Aspen Center for Physics free summer series opens Thursday |

Aspen Center for Physics free summer series opens Thursday

Staff report

The Aspen Center for Physics’ free summer talks by visiting scientists begin on Thursday with a presentation by MIT’s Jeff Gore.

The Heinz R. Pagels talks at the center’s West End campus run through Aug. 30.

Gore’s talk is titled “Games that Microbes Play: Cooperation and Cheating in the Microscopic Realm.” It will explain recent lab experiments with micro-organisms that have provided insight into the evolution of cooperation.

“Humans often have to engage in strategic decision-making, deciding whether to bluff in poker or shovel the sidewalk after a blizzard,” Gore said in a statement. “Game theory, a branch of mathematics focused on analyzing interacting players, has provided significant insight into these situations. Perhaps surprisingly, game theory has also been tremendously influential in our understanding of animal behavior and evolution. … Recently, evolutionary game theory has even been applied to micro-organisms.”

The 10-part series will cover new topics weekly:

June 14: “Seeing What’s Coming: How Your Brain Computes the Future,” Stephanie Palmer, University of Chicago

June 21: “Mapping Matter and Light in the Universe,” Risa Wechsler, Stanford University

June 28: “The Coolest Use of Light: Using Light Forces to Study the Coldest Matter in the Universe,” Wolfgang Ketterle, MIT

July 5: “AI in the Sky: Intelligent Machines in Science and Society,” Brian Nord, Fermilab

July 19: Premala Chandra, Rutgers University

Aug. 9: “Faster, Smaller, Cheaper: Discovering the Universe on a Shoestring Budget,” Jonathan Feng, University of California Irvine

Aug. 16: “Black holes, Hawking Radiation and the Structure of Spacetime,” Juan Maldacena, Institute for Advanced Studies

Aug. 23: Neal Weiner, New York University

Aug. 30: Mariangela Lisanti, Stanford University

More info at