Science students to hear astrophysicist speak at UCSD

Rashid Sunyaev, Ph.D.

Marissa Atkins, Staff Writer

Rashid Sunyaev, Ph.D., the world-renowned cosmologist and astrophysicist, will speak at UCSD on March 21st.  UCSD has invited high school students from across the county to attend, and Cathedral will shuttle students to and from the presentation.

Sunyaev is currently director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany and chief scientist at the Space Research Institute. He is also the Maureen and John Hendricks Visiting Professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

As a result of Sunyaev’s discoveries, astrophysicists are now able to determine the size, age, and geometry of the universe to an accuracy of only a few percent

Sunyaev is the recent recipient of the Kyoto Prize, which is the Japanese equivalent of the Nobel Prize, for his achievements in “basic sciences.”  As part of the Kyoto Prize Symposium, he will give a presentation that is open to the public and will be held in UC San Diego’s Price Center West Ballroom

Mark Thiemens, who is dean of  UCSD’s Division of Physical Sciences, will welcome Sunyaev and an estimated 300 students from local high schools.

“These lectures provide an opportunity for students to learn firsthand from the most eminent scientists in the world how discoveries are made and what inspires researchers to keep asking new questions,” said Thiemens. “Their stories have many more interesting bumps and turns than are typically presented in textbooks. The lectures also illustrate the many unsolved questions that remain for young people from diverse backgrounds who might want to become scientists themselves.”

Cathedral science teacher Dr. Michaela Bertch is organizing the program.

“[The purpose of this experience is] to expose the students to a person who has done significant work in their field,“ said Dr. Bertch. “They make sure at UCSD that the speakers are articulate, interesting, and humorous.”

Cathedral science classes are presenting students with the information and required  permission slips.  Students who are interested should talk to Dr. Michaela Bertch. Cathedral will be providing a free bus service that will shuttle students to and from the presentation; leaving at 2:15 after school and returning to Cathedral at 5:45.  Although transportation is free, space is limited to the first 80-90 students who turn in permission slips.

The March 21st talk with Sunyaev will take place in UC San Diego’s Price Center West Ballroom at 3:30-5 p.m.

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