I spent the day at the University of Rochester, where I gave the Physics Colloquium. I spoke about data-driven models. Before my talk, I had many interesting and valuable conversations with faculty and students. One highlight was work that Alice Quillen (Rochester) is doing on tidal dissipation. She is building mechanical models of solid bodies (think: planets) to parameterize tidal dissipation and look at tidal locking mechanisms, and spin–orbit resonances and dynamics.
Another highlight was a long conversation with Eva Bodman (Rochester) who (among other things) has been looking at extra-solar comets in the Kepler data. We discussed things she has done, but also the low-hanging fruit for future work on comets around other stars. She has built a model of the strange behavior of the Boyajian Star in terms of a (bizarre, huge) comet population; this made me think that there are lots of things we might do with comet population models, or other models of swarms of debris.