and opportunities from routine gravitational wave detections"
12:25 PM

Related Links:
KICP Members: Reed C. Essick; Kirit S. Karkare; Macarena Lagos; Andrew J. Long; Christopher Tunnell; Kimmy (Wai Ling) Wu
Scientific projects: BICEP2/The Keck Array/BICEP3; Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO); South Pole Telescope (SPT)

Spring 2017 Postdocs Symposium
May 25, 2017 | 10:30 AM | ERC 401
10:30 - 11:00
11:00 - 11:25
Jonathan Richardson, "Performance of the 40m Bent-Arm Holometer Interferometers"
11:30 - 11:55
Nadia Marounina, "Role of the global water ocean on the evolution of Titan's primitive atmosphere"
12:00 - 12:25
Dan Scolnic, "The LSST SNIa Revolution?"
12:30 - 1:30

Related Links:
KICP Members: Jonathan Richardson; Daniel M. Scolnic

Winter 2017 Postdocs Symposium
January 13, 2017 | 9:30 AM | ERC 401
Organizer: Ritoban Basu Thakur

Breakfast (continental breakfast)
Benjamin Montet - Characterizing Long-Term Stellar Variability with Kepler
Max Malacari - Using the atmosphere as a calorimeter: the atmospheric monitoring program at the Pierre Auger Observatory
break (coffee)
Ritoban Basu Thakur - Tales from the Pole: SPT3G update
Pete Barry - Instrumentation for next generation high z cosmology

Related Links:
KICP Members: Peter Barry; Ritoban Basu Thakur; Maximus Malacari
Scientific projects: Pierre Auger Observatory (AUGER); South Pole Telescope (SPT)

Fall 2016 Postdocs Symposium
December 2, 2016 | 9:30 AM | ERC 401
09:30 - 10:00
10:00 - 10:25
Ian Wisher, "The HELIX Detector"
10:25 - 10:50
Sebastian Bocquet, "Galaxy Cluster Cosmology with the South Pole Telescope: On multi-wavelength mass calibration"
10:50 - 11:10
11:10 - 11:35
Marco Raveri, "The Effective Field Theory approach to gravitation on cosmological scales"
11:35 - 12:00
Yuanyuan Zhang, "From galaxy evolution to cosmology: a couple of topics on galaxy cluster science with the Dark Energy Survey"
12:00 - 1:30

Related Links:
KICP Members: Sebastian Bocquet; Marco Raveri; Ian Wisher; Yuanyuan Zhang
Scientific projects: Dark Energy Survey (DES); South Pole Telescope (SPT)

Spring 2016 Postdocs Symposium
May 27, 2016 | 9:20 AM | ERC 401
Organizer: Jason Henning

9:20 - 9:50
9:50 - 10:15
Christopher Sheehy - "Delensing BICEP/Keck data with SPTpol and CIB"
10:15 - 10:40
Ben Farr - "Characterization of GW transients in Advanced LIGO"
10:40 - 11:00
Coffee Break
11:00 - 11:25
Jason Henning - "CMB Polarization from the 500 Square-Degree SPTpol Survey"
11:25 - 11:50
Richard Saldanha - "XENON1T: Status, Prospects, and Calibration"

Related Links:
KICP Members: Ben Farr; Jason Henning; Richard Saldanha; Christopher D. Sheehy
Scientific projects: BICEP2/The Keck Array/BICEP3; South Pole Telescope (SPT); XENON1T

Winter 2016 Postdocs Symposium
February 19, 2016 | 9:00 AM | ERC 401
Organizer: Hayato Motohashi

9:00 - 9:30
9:30 - 9:55
Elise Jennings, "Disentangling redshift-space distortions & nonlinear bias"
9:55 - 10:20
Faustin Carter, "Resonators, Transmission lines, and the South Pole Telescope 3G Upgrade"
10:20 - 10:45
Austin Joyce, "Gravity from the bottom up"
10:45 - 11:00
Coffee Break
11:00 - 11:25
Vinu Vikram, "A Measurement of the Galaxy Group-Thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich Effect Cross-Correlation Function"
11:25 - 11:50
Nan Li, "Applications of the Simulations of Gravitational Lensing in Cosmology"
11:50 - 12:15
Toshihiro Fujii, "UHECR Astrophysics: Present and Perspectives"

