Comet Calendar, The Official Event Calendar for UT Dallas en-us This week's events for Natural Sciences & Mathematics at UT Dallas Girl Scouts World Thinking Day at UTD Sunday, Feb 19
(12 p.m. - 6 p.m.) Location: Event begins in Kusch Auditorium in Founders North, also occurring on 2nd floor Founders.

Area Girl Scouts meeting for a World Thinking Day event at UTD.

World Thinking Day is a day of international friendship, speaking out on issues that affect girls and young women.

Physics Colloquium: Observational Planet Formation Monday, Feb 20
(4 p.m. - 5 p.m.)

Dr. Ruobing Dong (Arizona)

Nearly every single Sun-like star in our galaxy hosts a planetary system. How planets form in gaseous protoplanetary disks surrounding newborn stars is among the most exciting and fastest growing fields in all of astrophysics. The best way to learn how planets form from observations, is to directly watch them forming in disks. By definition, this is the most direct way for us to quantitatively constrain the timescale, the location, the local environment, and the statistics of planet formation. In the past, due to the difficulties in detecting planets forming in disks, planet formation was largely a subject of theoretical astrophysics. Now, thanks to a fleet of new instruments with unprecedented resolving power that have come online in the past few years, we have just started to unveil structures in resolve images of protoplanetary disks, such as gaps and spiral arms, that are most likely induced by embedded (unseen) planets. By comparing observations with theoretical models of planet-disk interactions, the locations and masses of these still forming planets can be constrained. This marks the beginning of a brand new field — observational planet formation. 

I will introduce this new field in my colloquium on Monday. We will start by reviewing the latest advances in resolved observations of protoplanetary disks driven by a few key telescopes. We will then address a few basic questions at the center of this new field: How to associate observed structures in disks to forming planets that are often too difficult to see? What can we learn about these "invisible" planets by studying their induced structures in disks? How unique are our planet-based interpretations of disk observations? Is there a way to directly detect the predicted feature-producing young planets? If so, how do we use these planets to constrain theoretical models of planet formation? At the end I will leave you with the big picture of the field, and the general direction of where it is going.

Physics Colloquium: Revealing the Formation and Atmospheres of Exoplanets with Direct Imaging Wednesday, Feb 22
(4 p.m. - 5 p.m.)

Dr. Brendan Bowler (UT Austin)

Finding and characterizing extrasolar planets has become one of the fastest-paced and most rapidly evolving fields in modern astronomy.  Direct imaging— spatially resolving exoplanets from their host stars— is especially challenging but provides unique insight into the architectures, atmospheres, and formation of giant planets.  By exploring planetary systems from the outside-in and directly detecting photons originating in their atmospheres, imaging complements other planet-finding techniques sensitive to smaller orbital separations and enables detailed studies of atmospheric structure and composition.  In this talk I will review the field of high-contrast adaptive optics imaging with an emphasis on observational programs I am leading to test theories of planet formation, primarily by means of large surveys, planet population statistics, and near-infrared spectroscopy.  I will also outline the long-term future of the field; imaging planets has been a consistent motivating factor for the next generation of telescopes like JWST, WFIRST, and the 30 meter-class telescopes.  Eventually these facilities will pave the way for the ultimate objective: a dedicated space-based mission to image and characterize Earth analogs.

Mathematics Colloquium and UTD/SMU SIAM Student Chapter Distinguished Lecture by Margot Gerritsen Thursday, Feb 23
(11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.)

2017 UTD/SMU SIAM Student Chapter Distinguished Lecture. 

(SIAM = the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics).

Dr. Margot Gerritsen

Director, Institute for Computational & Mathematical EngineeringSenior Associate Dean for Education Initiatives, School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences, Associate Professor of Energy Resources Engineering, and, by courtesy, of Mechanical Engineering and of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Stanford University

11:30-12:00, Informal session: "Survival skills for students"

12:00-1:00: Research Talk: "Fun numerical problems in subsurface flow modeling"


Subsurface flow modeling is a mecca for the numerical analyst and computational engineer. For the last 15 years, our research group has had a terrific time exploring problems in this field. We are particularly interested in highly nonlinear problems, such as those governing thermal recovery processes. In this talk, I will discuss one such process, in-situ combustion, and the associated challenges around upscaling of kinetics and strong coupling between flow and transport. 

Lunch to follow 1-2:30pm in the Founders' 2nd Floor Atrium. All are welcome!

Sponsored by SIAM, the Department of Mathematical Sciences at UTD, and the Department of Mathematics at SMU.

Mathematical Sciences Colloquium by Vasilisa Shramchenko Friday, Feb 24
(2 p.m. - 3 p.m.)

Vasilisa Shramchenko

Département de mathématiques

Universite de Sherbrooke

What quantum mechanics knows about moduli spaces of algebraic curves

In this talk I will introduce the topological recursion of Chekhov-Eynard-Orantin which produces a hierarchy of multivariable differentials defined on a given algebraic curve. Differentials obtained in this way have been linked to various invariants in geometry and topology as well as to wave functions of quantum systems. I will consider one particular quantum system, that of the harmonic oscillator, in detail and show that there is a relationship between its wave function and spaces of ribbon graphs as well as moduli spaces of stable curves.


Sponsored by the Department of Mathematical Sciences

Mathematical Sciences Colloquium by Cecilia Mondaini Friday, Feb 24
(3 p.m. - 4 p.m.)

Cecilia Mondaini

Department of Mathematics

Texas A&M University

Analysis of a feedback-control based data assimilation algorithm

Forecasts of the future state of a complex physical system (e.g., the atmosphere) that are purely generated from a theoretical model are commonly affected by the limitations of the model in adequately representing reality. Data assimilation is the technique that combines the theoretical model with information from physical observations in order to obtain a better prediction of the future state of the system. In this talk, I will show some analytical results concerning a certain data assimilation algorithm based on feedback control.


Sponsored by the Department of Mathematical Sciences

Geosciences Seminar Friday, Feb 24
(3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

The Department of Geosciences is pleased to announce the upcoming seminar and invite you to join us on Friday, February 24, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. in ROC 2.103.  Our disguished guest speaker will be Dr. Donald Siegel from Syracuse University. The title of his presentation will be: Fracked, Tarred, and Feathered: What Happens When Academic Scientists Do Sciences Related to Public Policy". 

Admission is free and refreshments will be served after the seminar in ROC 2.107.  We hope you will plan to join us.