Michael Damron, who researches probability theory and mathematical physics, attended the fourth annual Israeli-American Kavli Frontiers symposium, on Sept. 18-19, in Jerusalem, Israel. The event was co-sponsored by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (IASH). Several countries host Kavli symposia each year.
As described on the NAS website, the Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium “is the Academy’s premiere activity for young distinguished scientists. Attendance at a symposium is by invitation only, and attendees are selected from among award winners for early career scientists in the U.S. and abroad.”
“The conference was very interesting,” Damron says. “All of the talks were meant to introduce the audience to the research area, and they were mostly very engaging, sort of like TED talks. I particularly liked the session on CRISPR, a gene editing tool, and also the session on cancer immunotherapy. It was a great opportunity because I have never attended a conference with such a wide array of topics, and spent so much time with top scientists in so many disciplines. The whole experience was extremely inspiring, not only for ideas in my own research, but also to cultivate a general creative mode of thinking. You never know where new ideas will come from.”
“This symposium series is the Academy’s premiere activity for distinguished young scientists,” NAS president Marcia McNutt wrote in her invitation letter to Damron. “Unlike meetings that cover a single, narrow slice of science, these symposia are designed to provide an overview of advances and opportunities in a wide-ranging set of disciplines and to provide an opportunity for the future leaders of science to build a network with their colleagues.”
The attendees are designated Kavli Fellows. They include Sloan Fellows, Packard Fellows, MacArthur Fellows, Pew Fellows, Searle Scholars, and Presidential Early Career Awardees for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
More than 250 Kavli alumni have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Twelve have been awarded Nobel Prizes.
Since the inception of the program in 1989, over 5,000 distinguished young scientists have attended a Kavli symposium. Forty-five Georgia Tech researchers in a various disciplines have been invited.
Following are College of Sciences professors who have attended Kavli Frontiers of Sciences Symposia since 2009:
- Vinayak Agarwal, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 2019
- Kenneth Brown, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 2013
- Kim Cobb, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, 2009
- Michael Damron, School of Mathematics, 2019
- Josef Dufek, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, 2014
- Kostas Konstantinidis, School of Biological Sciences, 2014
- Martin Mourigal, School of Physics, 2019
- Zhigang Peng, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, 2013