Related Links:
KICP Members: Faustin Carter; Toshihiro Fujii; Elise Jennings; Austin Joyce; Nan Li; Hayato Motohashi; Vinu Vikram

Fall 2015 Postdocs Symposium
October 30, 2015 | 9:00 AM | ERC 401
Organizers: Jason Henning, Silvia Galli, Hayato Motohashi

9:00 - 9:30
9:30 - 9:55
Adam Anderson: "Sterile neutrino searches with sounding-rocket-borne x-ray microcalorimeters"
9:55 - 10:20
Samuel Flender: "Simulations of the pairwise kinematic Sunyaev-Zeldovich signal"
10:20 - 10:45
Zhen Hou: "Study Gravitational Lensing of the Cosmic Microwave Background by Galaxy Clusters"
10:45 - 11:00
Coffee Break
11:00 - 11:25
Cosmin Deaconu: "Evaluating directional sensitivity of low-pressure CF4 dark matter Detectors"
11:25 - 11:50
Aurélien Benoit-Lévy: "Recent developments on CMB lensing"
11:50 - 12:15
David Staszak: "Measuring cosmic-ray electrons to TeV energies with VERITAS"

Related Links:
KICP Members: Adam Anderson; Cosmin Deaconu; Samuel Flender; Silvia Galli; Jason Henning; Zhen Hou; Hayato Motohashi; David Staszak
Scientific projects: Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS)

Spring 2015 Postdocs Symposium
June 5, 2015 | 9:00 AM | LASR conference room
Organizer: Christopher D. Sheehy

9:00 - 9:30
Coffee and Pastries
9:30 - 9:55
Hayato Motohashi - "Causal structure in self-accelerating massive gravity"
9:55 - 10:20
Dan Grin - "Ultra-light axions and the CMB"
10:20 - 10:45
Christopher Sheehy - "Ground based CMB spectral distortions"
10:45 - 11:00
Coffee Break
11:00 - 11:25
Marilena LoVerde - "Neutrino clustering in cold dark matter halos"
11:25 - 11:50
Adam Mantz - "Galaxy cluster grab-bag"

Related Links:
KICP Members: Daniel Grin; Marilena LoVerde; Adam Mantz; Hayato Motohashi; Christopher D. Sheehy

Winter 2015 Postdocs Symposium
March 19, 2015 | 9:00 AM | LASR conference room
Organizers: Christopher D. Sheehy, Bradford A. Benson, Tim Linden, Austin Joyce, Daniel Grin

9:00 - 9:30
9:30 - 9:55
Zhen Hou - "Reconstructing the cluster mass profile from CMB lensing"
9:55 - 10:20
Amy Bender - "SPT-3G readout electronics: design and commissioning"
10:20 - 10:45
Tongyan Lin - "Radiation from the dark sector"
10:45 - 11:00
Coffee Break
11:00 - 11:25
Ben Loer - "SuperCDMS status and plans"
11:25 - 12:15
Keith Bechtol and Alex Drlica-Wagner - "The search for Milky Way satellite galaxies: from optical to gamma rays"

Related Links:
KICP Members: Keith Bechtol; Amy Bender; Bradford A. Benson; Alex Drlica-Wagner; Daniel Grin; Zhen Hou; Austin Joyce; Tongyan Lin; Tim Linden; Christopher D. Sheehy
Scientific projects: Dark Energy Survey (DES); South Pole Telescope (SPT)

Fall 2014 Postdocs Symposium
December 5, 2014 | 9:30 AM | LASR conference room
Organizers: Daniel Grin, Christopher D. Sheehy, Austin Joyce, Tim Linden, Bradford A. Benson

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

Related Links:
KICP Members: Bradford A. Benson; Ben Farr; Jason Gallicchio; Daniel Grin; Jason Henning; Elise Jennings; Austin Joyce; Tim Linden; Daniel M. Scolnic; Christopher D. Sheehy; Vinu Vikram

Spring 2014 Postdocs Symposium
April 25, 2014 | 9:30 AM | LASR conference room
Organizer: Keith Bechtol

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

Related Links:
KICP Members: Keith Bechtol; Lindsey Bleem; Alvaro Chavarria; Stephen Hoover; Tongyan Lin; Marilena LoVerde; Richard Saldanha; Christopher D. Sheehy
Scientific projects: BICEP2/The Keck Array/BICEP3; Depleted Argon cryogenic Scintillation and Ionization Detection (DarkSide); South Pole Telescope (SPT)

