Oxossi Ayofemi, an Oakland- and San Francisco-based artist, was traveling on BART one day when a pair of turf dancers began to perform in her train car. Most people respond by staring in shock or wonder at the dancers’ contortions, or by looking down so they won’t feel obliged to fish in their pockets for change.
But Ayofemi did neither. She watched with curiosity and admiration. Then she spoke to them.
The upshot of that communication was an artistic collaboration that went far beyond the BART dancers’ wildest dreams. They became actors in her multimedia exploration of the topic “Black Matter,” in concert with Stanford University astrophysicist Risa Wechsler, at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. And on Aug. 9, they will visit the CJM for the first time as part of a public presentation of the exhibit, which opened July 26.
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She’ll direct the future of astrophysics research at SLAC and Stanford for the next five years.
From SLAC Today, by Manuel Gnida
Risa Wechsler has been appointed director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), a joint institute of the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University. On Sept. 15, she’ll take over from Tom Abel, whose five-year term at the helm of the institute is coming to an end.
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Risa Wechsler and Jeremy Tinker have published a review article on the connection between galaxies and their dark matter halos, covering roughly the last 15 years of this rapidly evolving field. The galaxy–halo connection provides a key test of physical galaxy-formation models; it also plays an essential role in constraints of cosmological models using galaxy surveys and in elucidating the properties of dark matter using galaxies. The review highlights techniques, applications, and outstanding questions in this exciting area.
An advance draft is available here.
From SLAC Today:
Attempting to model and measure the distribution of 300 million galaxies is not a job for the faint of heart. That’s exactly the challenge that has been undertaken by Risa Wechsler, associate professor of physics and astrophysics at SLAC and Stanford, who was recently named fellow of the American Physical Society. Wechsler was elected for her pioneering work in understanding galaxy formation and for her leadership in large survey projects.
“If you study that many galaxies you can learn something about how they evolve over time, as well as how they trace the underlying matter distribution,” Wechsler said. “I work at the interface of galaxy formation and the formation of structure in the universe as a whole.”
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