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Della Pietra Lecture Series: How It Began

 On November 17, 2016, Stony Brook University, and the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, recognized long-time supporters, the Della Pietra family, by dedicating the Simons Center auditorium the “Della Pietra Family Auditorium.” An event was held to honor the family — brothers Vincent and Stephen Della Pietra, and their wives Barbara Amonson and Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra — and acknowledge their many years of commitment to enhancing the University’s most innovative research and academic programs.

John Morgan, Michael A. Bernstein, Jim Simons, Barbara Amonson, Vincent Della Pietra, Stephen Della Pietra, Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, Luis Alvarez-Gaume

John Morgan, Michael A. Bernstein, Jim Simons, Barbara Amonson, Vincent Della Pietra, Stephen Della Pietra, Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, Luis Alvarez-Gaume. Image: Kristy Leibowitz Photography.

 

The relationship between the Della Pietra family and the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics is a deep one, and began in 2011 with a generous donation to fund the Della Pietra Lecture Series. Physicists themselves, the Della Pietra brothers, along with their families, started the series as means to bring greater awareness of recent and impactful discoveries in Physics and Mathematics to the Long Island community, in particular to high school, undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in the sciences. By attracting world-renowned scientists to the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, the series enhances the intellectual activity of the Center, and provides an extra ordinary opportunity for both the campus and local community to connect with brilliant minds. Each edition of the series consists of three separate lectures geared towards a specific academic audience; a technical talk for advanced faculty, a high school lecture for young students, and a general talk, open to the public. Over the years, the Center has been pleased to welcome many notable speakers such as Brian Greene (Columbia University), John H. Schwarz (California Institute of Technology), Bonnie Bassler (Princeton University), and Nobel Laureates David Gross (Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics)and Frank Wilczek (MIT) to name just a few.

“We are at the vanguard of new thinking in relation to the nature of the universe, resulting from the collaboration and collisions of ideas between some of the world’s top researchers,” said the Simons Center’s Director Luis Álvarez-Gaumé. “The Della Pietra family gift is a gratifying validation of our work and we intend to continue generating a significant return on their investment in our mission.

”In addition to their steadfast support of the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, the Della Pietra family has made many impactful contributions to the greater Stony Brook University and has invested more than $10 million across campus, making them one of the University’s top 10 donors of all time. They’ve helped provision the Global Health Institute, the Staller Center for the Arts, the Laurie Center for Pediatric MS, the College of Arts and Sciences Teaching and Education Fund, the Children’s Hospital Task Force, a visiting Professorship in the Department of Music, a family endowed Chair in Biomedical Imaging, and countless student scholarships.

At the dedication event, faculty, staff and Stony Brook University officials enthusiastically came together to pay tribute to this all-too-deserving23 family. Among the many in attendance were Simons Center Founder James H. Simons, University Provost Michael A. Bernstein, Simons Center Board of Trustees members, and the Center’s newly appointed Director, Luis Álvarez-Gaumé, whose relationship with the Della Pietra brothers has come full circle, beginning many years ago when he was their Academic Advisor at Harvard University. At a time when support of higher education is of utmost importance, the contributions from the Della Pietra family have been invaluable, and this sentiment of appreciation was echoed throughout the evening. “We are humbled by the Della Pietra family’s confidence in Stony Brook. Their philanthropy is invigorating,” said Senior Vice President of University Advancement Dexter A. Bailey, Jr. “The Della Pietra Family Auditorium in the Simons Center is a permanent reminder of our gratitude and the impact the family has had on our campus community.”

Della Pietra Lecture Series from 2011 to present date are now available as a special collection on the Center’s YouTube channel.

For upcoming public lectures, please visit: Public Lectures 

 


 


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Della Pietra Lecture Series Presents Dr. Fumiharu Kato, November 15-17, 2022

The Della Pietra Lecture Series is pleased to present a series of lectures by Dr. Fumiharu Kato, Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Department of Mathematics November 15-17, 2022 General Public Lecture Date and Time: Tuesday, November 15, 2022, 5:00PM ET Location: Della Pietra Family Auditorium – 103 Reception at 4:15pm, Simons Center Lobby  Title: Why is […]

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Della Pietra Lecture Series Presents Dr. Alvaro De Rujula, October 25-27, 2022

