Dr. Young-Kee Kim, Former Deputy Director at Fermilab, Gives a Talk to Young Female Students
Date of activity: August 20, 2016
On August 20, 2016 (Saturday), the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU), located on the University of Tokyo’s Kashiwa Campus, held an event to encourage girls in junior and senior high school to major in science. Despite unfavorable weather, some 70 students and their parents attended.
To begin—in a lecture titled “My way to become a scientist”—Chicago University professor Dr. Young-Kee Kim, a former deputy director of Fermilab, spoke about her journey in science. She touched on her childhood on an apple farm, deciding to major in science in college, and choosing physics and particle physics—at first as a theoretician at master’s degree level, then as an experimentalist in a doctoral program, and now as a collaboration member of the biggest and most powerful accelerator experiments around the world.
Then, under the theme of high-energy electron accelerator experiments, Dr. Kim traced the history of particle physics all the way to current accelerator experiments. She compared the many-layered reality of fundamental particle physics to the action of peeling an onion, with one layer revealing another one beneath.
A question and answer session followed her presentations. Among questions from the audience, which were written on sticky notes and gathered on a whiteboard at the stage, were the following: “What were some the challenges faced as a woman faculty member?”/ “What makes physics so interesting?”/ “Why are particle accelerators circular?” Director of Kavli IPMU Professor Hitoshi Murayama selected which questions to ask Dr. Kim.
Following a change of location to the foyer, amid a casual atmosphere with refreshments on offer, attendees were able to speak with Dr. Kim and Professor Murayama; this was a valuable opportunity for students and their parents to speak directly with the lecturers before the event was drawn to a successful close.