Winter 2014 Postdocs Symposium
February 14, 2014 | 9:00 AM | LASR conference room
Organizer: Tongyan Lin

Symposium program:
9:00 - 9:30
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"

Related Links:
KICP Members: Toshihiro Fujii; Daniel Grin; Austin Joyce; Nan Li; Tongyan Lin; Russell Neilson; Douglas F. Watson

Fall 2013 Postdocs Symposium
November 15, 2013 | 9:30 AM | LASR conference room
Organizer: Keith Bechtol

Symposium program:

9:30 - 9:35
Coffee / Light Breakfast
9:35 - 10:00
Jeff Grube: "Improving the Performance of VERITAS"
10:00 - 10:25
Brett McArthur: "TeV Observations of Galactic objects with VERITAS"
10:25 - 10:50
Andrew McCann: "Tests of Fundamental Physics with Pulsars"
10:50 - 11:00
Coffee Break
11:00 - 11:25
Hayato Motohashi: "Cosmology in f(R) Gravity with Massive Neutrinos"
11:25 - 11:50
Adam Mantz: "Weighing the Giants: Galaxy Cluster Cosmology Anchored by Gravitational Lensing"
11:50 - 12:10
Lunch Break (Taco buffet)
12:10 - 12:35
Tim Linden: "Indirect Detection Signals from Self-Interacting Dark Matter"
12:35 - 1:00
Keith Bechtol: "Photometric Calibration and Finding Milky Way Substructures with the DES Stellar Catalog"

Related Links:
KICP Members: Keith Bechtol; Tim Linden; Adam Mantz; Andrew McCann; Hayato Motohashi
Scientific projects: Dark Energy Survey (DES); Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS)

Spring 2013 Postdocs Symposium
June 7, 2013 | 11:00 AM | LASR conference room
Organizer: Stephen Hoover

This quarter's Postdoc Symposium will be on June 7 at 11 AM.

The program:
11:00 - 11:25
Alvaro Chavarria: "DAMIC: Dark Matter in CCDs"
11:25 - 11:50
Tongyan Lin: "Model independent searches for dark matter at the LHC"
11:50 - 12:15
Clarence Chang: TBA
12:15 - 12:40
Yuko Kakazu: "Kinematics and metallicity studies of star-forming galaxies at z=0 -- 6"
12:40 - 1:05
Oscar Agertz: "Modeling star formation and feedback in galaxy formation simulations"

Related Links:
KICP Members: Oscar Agertz; Clarence L. Chang; Alvaro Chavarria; Stephen Hoover; Yuko Kakazu; Tongyan Lin

Winter 2013 Postdocs Symposium
March 15, 2013 | 9:30 AM | LASR conference room
Organizer: Reinabelle Reyes

This quarter's Postdoc Symposium will be on March 15, 9:30AM-12PM.

The program:
Stephen Hoover - Measuring the Polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background
Reina Reyes - Is LambdaCDM consistent with the Tully-Fisher relation
Suman Bhattacharya
Ali Vanderveld - Weak lensing with the Euclid mission
Peter Adshead

Lunch, followed by Friday noon seminar (Megan Eckart)

Related Links:
KICP Members: Peter Adshead; Suman Bhattacharya; Stephen Hoover; Reinabelle Reyes; Ali Vanderveld

Fall 2012 Postdocs Symposium
December 6, 2012 | 10:00 AM | LASR conference room
Organizer: Reinabelle Reyes

On Thursday 6 December, we will host the Fall 2012 Postdoc symposium in the LASR conference room. It will take place from 10AM pm to 12:30PM. After the talks, we will all have pizza for lunch.

(20-minute talk, with ~5 minutes for questions)
  • Keith Bechtol,"Contribution of Hadronic Processes to the Isotropic Diffuse Gamma-ray Background"
  • Doug Watson,"On the relation between satellite and central galaxies and their host dark matter halos since z=2"
  • Mark Wyman, "Massive gravity: solutions and perturbations"
  • Andrew McCann, "Giant Radio Pulses: A search for correlated incoherent emission"
  • Marilena LoVerde

Related Links:
KICP Members: Keith Bechtol; Marilena LoVerde; Andrew McCann; Reinabelle Reyes; Douglas F. Watson; Mark Wyman

Spring 2012 Postdocs Symposium
June 1, 2012 | 9:30 AM | LASR conference room
Organizers: Anupreeta More, Oscar Agertz, Ali Vanderveld, Peter Adshead

On Friday June 1, we will host the Spring Postdoc symposium in the LASR conference room. It will take place from from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM followed by lunch.

