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Guest Speakers

About twice a week a guest makes a presentation not directly related to the curriculum, followed by a reception, giving the students additional time for informal questions and open-ended discussions. Most guest speakers are prominent professors, researchers, or business leaders; some are also SSP alumni.

SSP's Guest Lecture series is underwritten by a grant from Lockheed Martin / Sandia National Laboratory.

Guest speakers at SSP 2014 include:

SSP at Westmont College, CA

Mika McKinnon '00
Geophysicist, Physics Today
"Disaster Science Fiction"

Dr. Omer Blaes
Chair, Dept. of Physics, UC Santa Barbara
"Dwarf to Supernovae: How Dead Stars Occasionally Light Up and Tell Us About the Universe"

Dr. Lawrence Sverdrup, Jr.
Senior Scientist, Trex Enterprises
"Mad? Science!"

Dr. Maria Klawe
President, Harvey Mudd College
"Life as a Mathematician and Computer Scientist"

Dr. Jacob Scott
Research Fellow, Moffitt Cancer Center, Univ. of Oxford
"What We Can Learn About Cancer from the Stars"

Dr. Victor Tsai '98
Asst. Prof. of Geophysics, California Inst. of Technology
"Tsunamis and Glaciers: the Power of Water"

Dr. Jill Tarter
Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI, SETI Institute
"Are We Alone?: Current Status of SETI Research"

Dr. 'Mad Scientist' Sverdrup hammers with
a banana, frozen using liquid nitrogen.

Dr. Paul Butler SSP '77 describes planets
outside of our solar system.
SSP at New Mexico Tech

Dr. Jason Rowe
Research Scientist, SETI Institute / NASA Ames
"Detection of Earth-Sized Planets with Kepler"

Dr. Lawrence Sverdrup, Jr.
Senior Scientist, Trex Enterprises
"Mad? Science!"

Dr. Jennifer Raff
Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Texas
"Ancient molecules and migrations: Understanding the origins of the earliest Americans"

Dr. Nina Lanza
Post-Doctoral Researcher, Los Alamos National Lab
"One Martian Year with the Curiosity Rover"

Dr. Ingeborg Heyer
Assistant Professor, Loyola University
"Astronomy Through the Ages"

Dr. Sigrid Close
Prof. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University
"Meteoroids and Asteroids: Micro to Macro Impactors"

Dr. Dara Norman
Associate Scientist, National Optical Astronomy Observatory
"Nature and Nurture in Understanding Active Galactic Nuclei"