02 August 2011
August is International at DARK
Copenhagen in the summer
Workshops, collaboration, PhD student projects on so many hot topics in cosmology - more than 80 international researchers are visiting the Dark Cosmology Centre at the Niels Bohr Institute during the month of August.
Some of the visitors come regularly, like former DARK post docs, Páll Jakobsson (University of Iceland) and Maximillian Stritzinger (Oskar Klein Center in Stockholm), who each have on-going projects with several current researchers at the Centre. Max will also host 2 colleagues from Japan for a week. Stefano Ettori came last year as a PhD opponent, and is back for a longer visit to work with several at DARK and the Space Science Center. Lilliya Williams from the University of Minnesota spent part of a recent sabbatical at DARK, and is back to work with Jens Hjorth, and to speak at and attend DEUS: Current and Future Challenges in the Dark and Early Universes.
DEUS, from August 8-12, welcomes participants from all over the world. The aim of the workshop is to explore the conceptual, computational and observational challenges that researchers
in cosmology currently are and will be facing in the near future. The workshop has attracted some of the world's leading cosmologists, and a full program of talks, discussions and mentoring opportunities are planned. Brahe Professor Priyamvada Natarajan (Yale) is speaking and
participating, and has been a key and active member of the International
Organizing Committee for the workshop. DEUS participants include several from the Texas Cosmology Center, which is led by DARK's newest Brahe Professor, Eiichiro Komatsu - TCC's first visit to DARK will likely spark ideas for future workshops or projects. Former post doc, Tamara Davis (U Queensland) is bringing several colleagues from institutions throughout Australia.
Brahe Fellow, Berian James, is hosting his Berkeley collaborators - post docs Dovi Poznanski and Dan Perley and PhD student, Adam Miller. They are working on projects and a series of talks on time-domain astrophysics: supernovae, GRBs, and galaxy formation topics.
DARK's Brahe Professor, Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz (UC Santa Cruz) has planned a 3-week workshop for DARK and UCSC PhD students and post docs on relativistic jets in the Universe. Joining him are Fabio de Colle, Morgan MacLeod and James Guillochon of UCSC, and Florencia Vieyro from the Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomia.
Activity creates ideas that create activity
Visitors have always been a high priority at DARK, and from the beginning of the Centre in 2005 the annual totals have increased substantially. A significant fraction of DARK's funding from the Danish National Research Foundation and other external sources is used to support the program, which facilitates collaboration and exchange, adds expertise and aids in recruitment. DARK's PhD students and post docs are exposed to new ideas (and share theirs!) and they develop lasting relationships, and the senior researchers continue to develop new partnerships, leading to publications and other projects.
The strategy has paid off in so many tangible and intangible ways. DARK's former PhD students and post docs have farred very well in their search for post doctoral positions and eventually permanent positions. DARK published nearly 100 refereed papers last year. More than 200 candidates applied for post doctoral positions at DARK in 2010. The Sophie and Tycho Brahe programme has led to meaningful on-going exchange between the University of Copenhagen and UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, Yale University and University of Texas at Austin. And the activities are just getting started...