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Earlier Highlights (14)
Earlier Highlights (14)
In April 2010, President Obama announced his vision to
send astronauts on a mission to visit an asteroid. I was very
pleased to hear about this formal proposal, given that our
B612 foundation, which we
founded in 2002, has been advocating asteroids as a more interesting
place to visit for human space travel than the Moon, and a much closer
target than Mars. Back in 2003 I wrote a
In March 2010, the film maker Shekhar
Kapur and I engaged in a fun and relaxed dialogue with the
title Does Chaos Have
Meaning?, at the Rubin Museum of
Art in New York City. Here is a link to
the 90 minutes video of the
Also in March, a quote from an interview with me about the movie
Hollywood Reporter and was picked up by
in the interview I comment on the degree of realism of the film,
which I thoroughly enjoyed watching, for its content as well as its
In February 2010, I had a great time one evening giving a guest lecture
at Columbia University for a class taught by
His class has the intriguing title of
and the idea is to concentrate on what we don't know rather than what
we do know in science. My presentation was based on
paper on phenomenology that I had presented earlier at the Husserl Circle.
In January 2010, the Institute for
the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU) opened its
newly constructed building
on a campus of the University of Tokyo, while
I was visiting there. The building reflects the originality and
diversity of IPMU, the first research center that I have visited in
Japan where half the faculty and visitors are non-Japanese.
In December 2009, we opened our first
OpenSim region, in the open source virtual world of
The region was set up by
on a server provided by
Simon Portegies Zwart.
We immediately started playing with N-body simulations within our region.
If you like to join us, come visit our weekly
In November 2009, I was one of the organizers of the workshop
MODEST-9e: Development of MUSE The Multiscale Multiphysics Scientific
Environment, at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA. We had some
vigorous discussions about the challenges of developing a software
framework containing toolboxes for the various physics modules needed
to model dense stellar systems.
In October 2009, Eiko Ikegami and I held a one-day workshop on
Avatars, Selves, and Virtual Communities at the Institute for
Advanced Study, in collaboration with the New School, as a mixed
Second Life / Real Life event. This event was supported by NSF, and
remotely present were students from as far away as Poland and Japan.
In September 2009, I was one of the organizors for the MODEST-9c workshop
Virtual Worlds for Interactive Simulations of Star Cluster Evolution
in Tokyo. Part of this workshop was held at NAOJ, the
National Astronomical Organization in
Japan and part was held at the National
Institute for Informatics, both of which are located in Tokyo.
Also in September, my explorations in virtual worlds were mentioned in
an article How Online Social Networks are changing Backyard Astronomy
in the September 2009 issue, p. 74, of the magazine
Sky & Telescope.
In August 2009, I participated in the Second
Life Community Convention. It was a great opportunity to meet the people
behind many of the avatars in Second Life, old friends and new.
Pictured here with me is
Wagner James Au,
the author of the most interesting
history of Second Life.
In July 2009, three of the core members of MICA
received an NSF grant, in the category
for our Collaborative Research Proposal Exploring the Use of
Immersive Virtual Reality Technologies for Scientific Research,
Communication, and Outreach; the three Principal Investigators are
Steve McMillan, and
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