The Della Pietra Lecture Series is pleased to present a series of lectures by Dr. Alvaro De Rujula, CERN, October 25-27, 2022 General Public Lecture Date and Time: Tuesday, October 25th, 2022, 5:00PM ET Location: Della Pietra Family Auditorium – 103 Reception at 4:15pm, Simons Center Lobby  THE VALUE OF “PURE” SCIENCE The Higgs boson and the […]

Photo: Joshua Klein

Celebrating Science In A Fractured Society: A Look Inside The Event

Celebrating Science In A Fractured Society took place at the Staller Center on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. With over 900 people in attendance, this panel discussion brought together pioneers in Physics and Astrophysics. A thought provoking conversation among the participants about education, society, and the future of science gave way for a wonderful evening.  The […]

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Della Pietra Lecture Series by Peter Pesic: September 21-23, 2021

General Lecture  This lecture is by invitation only and will be available online for general public viewing. To watch the live stream please visit: scgp.stonybrook.edu/live Date: Tuesday, September 21 at 5:00pm ETLecture Title: “Music and the Making of Modern Science” Abstract: In the natural science of ancient Greece, music formed the meeting place between numbers and perception. […]

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Della Pietra Lecture Series by Dr. Elena Aprile: October 27-29, 2021

General Public Lecture Date: Wednesday, October 27th, 2021Lecture: 5PM ET Location: Della Pietra Family Auditorium – 103   Title: “The Search for Dark Matter with the XENON Project” Abstract: In this lecture, Elena Aprile will discuss the latest efforts to illuminate the nature of dark matter, the dominant form of matter in the Universe. An answer to this fundamental question […]

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Della Pietra Lecture Series Presents Dr. Manjul Bhargava, December 9-11, 2019

The Della Pietra Lecture Series is pleased to present Manjul Bhargava, Fields Medalist and number theorist: General Public Lecture Date: Monday December 9, 2019Reception: 5:00pm, Simons Center LobbyLecture: 5:45pm, Simons Center Della Pietra Family Auditorium, Room 103Title: “Patterns in Numbers and Nature” Abstract: In this lecture I will explore the multitude of beautiful patterns found in the world around […]

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Della Pietra Lecture Series Presents Dr. Adam Riess, August 5 and 6, 2019

The Della Pietra Lecture Series is pleased to present Dr. Adam Riess, Astrophysicist and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute. Riess is widely known for his research in using supernovae as cosmological probes and shared both the 2006 Shaw Prize in Astronomy and the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics with Saul Perlmutter and Brian P. Schmidt for providing evidence that the expansion of the universe is […]

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Della Pietra Lecture Series Presents Dr. Charles Kane, May 7 and 8, 2019.

Image courtesy Charles Kane The Della Pietra Lecture Series is pleased to present Dr. Charles Kane, theoretical condensed matter physicist and Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Pennsylvania.  Title: The Emergence of Topological Quantum Matter General Public Lecture, Wednesday May 8, 2019 at 5:45 pm, Simons Center Della Pietra Family Auditorium (Reception at 5:00pm) Special Presentation for Students, Wednesday May […]

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Della Pietra Lecture Series Presents Dr. Kip Thorne, April 19 and 20, 2018

Date: Thursday April 19, 2018 Lecture: 12:00 pm, Simons Center Della Pietra Family Auditorium Title: Exploring the Universe with Gravitational Waves: From the Big Bang to Black Holes Abstract: There are only two types of waves that can propagate across the universe: Electromagnetic waves and gravitational waves. Galileo initiated electromagnetic astronomy 400 years ago, by pointing a telescope […]

Conservationist and writer Carl Safina visiting a walrus colony on Amsterdamøya, Albert I Land, northwest coast of Svalbard. Dr. Safina was invited to sail with Greenpeace to bear witness to the changing climate in the Arctic and the impacts of industrial fishing on the marine environment.

Della Pietra Lecture Series Presents Dr. Carl Safina, March 19 and 23, 2018

The Della Pietra Lecture Series is pleased to present Dr. Carl Safina, Author, Conservationist and Endowed Professor Title: Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel General Public Lecture, Monday, March 19, 2018: 5:30 pm, Simons Center Della Pietra Family Auditorium (Reception at 5:00pm) Special Presentation for High School Students, Friday, March 23, 2018: 11:00 am, Simons Center Della […]