Quanta Magazine’s ‘The Joy of x’ Podcast Returns for Second Season

Simons Foundation, February 2021

Quanta Magazine announces the return of “The Joy of x,” its must-listen science podcast about the pursuit of the unknown, the thrill of discovery, and the heartbreak and frustration along the way. In each of the show’s episodes, host and mathematician Steve Strogatz shares an intimate conversation with one of the world’s leading scientists. Topics range from the promise of quantum computing to hearing you’ve won a Nobel Prize while still dripping wet from a shower.

Astrophysicist Blakesley Burkhart Named a 2021 Sloan Research Fellow

Simons Foundation, February 2021

Blakesley Burkhart, an associate research scientist at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Astrophysics, has been awarded a 2021 Sloan Research Fellowship by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. These fellowships “recognize and reward outstanding early-career faculty who have the potential to revolutionize their fields of study.”

Astrophysicist Rachel Somerville Named a Legacy Fellow of the American Astronomical Society

Simons Foundation, February 2021

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has inducted Rachel Somerville as a legacy fellow. The honor recognizes her “contributions toward the society’s mission of enhancing and sharing humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe.” Somerville leads the Galaxy Formation group at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Astrophysics (CCA) in New York City.

Eero Simoncelli Leads New Center for Computational Neuroscience

Simons Foundation, January 2021

The Simons Foundation is delighted to announce the launch of the Center for Computational Neuroscience (CCN) within the foundation’s Flatiron Institute in New York City. The new center, led by computational neuroscientist Eero Simoncelli, will use and develop computational models to understand how brains work. The CCN joins existing Flatiron Institute centers devoted to computational problems in astrophysics, biology, mathematics and quantum physics.

Mathematics Explains How Giant Whirlpools Form in Developing Egg Cells

Simons Foundation, January 2021

Egg cells are among the largest cells in the animal kingdom. If moved only by the random jostlings of water molecules, a protein could take hours or even days to drift from one side of a forming egg cell to the other. Luckily, nature has developed a faster way: cell-spanning whirlpools in the immature egg cells of animals such as mice, zebrafish and fruit flies. These vortices enable cross-cell commutes that take just a fraction of the time. But until now, scientists didn’t know how these crucial flows formed.

Simons Foundation Selects Astrophysicist David Spergel as Next President

Simons Foundation, December 2020

The Simons Foundation today announces that David Spergel, an accomplished astrophysicist and winner of the prestigious Breakthrough Prize, will be the foundation’s next president, effective July 1, 2021. Spergel currently serves as director of the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Simons Foundation’s Flatiron Institute in New York City.

Molecular Processes in Kidney Cells May ‘Prime’ Diabetics for COVID-19 Infection

Simons Foundation, October 2020

People with diabetes — especially the 20 to 40 percent with diabetic kidney disease — are among the most at risk for serious complications and death from COVID-19. A new study of gene expression utilizing machine learning peered inside the kidney cells of COVID-19 patients and diabetic kidney disease patients and made a surprising discovery: Similar molecular processes were activated in both sets of patients, revealing potential avenues of viral vulnerability. The researchers report their findings in Kidney International.

Recent Research Lays Groundwork for New Generation of Galaxy Simulations

Simons Foundation, October 2020

You can’t understand the universe unless you understand the galaxies that comprise it. Galaxies are home to stars, black holes, dark matter halos and clouds of gas and dust. But insights into these galactic phenomena aren’t easily obtained. Astrophysicists have long struggled to develop a complete view of galaxies that spans the entire cosmic scale, from single stars to superclusters of thousands of galaxies.