Women Mean Business Meeting
Thursday, April 27, 2017
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The Petroleum Club

Title: Cosmic Explorations, Interdisciplinary Partnerships, and STEM Education

In this talk, I will discuss the exciting advances astronomers have made in answering some of the oldest and deepest of questions about our Universe. When and how did the first stars, planets, galaxies, and black holes form?  How did galaxies evolve into systems like our own Milky Way galaxy? How do stars evolve and die, producing neutron stars, black holes, and the chemical elements necessary to form planets and life?  What are we now uncovering about the thousands of planets outside our Solar system? What are the opportunities for life in the Universe outside our Solar System? What is the nature of the dark matter and dark energy that make up over 95% of the Universe?  What is the ultimate fate of the Universe? I will highlight breakthroughs made in answering these questions by astronomers in Texas using resources, such as McDonald Observatory, the Texas Advanced Computing Center, as well as NASA’s space facilities, such as the Hubble Telescope. I will discuss how astronomy programs in Texas are playing a leadership role in founding the revolutionary Giant Magellan Telescope, one of the largest telescopes ever constructed on Earth, and the amazing breakthroughs we anticipate from it. I will highlight why it is more important than ever for the public to care about fundamental research, and the increasing need for interdisciplinary collaborations between scientists, government, the private sector, and philanthropists for advancing society. I will discuss how we as educators and parents can promote a broader participation of children, particularly girls and other under-represented groups, in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields and reinforce their dreams and ambitions in any area they choose to pursue.

About the Speaker:

Shardha Jogee

Credit:Alex Wang, CNS, UT Austin
 Dr. Shardha Jogee is a Professor in the top-ranked Astronomy Department at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin. She is currently the first female Chair of the Astronomy Department, which is the home of over 200 members, including faculty, students, researchers, and staff.  She was born in the remote beautiful island of Mauritius and decided at an early age and against all odds to pursue a career in astrophysics. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Physics from the University of Cambridge in England, and Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Astronomy from Yale University in the USA. Prior to joining the faculty at UT Austin, Dr. Jogee conducted research at Caltech and the Space Telescope Science Institute, which oversees the scientific operations of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the future James Webb Space Telescope. At UT Austin, Dr. Jogee conducts scientific research to explore how galaxies and their constituent stars, black holes and dark matter halos grow across cosmic time, and she teaches classes for undergraduate and PhD students. She uses observations of galaxies conducted with NASA's space telescopes, as well as McDonald Observatory in west Texas for her research. She is a member of several international science teams, has won over $3.1 millions in grant funding from NASA and the National Science Foundation, and frequently speaks at international conferences. She has published 181 papers and received over 6500 citations. Dr. Jogee is a member of the Leadership Texas class of 2014. She strongly supports a broader participation of women and under-represented groups in STEM and the essential partnership between researchers, government, the private sector, and philanthropists in advancing society.  Dr. Jogee lives in Austin Texas since 2005 with her husband Volker and daughter Anne. For more information, please consult her website at http://www.as.utexas.edu/~sj/ and listen to her interview on voice America at https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/93888/exploring-galaxies-in-outer-space-and-academic-leadership-through-the-journey-of-a-leading-female

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