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Date: July 31, 2000

UVic Concerence Attracts Top Cosmologists

Established figures and young researchers will meet at UVic August 21-25 to trade theories about galaxies--the building blocks of the universe--and the large-scale computer simulations that attempt to show how vast communities of stars such as the Milky Way form and evolve.

The conference closes with a free, illustrated public lecture by Dr. Jeremiah Ostriker, Princeton University Provost and the co-discoverer of dark matter&emdash;the mysterious, invisible material that forms most of the universe.

Ostriker speaks at 7:30 p.m., August 25 at the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium. (Note: seating is limited.)

Ostriker will be among 160 researchers from around the world attending the Victoria Computational Cosmology Conference (VC3) organized by UVic astronomy professors Dr. Arif Babul and Dr. Julio Navarro along with Dr. Hugh Couchman of McMaster University.

The study of galaxies is conducted along two tracks--either through the use of observations from instruments such as the Hubble Space Telescope or through theories developed with numerical simulations created on highly powerful supercomputers.

Delegates to VC3 will discuss the latest progress in the art and science of large-scale numerical simulations of galaxy systems, critically assess current models, and contrast the results with observational evidence.

UVic has, in recent months, obtained a multi-million dollar IBM supercomputer and a cluster of 40 standard computers working in parallel, giving the university Canada's best and most powerful computer facilities for computational cosmology.

VC3 is co-sponsored by UVic; PIMS--the Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences; CIAR--Canadian Institute for Advanced Research; and CITA--Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics.


Babul, Navarro and Couchman have just been granted a four-year, $480,000 grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council to establish the "Canadian Computational Cosmology Collaboration" at UVic and McMaster.

The collaboration will help re-patriate the surprising number of Canadians working abroad who are making pivotal contributions to computational cosmology.

The funding will primarily attract top post-doctoral fellows and graduate students who might otherwise leave Canada for the U.S. or Europe.

Media contacts:
Dr. Julio Navarro (Physics and Astronomy) (250) 721-6644
UVic Communications (250) 721-7636

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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