Maria Monasor, "Microwave detection of Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays"
Jeff Grube, "VERITAS observations of Galactic particle accelerators"
Stephen Hoover, "The Birth of SPTpol"
Brad Benson, "SPT-3G: Building the Science Case and the Design for the Next Generation Camera on SPT"
Yuko Kakazu, "Deep Spectroscopy of High-redshift (4 < z < 6) galaxies in the COSMOS field
Suman Bhattacharya, "Dark Matter Halo Profilesof Massive Clusters: Theory vs. Observations"

Related Links:
KICP Members: Peter Adshead; Oscar Agertz; Bradford A. Benson; Suman Bhattacharya; Stephen Hoover; Akito Kusaka; Maria Monasor; Anupreeta More; Ali Vanderveld
Scientific projects: South Pole Telescope (SPT); Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS)

Winter 2012 Postdocs Symposium
March 15, 2012 | 1:30 PM | LASR conference room
Organizer: Oscar Agertz

On Thursday 15 March, we will host the next Postdoc symposium in the LASR conference room. It will take place from 1.30 pm to 5 pm. There will be food and snacks in the beginning and pizza at the end.
  • Craig Booth, "Feedback and Galaxy Formation: From Small Scales to Large"
  • Claudio Ugalde, "The Superheated Target for Astrophysics Research"
  • Surhud More, "How accurate is our knowledge of the galaxy bias?"
  • Rahul Biswas, "Topics in Supernova Cosmology"
  • Peter Adshead, "Chromo-Natural Inflation"
  • Will High, "Weak gravitational lensing by galaxy clusters in the South Pole Telescope survey"
  • Michael Solontoi, TBA
  • Eduardo Rozo, "A Fully Self-Consistent Picture of Galaxy Cluster Abundances and Optical, X-ray, and SZ Scaling Relations"

Related Links:
KICP Members: Peter Adshead; Oscar Agertz; Craig Booth; Fredrick W. High; Surhud More; Eduardo Rozo; Claudio Ugalde

Fall 2011 Postdocs Symposium
December 8, 2011 | 2:00 PM | LASR conference room
Organizer: Oscar Agertz

Schedule (20 + 5 minute talks):
2:00 - 2:15
Coffee and cookies
2:15 - 2:40
Elise Jennings: "Testing LCDM using the large scale structure of the Universe"
2:40 - 3:05
Ali Vanderveld: "Testing the smooth dark energy paradigm with weak lensing"
3:05 - 3:30
Reina Reyes: "Disk galaxy masses: constraints on DM and stellar mass content from galaxy kinematics and weak lensing"
3:30 - 3:50
3:50 - 4:15
Oscar Agertz: "Stellar feedback in cosmological simulations"
4:15 - 4:40
Andrew McCann: "The First VHE Gamma-ray Pulsar"
4:40 -

Related Links:
KICP Members: Oscar Agertz; Elise Jennings; Andrew McCann; Reinabelle Reyes; Ali Vanderveld

Spring 2011 Postdocs Symposium
June 10, 2011 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
Organizer: Eric Dahl

(15-20 ) + 5 minute talks
Luis Reyes
"The turn-on of a gamma-ray blazar"
Surhud More
"Friends-of-friends algorithm: a percolation theory perspective"
Doug Spolyar
"TeV Inflation"
Benjamin Rouille d'Orfeuil
"EeV Neutron Astronomy"
Stephen Hoover
"When a Continent Is Your Detector: Cosmic rays in Antarctica"
Jennifer Sobeck
"Galactic Chemodynamics"

Related Links:
KICP Members: Eric Dahl; Surhud More; Luis C. Reyes; Benjamin Rouille d'Orfeuil; Jennifer Sobeck; Douglas Spolyar

Winter 2011 Postdocs Symposium
March 11, 2011 | 12:00 PM | LASR conference room
Organizer: Eric Dahl

(15-20 ) + 5 minute talks
  • Eric Switzer, "Understanding the z~1 universe with 21 cm emission"
  • Akito Kusaka, "Systematic error in QUIET (good and bad examples)"
  • Keren Sharon, "Results from the largest cluster lens surveys: SDSS and RCS2 giant arcs surveys"
  • Mark Wyman, "Massive gravity modifications to gravitational lensing"
  • Tom Plagge, "High-resolution Sunayev-Zel'dovich Cluster Observations with CARMA"
  • Will High, "SPT has an optical guy!"

