ITC Luncheon 2017-2018

ITC Luncheon 2017-2018


The Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC) luncheons for the academic year 2017-2018 are held in Phillips Auditorium on Thursdays from 12:30-1:30 pm. Each Luncheon features 10 minute presentations from 4 speakers and is attended by 100 astronomers. Videos of the presentations are linked below. ITC luncheons are sponsored by a generous donation from ITC senior member Dr. Eric Keto.


  1. Pierre Christian (Harvard)
  2. Sukanya Chakrabarti (RIT)
  3. Wystan Benbow (CfA)
  4. Razieh Emami ( Hong Kong U. Sci. Tech.)
  1. Testing the Black Hole No-Hair Theorem with Electromagnetic Fields
  2. Is the Vast Polar Structure of Dwarf Galaxies A Serious Problem for Lambda CDM?
  3. Recent Highlights from the VERITAS AGN Observation Program
  4. TBD
Thu 09/14/2017
  1. Adam Rubin (Wiezmann)
  2. Zhaohuan Zhu (UNLV)
  3. Jennifer Johnson (Ohio)
  4. Piero Rosati (University of Ferrara)
  1. Observations of Young Supernovae and New Instruments to Study Them
  2. The Observables of Circumplanetary Disks
  3. Elemental Abundances in M Dwarf Planet Hosts & Implications for Rocky Planet Dynamics
  4. Towards High-Precision Strong Lensing Modelling
Thu 09/21/2017
  1. Guido Risaliti (Arcetri)
  2. Emily Rauscher (UMich)
  3. Hsin-Yu Chen (BHI)
  4. Manasvi Lingam (ITC)
  1. X-ray spectroscopy of AGNs: can we really measure black hole spins?
  2. Creating the Perfect Map of an Exoplanet
  3. Advanced LIGO-Virgo observing scenario and localization
  4. Impact and Mitigation Strategy for Future Solar Flares
Thu 09/28/2017
  1. Atish Kamble (CfA)
  2. Anna Frebel (MIT)
  3. Anna Rosen (ITC)
  4. Kaitlin Kratter (Arizona)
  1. Radio Supernova 2016coi and the GRB-SN Connection
  2. Evidence for a Jet-Like Explosion of a First Star
  3. An Unstable Truth: How Massive Stars get their Mass
  4. Ejecting Planets from Binaries
Thu 10/05/2017
  1. Nia Imara (CfA)
  2. Paul Duffell (Berkeley)
  3. Or Graur (CfA)
  4. Dava Sobel (Author)
  1. Searching for Exoplanets Around X-Ray Binaries
  2. 1D Modeling of Rayleigh-Taylor Instability in Supernovae
  3. The Compact Homes of Tidal Disruption Events
  4. Adventures in Science Writing
Thu 10/12/2017
  1. Julian B. Munoz (Harvard Physics)
  2. Mark Voit (MSU)
  3. Sivan Ginzburg (Hebrew University)
  4. Shmuel Bialy (TAU)
  1. Large-Distance Lens Uncertainties and Time-Delay Measurements of H0
  2. Circumgalactoseismology
  3. Core-powered Valley: The Radius Distribution of Small Planets
  4. Molecules in the Early Universe
Thu 10/19/2017
  1. Avishai Dekel (JHU)
  2. Dan Hooper (Fermilab)
  3. Richard Bower (Durham University)
  4. Lluis Mas (ITA, Oslo)
  1. On the Origin of Ultra Diffuse Galaxies
  2. TBD
  3. The Impact of Lambda
  4. Diffuse Emission Halos as a Probe of Galaxy and Reionization Physics

SPECIAL 1.5-HOUR ITC LUNCHEON featuring opening talks on LIGO:

* Hsin-Yu Chen (BHI): “Exciting News from Advanced LIGO-Virgo”

* Matt Nicholl, Phil Cowperthwaite, and Kate Alexander (CfA): special discussion on LIGO results.

