I spent the day at the University of Chicago, hosted by Andrey Kravtsov (Chicago). Kravtsov and I discussed the great simplicity (on large scales) of the galaxy population, and also the teaching of stellar physics, in which he has made some very interesting innovations. Since he is a true scholar, we also talked briefly about the impact on philosophy of science when the models are fundamentally computational. He recommended this book, around which maybe we should build a reading group next year at the Simons SCCA.
I met with the large group of John Carlstrom (Chicago) and collaborators. They showed me the SPT data, and it is incredible: The CMB fluctuations are measured at enormous signal-to-noise and the point sources and SZ clusters are sharp points. Totally unlike any previous data. I met with Arieh Königl (Chicago), who predicted that we ought to see really cool relationships between planetary systems and the chemical abundances in their protoplanetary disks, mirroring things Schlaufman (OCIW) said to me a few weeks ago. Dan Holz (Chicago) and I discussed low-hanging fruit in the aftermath of the LIGO and exoplanet disk physics. We came around quickly to model interpolation or emulators or surrogates. Just like we have been discussing with Rix, Ting, and Conroy. With both students and postdocs I discussed possibilities for improving stellar radial velocity measurements and photometric calibration. What a great group of people at Chicago!