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TMT-ACCESS workshop speakers and attendees at the TMT Project Office in Pasadena on 11 – 15 September 2023 - About 30 early career astronomers and engineers from Japan got together to learn TMT’s capabilities and discuss science cases - Image credit: TMT International Observatory

TMT Hosts Science Workshop for Early Career Astronomers and Engineers from Japan

Pasadena, CA –  A science workshop called TMT eArly Career Centered, Engineers-Scientists Synergy (TMT–ACCESS) was held at TMT headquarters in Pasadena from 11 to 15 September. About 30 early career astronomers and engineers from Japan attended this workshop face-to-face, learned about TMT's capabilities and discussed TMT science cases. The workshop was proposed and organized by eight of the participants and funded by NAOJ, TMT-J SAC, SUPER-IRNET and TIO.

Participants enjoyed wide ranging lectures from TMT staff including TMT Science by Christophe Dumas, TMT First Light Adaptive Optics and Science Instruments by David Andersen, Connection Between TMT Science Cases and TMT Instruments by Warren Skidmore, and Hawaiian Engagement by Yuko Kakazu. They also learned about the current status and future plan of E-ELT from Michele Cirasuolo (ESO) and about MODHIS and its simulator from Caltech’s Dimitri Mawet and Ashley Baker. Additionally, the attendees were given a tour of the TMT Lab in Monrovia.

As one of the goals of this workshop was to stimulate cross-disciplinary research, three invited scientists from different astronomy fields presented current hot topics in their fields. Yasunori Hori (Astrobiology Center/NAOJ) summarized recent progress in exoplanet research and presented his views on exoplanetary sciences in the TMT era. Yukei Murakami (Johns Hopkins University) talked about the current measurements of the Hubble constant and other parameters in cosmology, and Yuichi Matsuda (NAOJ/Caltech) presented recent results on galaxy formation and evolution from TMT-ACCESS participants’ publications.

TMT-ACCESS workshop opening at TIO project office, 11 September 2023

TMT-ACCESS workshop opening at TIO project office, 11 September 2023 - TMT staff gave introductory talks about TMT sciences, AO and science instrument capabilities, the connection between science cases and instrument requirements, and the status in Hawaiʻi - Image credit: TMT International Observatory

TMT-ACCESS workshop lab tour in Monrovia, 12 September 2023

TMT-ACCESS workshop lab tour in Monrovia, 12 September 2023 - Saeko Hayashi (TMT/NAOJ) and Takashi Nakamoto (TMT/NAOJ) described the design of the M1 segment, its support structure, and associated control systems - Image credit: Hideki Umehata

Based on the inputs from preliminary lectures, the workshop attendees were divided into small groups to discuss science cases they would like to pursue using TMT. Groups were reorganized daily and members discussed research topics such as science using the TMT’s 1st generation instruments, UV science, synergy with Subaru 3, IR science, and synergy with JWST. Each of these groups made presentations about their science cases for the assigned research topics during show and tell sessions, and received feedback from others. Finally, they concluded the talks with written reports on their science cases.

TMT-ACCESS workshop lab tour in Monrovia, 12 September 2023

TMT-ACCESS workshop in Pasadena, September 2023 - The main objective of the workshop was group discussion. One person in each group was appointed group leader to lead each discussion with one additional person appointed as note taker. The group members were carefully selected by the organizers in consideration of career level, expertise, and gender  -  Image credit: Taichi Uyama

Yasuhiro Hasegawa (JPL/Caltech), one of the workshop organizers, said “our TMT-ACCESS was one of the most successful workshops I had ever attended! I was really glad that young researchers from Japan (even grad students) actively participated in – and often led – small group discussions, and vividly interacted with those who have different research backgrounds. It was an exciting moment to witness how young power turned into a pile of new ideas. I’m really hoping that this new wave generated by our TMT-ACCESS will propagate through the entire Japanese astronomical community and eventually to all the TMT partner countries, and in the near future, some of our participants will play a leading role for TMT.”

“This five-day TMT-ACCESS workshop has been designed for young Japanese scientists to join and discuss future TMT sciences,” added Rieko Momose (Carnegie Observatories/University of Tokyo), lead workshop organizer. “We learned about the capabilities of the TMT and E-ELT and their science cases on different topics owing to many excellent lectures by invited speakers. That allowed us to enhance discussions on science cases and future instruments on the TMT in small groups and resulted in an exciting workshop. Thanks to all participants for their active involvement. The organizers hope this workshop helps participants examine TMT science actively. As chair of the organizers, I would like to connect these workshop efforts and participants to people currently involved in TMT. Additionally, I hope to expand this workshop toward scientists in TMT partners in the future, and make opportunities for future collaborations. Lastly, we appreciate the hospitality and support of TIO, which led to the workshop's success.”

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