Related Links:
KICP Members: Eric Dahl; Fredrick W. High; Akito Kusaka; Tom Plagge; Keren Sharon; Eric Switzer
Scientific projects: Q/U Imaging ExperimenT (QUIET); Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS); South Pole Telescope (SPT)

Fall 2010 Postdocs Symposium
December 10, 2010 | 9:30 AM | LASR 152
  • Eric Dahl, "WIMP Hunters: 6800 feet under the tundra"
  • Robert Feldman, "Revisiting star formation laws"
  • Kim Arvidsson, "Star-forming environments of three Galactic halo HII regions"
  • Michael Solonti, "Looking for lava in all the wrong places"
  • Maria Monasor, "From Auger to MIDAS: the ongoing search for the most energetic particles
  • Oscar Agertz, "Cosmological simulations of disk galaxy formation"
  • Eduardo Rozo, "LRG Selection and Weak Lensing"
  • Bradford Benson, "The History and the Future of Studying the Big Bang from the South Pole
  • Jared Mehl, "Building detectors for mm-wave astronomy"

Related Links:
KICP Members: Oscar Agertz; Bradford A. Benson; Eric Dahl; Robert Feldmann; Jared Mehl; Maria Monasor; Eduardo Rozo

Spring 2010 Postdocs Symposium
May 25, 2010 | 1:30 PM | LASR Conference room
Organizers: Keren Sharon, Maria Monasor

1:30 - 1:45
Coffee and cookies
1:45 - 2:10
Doug Spolyar, "Neutrinos and dark matter"
2:15 - 2:40
Benjamin Rouille, "A few grams of matter in a bright world"
2:45 - 3:10
Amol Upadhye, "Modified gravity in a relativistic star"
3:10 - 3:30
3:30 - 3:55
Carla Frohlich, "Nucleosynthesis Processes in Core Collapse Supernovae"
4:00 - 4:25
Jennifer Sobeck, "Far from ordinary: Chemical Abundances and the Characteristics of Stellar Populations"
4:30 - 4:55
Eduardo Rozo, "Measuring Cluster Masses With Stacked Weak Lensing"
5:00 -
.... Pizza, etc.

Related Links:
KICP Members: Maria Monasor; Benjamin Rouille d'Orfeuil; Eduardo Rozo; Keren Sharon; Jennifer Sobeck; Douglas Spolyar; Amol Ravindra Upadhye

Winter 2010 Postdocs Symposium
February 22, 2010 | 1:30 PM | LASR Conference
Organizer: Eduardo Rozo

The KICP and astronomy postdocs would like to announce a new initiative. Once per quarter (summer quarter excluded), we will hold a postdoc symposium for one afternoon, during which time 8 of us will present some aspect of our current research.

The symposium is meant to be extremely informal, and we will aim to be super-clear and low-level: we want our presentations to be understandable by everyone!

Our first symposium will take place on Monday, Feb. 22, starting at 1:30 pm.
We'll have brief talks from 8 of our postdocs from 1:30 - 5:00 with a coffee break in the middle, and we will finish it off with some pizza, soda, and good company.

Benjamin Koester, "The Beginning of the End: Pinpointing the Galaxy Cluster Red Sequence from 0.1
Bradford Benson, "Learning About Clusters and Structure Formation using the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect"
Eric Switzer, "Counts Statistics of the Source Population Observed at Millimeter Wavelengths"
Jared Mehl, "Designing the Next Generation SPTpol Receiver"
Coffee break
Maria Beltran, "Maverick Dark Matter at Colliders"
Nahee Park, "High Energy Cosmic Ray Measurements with Balloon Experiments"
Sheng Wang, "Capturing Non-Gaussianity in Weak Lensing Surveys"
Surhud More, "Galaxy-Dark Matter Connection: A Visual Guide"

Related Links:
KICP Members: Maria Beltran; Bradford A. Benson; Benjamin Koester; Jared Mehl; Surhud More; Nahee Park; Eduardo Rozo; Eric Switzer; Sheng Wang