Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

Complex Systems Presents: A Nobel Symposium

University of Michigan faculty will discuss the work, impact, and personalities of the 2020 Nobel Laureates
Thursday, December 10, 2020
1:10-4:45 PM

Registration not required. Free and open to the public. This virtual event features UM faculty experts in each of the six prize fields. Each will present for 25 minutes and take questions for 10 minutes

1:10 - 1:15 Welcome remarks Charlie Doering CSCS Director

1:15 - 1:50 CHEMISTRY | Nils Walter Chemistry, Biophysics and Biological Chemistry LSA and Medical School

1:50 - 2:25 MEDICINE OR PHYSIOLOGY | Katherine Spindler Microbiology and Immunology Medical School

2:25 - 3:00 PHYSICS | Lydia Bieri Mathematics and Doug Richstone  Astronomy LSA

3:00 - 3:35 ECONOMICS | Tilman Börgers Economics

3:35 - 4:10 LITERATURE | Linda Gregerson Literature LSA

4:10 - 4:45 PEACE | Susan Waltz Public Policy, Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy

Information about the 2020 prizes and our speakers:

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 was awarded jointly to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna "for the development of a method for genome editing."

Speaker: Nils Walter, Francis S Collins Collegiate Professor of Chemistry, Biophysics and Biological Chemistry – College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and Medical School

Physiology or Medicine:
The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded jointly to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice “for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus”. Thanks to their discovery, highly sensitive blood tests for the virus are now available and these have essentially eliminated post-transfusion hepatitis in many parts of the world, greatly improving global health.

Speaker: Katherine Spindler, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology – Michigan Medicine

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2020 with one half to Roger Penrose “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity" and the other half jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez "for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy".

Speaker: Lydia Bieri, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Director, Michigan Center for Applied & Interdisciplinary Mathematics and Doug Richstone, Lawrence H Aller Collegiate Professor of Astronomy – College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

This year’s Laureates, Paul Milgrom UM-LSA Mathematics Alum! and Robert Wilson, have studied how auctions work. They have also used their insights to design new auction formats for goods and services that are difficult to sell in a traditional way, such as radio frequencies. Their discoveries have benefitted sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world.

Speaker: Tilman Börgers, Samuel Zell Professor of the Economics of Risk – College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2020 is awarded to the American poet Louise Glück “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”.

Speaker: Linda Gregerson, Caroline Walker Bynum Distinguished University Professor of English Language and Literature – College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

'Combatting the threat of hunger' The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 to the World Food Programme (WFP). The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security. In 2019, the WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger.

The World Food Programme is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations and the world's largest humanitarian organization focused on hunger and food security. Founded in 1961, it is headquartered in Rome and has offices in 80 countries

Speaker: Susan Waltz, Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy

Read more about the details of each of the 2020 prizes here:
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Link:
Event Type: Livestream / Virtual
Tags: Astronomy, Biology, Biophysics, Biosciences, Chemistry, Complex Systems, Economics, Literature, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Public Health, research, symposium, Virtual
Source: Happening @ Michigan from The Center for the Study of Complex Systems, The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Michigan Medicine, Department of Astronomy, Department of Physics, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Department of Economics, Department of English Language and Literature, Department of Chemistry