The 21st century has, thus far, been a period of rapid progress
 in cosmology. And yet this very success has begun to expose the limits
 of current methods and forced cosmologists to explore new ways of
 learning about the universe and its history. At this conference, we will
 explore three related areas where methodological innovation has been
 called for, and where it has already begun. One theme will concern the
 epistemology of inflation. Does inflationary cosmology inexorably lead
 us to postulate a multiverse where anything that can happen does happen?
 And if so, what does it mean to test a theory that is compatible with
 anything we might observe? Or can we treat inflation as a more
 conventional theory, with unambiguous observational signatures? A second
 theme will concern dark matter and dark energy. We have inferred the
 existence of these entities by comparing observational evidence with
 models of general relativity. But one might just as well infer, from the
 behavior of the visible matter in the universe, that general relativity
 breaks down at cosmological (or even galactic) length scales. What are
 the prospects for alternatives to general relativity at cosmological
 scales? How might cosmology be used to test general relativity? The
 final theme will concern the role of simulation in our understanding of
 the history of the actual universe. Can simulations be used to test
 theories of the early universe? Do they provide an independent source of
 information about cosmology, or are they an intermediary between theory
 and observation?

Attendance is free, but reservations are encouraged. Please send your
 RSVP to Patty Jones before Thursday, January 26th.

Confirmed Speakers:
Claudia de Rham (Case Western)
Sarah Shandera (Penn State)
Andreas Albrecht (UC Davis)
Eric Winsberg (USF)
Feraz Azhar (Cambridge)
Chris Smeenk (Western)
James Bullock (UC Irvine)
Manoj Kaplinghat (UC Irvine)
Kev Abazajian (UC Irvine)
Barry Madore (Carnegie Observatories)
Anthony Aguirre (UC Santa Cruz)
Anna Ijjas (Princeton)
Frank van den Bosch (Yale)
Ashley Perko (Stanford University)

Confirmed Discussants:
Nora Boyd (Pittsburgh)
Siska de Baerdemaeker (Pittsburgh)
Melissa Jacquart (University of Pennsylvania)
Gordon Belot (University of Michigan)
George Ellis (University of Cape Town)
Yann Benétreau-Dupin (University of Pittsburgh)


Schedule and abstracts are available here


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