Scientists from UChicago, lab affiliates headed for AAAS annual meeting

Dozens of scientists from the University of Chicago and its affiliated laboratories will participate in the 2014 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Feb. 13 to 17 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, Fairmont Chicago and Swissôtel in downtown Chicago. The theme of this year’s gathering is “Meeting Global Challenges: Discovery and Innovation.”





Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., are all UChicago affiliates. Their scientists will join many from UChicago at the meeting and in multiple sessions of common interest. For a detailed listing of these presentations, see For a broader overview, see Twitter posts may be followed at #AAASmtg and #UChicagoAAAS.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will present welcoming remarks at a session beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at the Fairmont Chicago. Serving as meeting co-chairs are Argonne Director Eric Isaacs, University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer, and Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro. All three will deliver brief opening remarks following the mayor’s welcome. AAAS President Philip A. Sharp will then speak.

Isaacs also will discuss “User Facilities: Unique Resources for Interdisciplinary Discovery and Innovations,” during a session that begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in Columbus EF of the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Heinrich Jaeger, the William J. Friedman and Alicia Townsend Professor in Physics at UChicago, is one of nine researchers from across the nation who will present topical lectures about a range of recent developments in science and technology. Jaeger will discuss “Granular Matter: From Basic Questions to New Concepts and Applications,” from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, in Regency B of the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Five scientists from UChicago, Argonne and Fermilab will make presentations in a session about “Extremities of the Cosmos: New Experimental Results in Particle Astrophysics,” from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in Regency C of the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

This session was organized by Craig Hogan, director of Fermilab’s Center for Particle Astrophysics and professor in astronomy and astrophysics at UChicago. The speakers work in areas where new experimental techniques are producing new results with rapid improvements in precision or sensitivity. The speakers and their topics are as follows:

Researchers at the Computation Institute, a joint initiative of UChicago and Argonne, are involved in three AAAS technical sessions as organizer or presenter. The first is a session on “Outsourcing Science: Will the Cloud Transform Resarch?” The session will meet from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 14, in the Acapulco Room of the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

In this session, organized by Computation Institute Director Ian Foster, Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor in Computer Science, representatives from academia, industry and national laboratories will discuss how on-demand software—also known as “software-as-a-service—can create a more productive scientific process. Computation Institute Senior Fellow Rick Stevens, associate laboratory director for computing, environment and life sciences at Argonne, will talk about how these tools have already revolutionized the field of genomics.

A second session was organized by Computation Institute Senior Fellow Robert Grossman, chief research informatics officer for UChicago’s Biological Sciences Division. This session on “How Big Data Supports Biomedical Discovery,” will meet from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in Regency D of the Hyatt Regency Chicago.  In his presentation, Grossman will discuss how researchers now use the big data of biology and medicine to drive health care innovation and collaboration.

The third session, on “A New Era for Urban Research: Open Data and Big Computation,” was organized by Charlie Catlett, director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data,” Computation Institute senior fellow and senior computer scientist at Argonne. Mario Small, UChicago professor in sociology and dean of the Social Sciences Division, will be among the presenters. Small’s topic will be “Poverty and Organizational Density.”

For more information on Computation Institute participation in AAAS, see

MBL’s Jerry Melillo has co-organized a session titled “Research Challenges in Climate Change: What’s New and Where Are We Going?” This session will meet from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, in Grand Ballroom B of the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Scientists will focus on what they have learned about climate change, and new research challenges that emerged during the preparation of the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment and of the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group I report.

Melillo, a Distinguished Scientist in MBL’s Ecosystems Center, is chairman of the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee. The committee’s Third National Climate Assessment, due for release in April, will provide the nation with detailed scientific information on climate change impacts already observed in the country, the current status of the climate, and anticipated future trends.

To view the complete meeting program, see For registration information, see