Thu 10/26/2017
  1. David Michael Hernandez (MIT)
  2. Hilke Schlichting (UCLA)
  3. Gurtina Besla (Univ. of Arizona)
  4. Francesco Belfiore (UCSC)
  1. Reliable N-body Dynamics in Astrophysics
  2. Where are the resonant exoplanet pairs?
  3. Chemical Signatures of Pop III stars in Local Ultra Faint Dwarf Galaxies
  4. How to Regulate and Quench Star Formation: Insights from the MaNGA Survey
Thu 11/02/2017
  1. Antonija Oklopcic (ITC)
  2. Dominik Riechers (Cornell)
  3. Eric Coughlin (Berkeley)
  4. Vicente Rodriguez-Gomez (JHU)
  1. Spectral Signatures of Raman Scattering in Exoplanet Atmospheres
  2. Tomography of Cosmic Reionization Through [CII] Intensity Mapping at Redshifts 3.5-9 with CCAT-prime
  3. General Relativistic Simulations of Disk Formation in Tidal Disruption Events
  4. The Role of Mergers and Halo Spin in Shaping Galaxy Morphology
Thu 11/09/2017
  1. Marla Geha (Yale)
  2. Emeline Bolmont (CEA)
  3. Kathryn Johnston (Columbia)
  4. Adam Jermyn (IoA, University of Cambridge)
  1. A Search for Quiescent Stellar Mass Black Hole Binaries via Optical Variability
  2. Habitability around Cool Dwarfs
  3. Physical Manifestations of Chaos and Regularity Around Galaxies
  4. Mixer: Numerical Perturbation Theory for Turbulence
Thu 11/16/2017
  1. Pierre Christian (Harvard)
  2. Clare Dobbs (Exeter)
  3. Merav Opher (BU)
  4. Anastasia Fialkov (ITC)
  1. What can LIGO Tell us about Milky Way LISA Detections?
  2. Magnetic Fields in Spiral Galaxies
  3. Constraining the Interstellar Magnetic Field
  4. Constraining Cosmological FRBs
Thu 11/30/2017
  1. Sownak Bose (ITC)
  2. Brian David Metzger (Columbia)
  3. Michael McDonald (MIT)
  4. Erica Nelson (MPE)
  1. The Small-Scale Structure of Cold Dark Matter
  2. Accretion Powered Flares from Colliding EMRIs as TDE Imposters
  3. Witnessing the Stripping of Hot Halos as Galaxies Fall into Clusters
  4. Building Galactic Bulges
Thu 12/07/2017
  1. Anna Barnacka (CfA)
  2. Hans-Walter Rix (MPIA)
  3. Chiara Mingarelli (MPIRA)
  4. Philip Cowperthwaite (ITC)
  1. Galaxies as High-Resolution Telescopes
  2. Who's Hot, and Who is not: the Distribution of Stellar Orbits in Present-day Galaxies
  3. Constraining Primordial Gravitational Wave Backgrounds with Pulsar Timing Arrays
  4. Local Cosmology with Gravitational Waves



