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Thursday, May 06, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Online Event

Diverse Minds Seminar

More than one sensorial modality to do mainstream science in astronomy?
Dr. Wanda Díaz-Merced, Astronomer,
Speaker's Bio:
Wanda Díaz-Merced is an astronomer and the leading proponent of sonification of astrophysical data. When Wanda lost her sight in her early 20s, her dreams of studying stars in the visually oriented scientific world suffered a major setback -- until she discovered "sonification," a way to turn huge data sets into audible sound. She realized that she could use her ears to detect patterns in stellar radio data, and could uncover connections obscured by graphs and visual representation. After receiving a bachelor's in Physics from the University of Puerto Rico. She continued to undertake astrophysical research at NASA Spaceflight Center, and completed a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. She has held positions at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the South African Astronomical Observatory. She co-chaired the 2019 conference Astronomy for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Wanda is an important voice and leader in increasing equality of access to astronomy and STEM.

Dr. Díaz-Merced is an astronomer and the leading proponent of sonification of astrophysical data. As someone who lost their eyesight, she is a leader in increasing equality of access to astronomy and using audible sound to study astrophysical data. Currently Dr. Díaz-Merced is working at the European Gravitational Wave Observatory in Italy. Her talk is titled, "More than one sensorial modality to do mainstream science in astronomy" she will discuss her research and personal journey into science. The talk will be followed by an audience Q&A.

This seminar is hosted by LIGO and moderated by Dr. David Reitze.

This seminar will take place via Zoom webinar. Click here to register

The Diverse Minds seminar series is a campus-wide program that aims to provide a platform for distinguished speakers from a diversity of backgrounds to share their science and personal journey into science with the Caltech Community. These seminars aim to educate, inspire, and initiate purposeful discussion. Caltech recognizes that diverse perspectives and experiences benefit everyone and by intentionally inviting speakers from underrepresented and underserved backgrounds Caltech can continue to cultivate a community that values equity, inclusion, and embraces the power of diversity in STEM.

For more information, please contact Nately Sych by email at nsych@caltech.edu or visit https://diverseminds.caltech.edu/.