Guest Lecture Series

Each program offers a Guest Lecture Series. A presention is followed by a reception, where participants and guests interact informally. Many speakers have a long association with SSP, including as alumni and former faculty.

"I so much enjoy talking to the brilliant young students at SSP. My trips there are among the highlights of my year."

"After presenting at SSP for the past three summers, I know these teenagers will restore your faith in humanity and hope for the future. I feel a bit guilty about getting more out of the experience than they do."

2022 Guest Lecture Series




Blaise Aguera y Arcase

Vice President and Google Fellow, Google

Language models and social intelligence

Dr. Erika Alden DeBenedictis

Computational Physicist and Synthetic Biologist, MIT

High-Throughput Protein Design and Evolution for Synthetic Biology

Dr. Stephon Alexander

Professor of Physics, Brown University; President, The National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP); Executive Director, Harlem Gallery of Science, Brown University

The Jazz of Physics

Dr. Elena Amador-French

MSL Science Operations Coordinator, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Discovering the Early History of Mars Through Robotic Exploration

Dr. Nadia Atallah Lanman

Assistant Research Professor of Comparative Pathobiology, Purdue University

Bioinformatics: Unleashing the Power of Data to Fight Cancer

Dr. Fran Bagenal

Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado

Juno Mission to Jupiter

Dr. Nancy Chabot

Planetary Scientist, Coordination Lead for NASA’s DART Mission, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART): NASA’s First Planetary Defense Test Mission

Dr. Richard Chuang

Adjunct Faculty, Cogswell College; Co-founder of Dreamworks Animation, Cogswell College

The Infinite Space of Learning

Dr. Doug Duncan

Professor of Physics, University of Colorado Boulder

Solar Astronomy, Eclipses, and the Upcoming 2023 and 2024 Eclipses

Dr. Adrienne Erickcek

Associate Professor, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Cosmology: Understanding the Evolution and Content of the Universe

Dr. Kelly Fast

Near-Earth Object Observations Program Manager for NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, NASA

Finding Asteroids Before They Find Us: Planetary Defense at NASA

Dr. Millie Georgiadis

Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine

Alien DNA As An Alternative Genetic System

Dr. Tyrone Hayes

Professor of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley

From Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and Me

Dr. Briony Horgan

Associate Professor: Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University

Roving Mars: NASA’s Search for Ancient Life With the Perseverance Rover

Dr. Laurie Levenson

Attorney, Author, and Speaker; Professor of Law and Ethics, LLS Loyola School of Law

Doing Justice: Why it Matters to Help the Wrongfully Convicted

Dr. Christina Li

Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Purdue University

From SSP to Renewable Fuel

Dr. Steve Mayo

Professor: Biology, Chemistry & Engineering, Caltech

CDR Extended Antibodies: Antibody Small Molecule Conjugates with Computationally Designed Target Binding Synergy

Dr. Derek Muller

Veritasium host and creator, Veritasium

Experimenting on YouTube

Dr. Peter Park

Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School

Sequencing the Cancer Genome


Jiwon Park

Medical Student, University of Michigan Medical School

3 things I wish I had known

Jim Reed

Founder and Director, R&D, Rockware, Inc.


Dr. Dan Reichart

UNC Professor of Physics & Astronomy; Director Skynet Robotic Telescope Network, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Two Ways to Make a Black Hole – And See It!

Dr. Eileen Ryan

Director of the 2.4 Meter Telescope, Magdalena Ridge Observatory, NM, New Mexico Tech

Mitigating Asteroid Threats: the NASA DART Spacecraft Mission

Dr. Kelsi Singer

Principal Scientist, Southwest Research Institute and deputy project scientist, NASA’s New Horizons mission, Southwest Research Institute

The Asteroids Belt vs the Kuiper Belt – As Seen Close Up by Spacecraft

Dr. Nick Suntzeff

Distinguished Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Texas A&M

The Day With No Yesterday

Dr. Lawrence Sverdrup

Senior Scientist, Trex Enterprises

Mad? Science!

Dr. Alain Waffo

Associate Professor of Biology, IU School of Medicine

Phage Display and Molecular Evolution

Dr. Mike Weiss

Distinguished Professor, Department of Biochem & Molecular Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine

Forrest Gump and A Life’s Journey in Science

Dr. Timothy Yu

Associate Professor: Harvard Medical School; Associate Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Harvard Medical School

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