  1. Morgan MacLeod (CfA)
  2. Yamila Miguel (Leiden Observatory)
  3. Eric Peng (PKU)
  4. Dan D'Orazio (ITC)
  1. Runaway Coalescence at the Onset of Common Envelope Episodes
  2. Detectability of sulfur and phosphorus species in exoplanet atmospheres with JWST
  3. The Globular Cluster Systems of Ultra-Diffuse Galaxies
  4. Imaging the Orbits of Massive Black Hole Binaries
Thu 02/01/2018
  1. Maciek Wielgus (BHI)
  2. Jamie Bock (Caltech)
  3. Saurabh Singh (RRI)
  4. Chris McKee (Berkeley)
  1. Characterizing Sgr A* Time Variability with the Event Horizon Telescope
  2. Update on BICEP-Keck CMB Polarization Measurements
  3. SARAS 2: Constraining Cosmic Dawn and Cosmological Reionization via the Global Redshifted 21-cm Signal
  4. The Galactic Corona
Thu 02/08/2018
  1. Blakesley Burkhart (ITC)
  2. Heino Falcke (Radbound University)
  3. Michael Joyce (LPNHE, Sorbonne Université, Paris)
  4. Meng Gu (CfA)
  1. The Photon Underproduction Crisis Solved: The Effect of AGN Feedback on the Low Redshift Lyman-alpha Forest
  2. Radio Measurements of the Composition of High-Energy Cosmic Rays with LOFAR
  3. Cold Quasi-spherical Gravitational Collapse Revisited
  4. Low Metallicities and Old Ages for Three Ultra-Diffuse Galaxies in the Coma Cluster
Thu 02/15/2018
  1. Rai Weiss (MIT)
  2. Wyn Evans (IoA)
  3. Anna Schauer (Heidelberg)
  4. Jordan Keller (BHI)
  1. Questions and Answers
  2. HEX
  3. Lyman-Werner Escape Fractions from Minihaloes and the First Galaxies
  4. Linear Stability of Schwarzschild Black Holes
Thu 02/22/2018
  1. Pepi Fabbiano (CfA)
  2. Norm Murray (CITA)
  3. Christoph Pfrommer (AIP)
  4. Sandro Tacchella (CfA)
  1. Imaging the Hard Continuum and Fe Kalpha Emission of AGNs with Chandra
  2. FIRE Simulations Produce Carbon Monoxide
  3. TeV Blazar Heating: from Plasma Instabilities to Cosmological Structure Formation
  4. An Empirical Model for Galaxy Evolution at z≥4
Thu 03/01/2018
  1. Lincoln Greenhill and Julian Munoz (Harvard)
  2. Volker Springel (HITS)
  3. Laura Kreidberg (ITC)
  4. Alex Lazarian (Madison)
  1. New Evidence for the First Stars and Black Holes During Cosmic Dawn
  2. Cosmic Rays in Galaxy Formation Simulations
  3. Water, Methane Depletion, and High-Altitude Condensates in the Atmosphere of the Warm Super-Neptune WASP-107b
  4. 3D Distribution of Magnetic Fields in Molecular Clouds
Thu 03/08/2018
  1. Jill Naiman (ITC)
  2. Joaquin Vieira (University of Illinois)
  3. Eric Keto (ITC)
  4. Sagi Ben-Ami (CfA)
  1. "Neutron Star Mergers and R-process Elements in IllustrisTNG
  2. Water as a way to measure the star formation rate of galaxies in the early universe
  3. "The Formation of Low Mass Stars, CO Desorption Rates, and the Molecular Mass of the Galaxy
  4. FIOS - a Fabry Perot based Extreme High-Resolution Instrument
Thu 03/22/2018
  1. Mislav Balokovic (BHI)
  2. Gerry Gilmore (University of Cambridge)
  3. Xin Liu (UIUC)
  4. Federico Fraschetti (University of Arizona/CfA)
  1. What Obscures AGN: Insights from Broadband X-ray Spectroscopy
  2. Testing non-Einsteinian gravity theories with astrometry
  3. A Candidate Tidal Disruption Event in a Quasar at z=2.359 from Abundance Ratio Variability
  4. Crab Nebula: Particle Acceleration and Escape at Shock Waves
Thu 03/29/2018
  1. Dan D'Orazio (ITC)
  2. Ewine van Dishoeck (Leiden)
  3. Eliza Kempton (Grinnell College)
  4. Lehman Garrison (Harvard)
  1. Tidal Disruptions and the Stellar Mass Function
  2. Protoplanetary Disk Structures: Gas vs Dust
  3. An Observational Diagnostic for Distinguishing Between Clouds and Haze in Hot Exoplanet Atmospheres
  4. N-body Cosmology with Abacus
Thu 04/05/2018
  1. Sownak Bose (ITC)
  2. Jenny Greene (Princeton)
  3. Adam Frank (University of Rochester)
  4. Peter Williams (CfA)
  1. How the Present-Day Distribution of Dwarf Galaxies Encodes the Physics of Reionisation
  2. Recently Quenched Massive Galaxies At z~0.7 With Lots of Molecular Gas
  3. 3D AMR Simulations of Common Envelope Evolution: What About Accretion?
  4. Jovian Magnetospheres Beyond the Solar System
Thu 04/12/2018
  1. Feraz Azhar (BHI)
  2. Juna Kollmeier (Carnegie)
  3. Mario Ballardini (University of the Western Cape)
  4. Tansu Daylan (Harvard)
  1. Inflationary Trajectories: An Effective Field Theory Approach
  2. The Cluster Variables: 1920-2020
  3. Cosmological Constraints on Scalar-Tensor Dark Energy Models
  4. Probing the Small-Scale Structure in Strongly Lensed Systems via Transdimensional Inference
Thu 04/19/2018
  1. Ana-Roxana Pop (ITC)
  2. Rosalba Perna (Stony Brook University)
  3. Glenn Starkman (CWRU)
  4. Pranab Ghosh (TIFR, UT Austin)
  1. Shell Galaxies in the Illustris Simulation
  2. Interactions between Multiple Supermassive Black Holes in Galactic Nuclei: a Solution to the Final Parsec Problem
  3. Macroscopic Dark Matter
  4. Super-Chandra Masses of Supernova Ia Progenitors
Thu 04/26/2018
  1. Pierre Christian (Harvard)
  2. Kathrin Altwegg (Bern)
  3. Alexie Leauthaud (UCSC) (UCSC)
  4. Idan Ginsberg (ITC)
  1. Detecting gravitational lensing of gravitational waves
  2. In Situ, Landing or Sample Return: Pro’s and Con’s
  3. Will it blend?
  4. Gaia & Globular Cluster Ages
Thu 05/03/2018
  1. Ana Bonaca (ITC)
  2. Anna Rosen (ITC)
  3. Anna Barnacka (CfA)
  4. Anna Pancoast (ITC)
  1. Gaia DR2 View of the GD-1 Stellar Stream
  2. The Formation of Massive Stars with Radiative and Outflow Feedback
  3. The Art of Turning Galaxies into Telescopes
  4. Stability of the Broad Line Region Geometry and Dynamics in Arp 151 Over Seven Years