All members of the Parker community and the public at large are welcome to join us for the 10th Anniversary of the Robert A. Pritzker Visiting Scientist•Inventor•Engineer in Residence. This year's lecture will be given by University of Chicago professor, Wendy Freedman, Ph.D., as she answers the questions: How big is the universe? How do we measure the scale of the universe? What is the universe made of?
In this lecture, Freedman will describe her work using the Hubble Space Telescope and other large telescopes in the Andes Mountains in Chile; describe exciting plans to build one of the world's largest new telescopes; and, along the way, talk about her life as an astronomer.
Professor Freedman joined the faculty of the University of Chicago in September 2014, following a 30-year career at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Pasadena. Among her scientific achievements at Carnegie, Freedman was a principle investigator for a team of 30 astronomers who carried out the Hubble Key Project to measure the current expansion rate of the Universe. Additionally, she initiated the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) Project in the Chilean Andes and served as its founding chair from 2003–15. When completed, the GMT is poised to be the world’s largest ground-based telescope.
Professor Freedman is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (2003) and the American Philosophical Society (2007); and an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2000) and the American Physical Society (2011). She has received numerous awards and honors for her contributions to observational cosmology, among them the Aaronson Prize and Memorial Lectureship (1994), the John P. McGovern Award in Science (2000) and the American Philosophical Society's Magellanic Premium prize (2002). In 2009, she was co-awarded the Gruber Cosmology Prize, widely considered to be astronomy’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Most recently, Professor Freedman was awarded the 2016 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics and the 2016 Women in Space Science Award by the Adler Planetarium.
Now in its tenth year, the Robert A. Pritzker Visiting Scientist•Inventor•Engineer in Residence program was created by a gift to Parker in honor of engineer, industrialist and philanthropist Robert A. Pritzker ’44. This program aims to expand science education opportunities at Parker and foster an ongoing dialogue among students and teachers about current issues in science. Previous recipients include: Dr. Leon M. Lederman, Dr. Paul Sereno, Dr. Russell Mittermeier and Christina Mittermeier, Dr. Edward “Rocky” Kolb, Dr. Ka Yee Lee, Dr. Don Hillebrand, Dr. Matthew Tirrell, Dr. Elizabeth Gerber and Dr. Sian Beilock.