2019 Mark Gurevitch Memorial Lecture: "Hacking the Stars"
Friday, May 24, 2019 - 5:00pm
2019 Mark Gurevitch Memorial Lecture: "Hacking the Stars"

Please join the PSU Department of Physics for the 13th Annual Mark Gurevitch Memorial Lecture "Hacking the Stars", presented by Dr. Hakeem M. Oluseyi.

Shattuck Hall, 1914 SW Park Avenue
Free and open to the public
Lecture begins at 5pm, to be followed by a reception.

In modern times, the word hack has come to mean repurposing something in new or creative ways in order to gain benefit or cleverly solve a tricky problem. Historically, the word “stars” was used to refer to one’s future fate through the association of stars with astrological prognostication. In this talk I’ll describe how I’ve utilized observations and theory of the Sun and stars to not only advance knowledge of the objects under study but also to develop new technologies and progress understanding of other systems. I’ll also describe how I hacked my own stars to rise above the circumstances of my youth to become a successful scientist and one of the world’s most recognizable public intellectuals. The research component of my talk will describe how my graduate students and I used the identification of scale-invariant ion acceleration processes in the solar corona to design an innovative experiment for initiating 3D magnetic reconnection in the laboratory, producing ~3,000 km/s ion beams suitable for in-space propulsion and more. I’ll also describe how we have used machine learned identification and classification of periodic variables in astronomical surveys of tens of millions of stars to develop new stellar diagnostics and time-domain informatics techniques, discover previously unknown Milky Way satellites and tidal streams, place constraints on Galactic evolution, and measure the Milky Way’s gravitational potential constraining its dark matter distribution.


About the speaker

Hakeem Muata Oluseyi is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, inventor, educator, science communicator, author, actor, and humanitarian. He is currently an Astrophysicist and Space Science Education Lead at NASA as well as a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Aerospace, Physics & Space Sciences at Florida Institute of Technology. Hakeem is one of the world's most popular educators and science communicators, co-hosting several shows on Science Channel and Discovery International including Outrageous Acts of Science, How the Universe Works, Space's Deepest Secrets, Strange Evidence, You Have Been Warned, and Strip the Cosmos. He regularly appears on news programs and has won or been nominated for several awards for science reporting including one Emmy nomination and four Webby Awards.

The Gurevitch Memorial Lecture Series

In 2006, the Department of Physics began the Mark Gurevitch Memorial Lecture Series as a tribute to Dr. Mark Gurevitch, former chair of the Physics Department. The Portland State University Foundation Gurevitch Lecture Fund supports the annual lecture series and allows the Department of Physics to bring internationally recognized speakers to the Portland State University campus.

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