Here we present to you the speakers you’ll be seeing at Storming Aurora 2012!
Is anybody out there? Are we along? – If these questions have always wandered the chambers of curiosity of your mind, then you won’t want to miss listening to our first speaker at Storming Aurora 2012. Dr. Dan Werthimer.
The co-founder and chief scientist of the world-famous SETI@Home project and director of other UC Berkeley SETI searches at radio, infrared and visible wavelengths, including the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Radio Emissions from Nearby Developed Intelligent Populations (SERENDIP), Dr. Werthimer is also the principal investigator for the worldwide Collaboration for Astronomy Signal Processing and Electronics Research (CASPER).
Dr. Werthimer has taught courses at universities in Peru, Egypt, Ghana, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya. He has also published numerous papers in the fields of SETI, radio astronomy, instrumentation and science education; and is the co-author of “SETI 2020″ and editor of “Astronomical and Biochemical Origins and the Search for Life in the Universe”.
Dr. Werthimer also dabbles in jazz piano, and is the father of a 4-year old son, William.
PUSHKAR GANESH VAIDYA
Biology and Astronomy? An incompatible pair you say? Well, our next speaker Pushkar Ganesh Vaidya’s talk will definitely leave your view altered.
Pushkar Ganesh Vaidya scientist and head of the Indian Astrobiology Research Centre (IARC) as our next speaker.
Scientist and head of the Indian Astrobiology Research Centre (IARC), he is an enthusiastic promoter of Science in India and has written four books and his science write-ups in English, Gujarati & Marathi that continue to appear in newspapers, magazines and science journals. He also communicates science through talks and science TV shows.
Apart from these, he has been associated with national and international research communities. His research publications are available on the research page of this site, ArXiv and NASA ADS.
His major area of research, as you can guess, is astrobiology – the multidisciplinary field of exploring the possibility of life elsewhere in the Universe, and the origin of life here at home.
His research work includes the implicit suggestion that there is an apparent Cosmic Contact Censorship. It asserts that the factors which make the universe suitable for life also make interaction between the possible different advanced life forms in the universe difficult. Fascinating, isn’t it?
Dr. URAVSHI RAU
Ever marvelled at the role of Image Processing in the advance Astronomy and Astrophysics? Dr. Urvashi Rau, Assistant Scientist at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Socorro, New Mexico, USA will introduce you to a whole facet of Image Processing. Her research interests involve algorithm development for image reconstruction and data analysis in radio interferometry. She works as a part of the NRAO Algorithm R&D group as well as the CASA Scientific Computing group. Radio Interferometry involves techniques to superimpose electromagnetic waves in order to extract information about various astronomical phenomena.
Fun Fact: she completed undergraduate degrees in Physics and Computer Science from our very own BITS, Pilani in May 2002. As part of the BITS practice school programme, she did two internships at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA, TIFR), Pune!
Prof. SUBHENDRA MOHANTY
Ever looked at the world around you (a la Sheldon Cooper) as a particle physicist? Our next speaker Subhendra Mohanty will help you do just that.
Professor at the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, his research interests include the following
- Inflation and Cosmology.
- Neutrino physics.
- Astroparticle physics.
- General relativity.
He has also made a number of publications, some of which involve Natural inflation at the GUT scale, Gravitational Leptogenesis, and Theory of Neutrinos.
NIRUJ MOHAN RAMANUJAM
Heard of the 30 fully steerable gigantic parabolic dishes of 45m diameter each spread over distances of upto 25 km sprawled all over the township of Narayangao? To tell you more about these exotic beauties from the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope or GMRT, Storming Aurora will bring to you Niruj Mohan Ramanujam. He works at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, that runs GMRT in Pune. He started his research career with radio spectroscopy of nearby star forming galaxies, and subsequently moved to dust in high redshift quasars. He then shifted to image processing, data pipelines and signal processing in the context of radio telescopes. However, his interest in Astronomy started from his amateur astronomer background. He is involved quite a bit with Astronomy Outreach as well, in the context of science literacy.
Dr. RAMESH KOUL
- HOD at Department of Astrophysics, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai
Ramesh Koul has been associated with the high energy gamma-ray astronomy programme of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) for more than 2 decades and is presently leading the activities of the Astrophysical Sciences Division there. He has made important contributions to various aspects of instrumentation required for ground based gamma-ray astronomy and has published more than 60 research papers in national and international peer reviewed journals. He played a pivotal role in the design and development of the country’s first imaging gamma-ray telescope TACTIC (TeV Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope with Imaging Camera), which has been operating at Mt. Abu since 2002. The telescope has detected gamma-ray emissions from galactic and extragalactic objects and is presently used for continuous monitoring of high energy flaring episodes from Active Galactic Nuclei. Ramesh Koul is presently leading multi-institutional efforts in the country to set up a large-area gamma-ray telescope MACE (Major Atmospheric Cherenkov Experiment) at the high altitude astronomy site at Hanle in North India. When operational by 2014 the MACE will be the lowest energy threshold gamma-ray telescope in the world and will help to piece together the high energy puzzle of the Universe.
Now that you know what’s in store, be sure to register for the conference at http://celestiaclub.org/register for free. Hope to see you all there! And if you want to ask any questions to these experts, drop them at http://celestiaclub.org/sa2012-buzz.