| ||Prof. Scott Tremaine from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton was awarded the Tomalla Prize on 16 September 2013. For this occasion, Prof. Tremaine gave a prize lecture at the University of Zurich. entitled "Long-term Stability of Planetary Systems". He was also one one of the pioneers of astro-particle physics, is at the forefront of planetary dynamics from circa 1980 to the present day, and is a much sought-after speaker. Scott Tremaine is also widely known for his book "Galactic Dynamics" by Binney and Tremaine. The Tomalla Foundation for Gravity Research was founded in 1982 according to the testamentary wishes of Dr Walter Tomalla, a business man from Basel, Switzerland. With this foundation, Dr Tomalla wanted to promote gravity research in Switzerland and the world. The foundation (www.tomalla.ch) awards prizes for exceptional research in gravitation and/or cosmology every third year and it funds research fellows and visitors for gravity research at Swiss Universities. Past laureates include S Chandrasekhar, Andrei Sakharov, and J H Taylor. The foundation is headed by a scientific board to which Prof. Alexandre Refregier was recently nominated, and which attributes the prizes, fellowships and other funds.|
| ||This summer Sascha Quanz (Start and Planet Formation Group) and Adam Amara (Cosmology Group) were invited as lecturers to give a course at a Summer Academy of the Studentenstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Merit Foundation). The academy took place in Leysin, Switzerland from 11. - 24. August 2013 and catered more than 200 undergraduate students who selected one out of ten courses offered in total.
The course given by Sascha Quanz and Adam Amara titled "Exoplanets - Detection and characterization of strange new worlds" was highly rated by the 21 participants who had diverse academic backgrounds including physics, informatics, psychology and economy. We are happy to note that amongst the evening talks given by all invited lecturers the talk on "Origins of the Universe & Strange New Worlds" was elected as best evening lecture of the academy by all students.
The German National Merit Foundation is Germany’s largest and most prestigious organization sponsoring the academically gifted. Further information on their work and funding options can be found here: http://www.studienstiftung.de/en/.
| ||We are very pleased to welcome Chihway Chang as a new postdoc and Joel Akeret as a software engineer to our Cosmology Research Group. Chihway completed her Physics PhD at Stanford this year and Joel Akeret has been collaborating with us and our Software Lab during his studies at the FHNW. He concluded his Master of Science in Engineering at the Institute for 4D Technology at the FHNW this year as well. Both join us per 01. September 2013 and we wish them both a warm welcome and successful start! Further information regarding their research activities can be found on their individual webpages (http://www.astro.ethz.ch/people/cchang and http://www.astro.ethz.ch/people/jakeret) as well as our group's people website: http://www.astro.ethz.ch/refregier/people/index.|
The organization Pro Juventute regularly offers events during the school holidays for children between the age of 10 – 13. This year the FHNW (Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz) and the Institute for Astronomy collaborated to provide the joint event titled „Solar Storms and Space Weather“. During 3 days in August up to 12 children took part, attended presentations held by Christian Monstein and Hanna Sathiapal, André Csillaghy and Marina Battaglia from the FHNW (amoungst others) and visited the observatory and the sun tower. A full report of the event can be obtained by Christian Monstein.
With significant support from the Cosmology group at ETH, the first international Petnica school on Cosmology will be held this summer (4-11 August) in Petnica Science Center in western Serbia. Petnica Science Center is an independent non-profit institution for extracurricular, informal science education and is well known across Europe as a place where young people meet and learn through research. In this spirit, the School on Cosmology aims to bring together the best senior undergraduate and masters students, mainly from the region of Balkans, while most of the lecturers are senior PhD students and postdocs from several institutions across Europe. In a stimulating environment the students will have an opportunity to hear a series of lectures on many topics covering the most important aspects of modern Cosmology and interact and discuss with their senior colleagues. One of the lecturers at the School is Aseem Paranjape, a member of the Cosmology group at ETH.
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