From the Director
In 2020, the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign supported the creation of an intellectual home for interdisciplinary research aimed at addressing fundamental physics questions related to the universe. This research sits at the intersection of mathematics, computer science, astronomy and physics disciplines, such as nuclear physics, high energy physics, gravitation and cosmology. The Illinois Center for Advanced Studies of the Universe (ICASU) is primarily an effort in theory and computation, but it is special in that all such work is driven by potential verification through experiment and observation. As such, ICASU members collaborate closely with experimental scientists in condensed matter and nuclear experiment, as well as with astrophysical observers in gravitational waves, particle astrophysics and traditional electromagnetic observations.
On the ground, ICASU hosts Illinois’ research in relativity and in cosmology, supported through NSF and NASA-sponsored programs, in nuclear and in high-energy theory, supported through NSF and DOE-sponsored programs. Faculty members in ICASU collaborate closely with members of other institutes and centers on campus, such as the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the Center for Astrophysical Surveys, the iSchool, and the Institute for Condensed Matter Theory. Through workshops and summer schools, ICASU acts as a focus of theoretical ideas that brings members of these different centers and institutes together to work on topics related to the fundamental physics of the universe.
ICASU is an inclusive institute that seeks to advance our understanding in all areas of fundamental physics related to the cosmos. We invite you to learn more about the institute and to get involved in this unique exploration of our mysterious universe.
ICASU is governed by an executive committee that consists of leaders in the four pillars of science that ICASU aims to bring together (nuclear physics, high energy physics, relativity, and cosmology), as well as an external member from the College of Liberal Arts and Science. Currently, the composition of the executive committee is as follows:
- Nicolás Yunes, Director
- Jorge Noronha, Associate Director
- Peter Adshead (cosmology)
- Decker French (astronomy, external LAS member)
- Yonatan Kahn (high energy physics)
- Jaki Noronha-Hostler (nuclear physics)
- Helvi Witek (relativity)
ICASU is governed by a set of bylaws that were passed in the Fall 2019. An External Advisory Board composed of scientific leaders advises the governing body on topics including science, growth, and inclusiveness.