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Caltech Associates: The Science of the Big One

Thursday, October 22, 2020
4:00pm to 5:30pm
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Online Event

Caltech is the birthplace of earthquake science. That legacy continues today as Caltech researchers pioneer an earthquake monitoring system powered by artificial intelligence, simulate earthquakes and tsunamis in the lab, and examine how densely populated cities are affected by rumblings underground. In this interactive panel discussion, learn how Caltech faculty are making life before, during, and after a mega-earthquake safer for us all.

This event is open to Associates members and friends of Caltech.

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Participating faculty:


Domniki Asimaki, Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Asimaki's research focuses on geotechnical engineering, geophysics, computational mechanics, and structural dynamics. She is particularly interested in how geological features and geotechnical systems, such as dams, tunnels, and building foundations, perform during natural and human-caused hazards. She has been honored with the 2012 Shamsher Prakash Research Award in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and the 2014 Young Investigator award from the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.

Michael Gurnis, John E. and Hazel S. Smits Professor of Geophysics; director of Seismological Laboratory; and director of Schmidt Academy for Software Engineering Gurnis and his laboratory members carry out research in computational geodynamics to provide a basis for interpreting geological and geophysical observations. Their goal is to understand how plate tectonics work, and how the geology on the continents and in the oceans is related to mantle dynamics.


Zachary Ross, Assistant Professor of Geophysics
Ross' research is primarily focused on understanding earthquakes, fault zones, and the hazards they pose. His work uses machine learning and applied mathematics to image active fault zones and study the spatiotemporal evolution of earthquake sequences. He received the Keiiti Aki early career award from the American Geophysical Union in 2019.


Zhongwen Zhan, Assistant Professor of Geophysics
Zhan's research interests lie in the broad area of seismology and emphasize four topics: Southern California earthquakes, subduction zone, submarine seismology, and cryoseismology. Recently, he works actively in building dense fiber seismic networks in Southern California.



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With a proud history of support dating back to 1926, the Caltech Associates is a vibrant organization of more than 2,000 members who are investors in discovery. Membership helps advance Caltech's ambitious projects, including new treatments for disease, insights into nature, and technologies that could change the way people live their lives. For more information, contact the Associates office at (626) 395-3919.

For more information, please contact Jessica Lee by email at jessical@caltech.edu.