It's fun to host international conferences

Image of poster promoting SCIPP conference at UCSC.

It's always fun to show off this beautiful campus to visitors. Last week's visitors attended the Dickens Universe, and this week's guests include participants at two high-profile scientific conferences. I had the pleasure of welcoming both groups of scientists to campus.

For the 29th year, the campus is hosting an astronomy conference that focuses on galaxies and structures in the universe. It was an honor to speak at a dinner tribute to our own Professor Emeritus Bill Mathews of astronomy, who taught the best astronomy course I ever took--it also happens to be the only astronomy course I ever took, but I'm sure he'd hold the title regardless! Bill's broad and enthusiastic interest in theoretical astrophysics is the reason I came to UCSC in 1972, a year after getting my PhD at UC San Diego. He'd moved here from UCSD just a couple of years earlier and alerted me to the opening for an assistant professor. The rest, as they say, is history. (Bill is also one of the two or three best medieval coronet players in the world and founded the longtime Santa Cruz group, The Antiquarian Funks.)

The Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics is hosting the biannual five-day meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Particles and Fields. This group of physicists has had a big year with the Higgs Boson breakthrough, and UCSC is honoring two of our own – Abe Seiden and Howard Haber—as Faculty Research Lecture awardees.

From Dickens and Shakespeare to galaxies and the God particle, we've got it all at UCSC. And every so often it's fun to show it off a bit.

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