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Media Advisory 10-030

We're Talking Quantum to Cosmos

2010-11 Mathematical and Physical Sciences lecture series kicks off November 15

Artist's conception of star formation.

Artist's conception of formation of the massive proto-star W33A.

November 5, 2010

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites media and members of the public to a series of lectures sponsored by the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Upcoming talks listed below will help promote a national discussion of issues that scientists expect to shape their research in the coming years. The first talk will be on Monday, November 15, and will feature William F. Bottke, a planetary scientist who will discuss the formation of planets.

All lectures will be held at NSF, 4201 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Va. (easily accessible from the Ballston Metro station). Visitors are welcome but must have a pass to gain access. Please email Lisa Van Pay or phone 703-292-8796 to register to attend.

Complete Schedule of Lectures

Planet Formation: What's New with the Oldest Events in the Solar System
William F. Bottke, Southwest Research Institute
2 p.m., November 15, 2010, Room 110

Quantum Mechanics on Giant Scales
Nergis Mavalvala, MIT
2 p.m., December 13, 2010, Room 110

Broadening Participation at the Ph.D. Level: Research Partnerships with Minority-Serving Institutions and Importance of the Masters Degree
Keivan G. Stassun, Vanderbilt University and Fisk University
2 p.m., January 24, 2011, Room 375,

Simulating Galaxy Formation One Star at a Time
Tom Abel, Kavli Institute and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
2 p.m., February 14, 2011, Room 375

Adventures in Chemical Research
Richard N. Zare, Stanford University
2 p.m., March 2, 2011, Room 375

Marketing Math and Selling Science: Challenges, Successes, and Opportunities
Daniel Rockmore, Dartmouth College
2 p.m., March 14, 2011, Room 375

Mathematics As an Experimental Science: The Transformative Role of the Computer
Jill Pipher, Brown University
2 p.m., April 18, 2011, Room 375

The Chemical Enterprise: Thinking and Acting Globally
Joseph S. Francisco, Purdue University, 2010 President of the American Chemical Society
2 p.m., May 16, 2011, Room 375

Computational Design of New Materials: From Magnetoelectronics to a Theory of Everything
Nicola A. Spaldin, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
2 p.m., June 20, 2011, Room 110

About the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences

The Mathematical and Physical Sciences directorate comprises the divisions of Astronomical Sciences, Chemistry, Materials Research, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and the Office of Multidisciplinary Activities. These divisions provide the basic structure for support of disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and education. The scope of scientific and educational activity supported is enormous, ranging from phenomena at cosmological distances, to environmental science on the human scale, through quantum mechanical processes in atomic and subatomic physics, to phenomena of the unimaginably small. Researchers explore abstract ideas, concepts, and structures of mathematics as well as more tangible "stuff" that includes the materials used in our everyday lives. Their tools range from desktop instruments to synchrotron light sources, accelerators, radio and optical telescopes and high magnetic fields. The rapid development of computational and communications capabilities also is leading to the development of a new set of tools that enable new kinds of science--cyberscience.


Media Contacts
Lisa Van Pay, NSF, (703) 292-8796, email:

Program Contacts
Andrew J. Lovinger, NSF, (703) 292-4933, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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