ICTP-Trieste/ICTP-SAIFR School and Workshop on Observational Cosmology

Start time: December 1, 2014

Ends on: December 12, 2014

Location: São Paulo, Brazil



Cosmology has entered a precision era driven by numerous experiments. Large scale surveys of structures such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Dark Energy Survey, together with  experiments designed to carefully measure the cosmic microwave background, such as the Planck satellite and BICEP2, continue to explore and reveal vital information about our universe.

This School will provide students with the necessary tools to use this multifold of data to test different cosmological models and determine their parameters. Pedagogical lectures providing the necessary theoretical background will be followed by hands-on lectures focusing on the different cosmological probes that are currently used. On Sunday December 7, there will be a one-day Workshop where recent work in this field will be presented.

The event is intended for advanced graduate students and researchers. There is no registration fee and limited funds are available for travel and local expenses.


Raul Abramo (IF-USP), Paolo Creminelli (ICTP-Trieste), Alessandro Melchiorri (Roma), Rogerio Rosenfeld (ICTP-SAIFR & IFT), Ravi Sheth (ICTP-Trieste & U. of Pennsylvania)


  • Philippe Brax (Saclay) – Beyond LCDM
  • Paolo Creminelli (ICTP-Trieste) – Inflation
  • Scott Dodelson (Fermilab & U. of Chicago) – Theory and Combined Probes
  • Fabio Iocco (ICTP-SAIFR/IFT-UNESP)
  • Marcello Musso (U. de Louvain) – Large Scale Structure II
  • Rafael Porto (DESY)
  • Anais Rassat (EPFL-Lausanne) – Gravitational Lensing
  • Ravi Sheth (ICTP-Trieste & U. of Pennsylvania) – Large Scale Structure I
  • Joe Zuntz (U. of Manchester) – From Observations to Models (and back)

Registration: ALL participants should register. The registration will be on December 1  from 8:00 to 9:00 at the institute. You can find arrival instruction at http://www.ictp-saifr.org/?page_id=195.





Lectures Summary:

Philippe Brax (Saclay) – Beyond LCDM
After reviewing the current experimental status of modified gravity (from solar system experiments to the Casimir effect), and its relation to the cosmology of the late time Universe, I will give a pedagological introduction to screening in modified gravity, from chameleons to Galileons. I will derive its consequences for the growth of large scale structure and laboratory tests.
Reference: Justin Khoury´s Les Houches Lectures on Physics Beyond the Standard Model of Cosmology

Paolo Creminelli (ICTP-Trieste) – Inflation
The course will review the motivations for inflation and its classical dynamics.
The inclusion of  quantum mechanics give rise to all the predictions for the primordial (scalar and tensor) perturbations that will be reviewed in detail.
Reference: D. Baumann, TASI lectures on Inflation

Scott Dodelson (Fermilab & U. of Chicago) – Physics from Combined Cosmological Probes
1: Physics and Probes: Dark Energy, Inflation, and Neutrinos
2: 2D Correlations: Limber Approximation and LSSXLensing
3: Cluster Masses: SZ, Richness, Weak Lensing, CMB Cluster Lensing
4: CMB Lensing: Quadratic Estimator, Cross-correlations with LSS, Lensed B-modes, De-Lensing

Alessandro Melchiorri (Roma) – Cosmic Microwave Background (including new Planck results)
1: CMB Angular Power Spectra Temperature Anisotropies
2: CMB Angular Power Spectra Polarization
3: CMB Parameters


Marcello Musso (U. de Louvain) – Large Scale Structure II
I will review the gravitational collapse of dark matter perturbations and how to combine with the theory of Gaussian random fields in order to derive the statistical properties (abundance and correlation functions) of dark matter halos and their relation to the dark matter field (halo bias).
Day 1) Spherical collapse and the halo mass function.
Day 2) Halo correlation functions. Halo bias.

On spherical collapse:
Cooray and Sheth
Waine Hu’s lecture notes

On excursion sets:
Bond et al.
Musso and Sheth

On bias:
Cooray and Sheth again, and Matsubara monster

Anais Rassat (EPFL-Lausanne) – Gravitational Lensing
I: Basics of lensing, derivation of alpha
II: Derivation of Kappa, C(l), tomography, cosmological constraints from lensing
III: Intrinsic Alignments, Impact on cosmological parameters & correlation with number counts

Ravi Sheth (ICTP-Trieste & U. of Pennsylvania) – Large Scale Structure I
I will develop a phenomenological model of large scale structure known as the Halo Model. The approach allows one to describe how different galaxy populations are related to the same underlying dark matter distribution. Therefore, it is the natural language for describing the dependence of clustering on galaxy type in real and redshift space, as well as weak lensing measurements, on linear and nonlinear scales.  It also translates datasets obtained primarily to constrain cosmological parameters into useful constraints on galaxy formation models.
Reference: The Halo Model of Large Scale Structure; Asantha Cooray and Ravi K. Sheth, (2002), Physics Reports, 372, 1-129.

Joe Zuntz (U. of Manchester) – From Observations to Models (and back)
1. Essentials of probability and statistics (basic laws, distributions, descriptive stats)
2. Inference methods used in cosmology (ML, Fisher, Grids, MCMC, model selection)
3. Standard cosmological inference (types of cosmology data, computational implementations of inference)
4. Testing new cosmological theories and data sets (backgrounds, perturbations, covariances & other challenges)

 List of Participants: Updated on Nov 19

Poster Presentation: Participants who are presenting poster MUST BRING THE POSTER PRINTED. The poster size should be at most 1,5m x 1m. Please do not bring hanging banner, only sticking poster.

General Information: General Information Sheet -  Useful information specially for those who are not from São Paulo city.

Accommodation: Participants whose accommodation has been arranged and paid by the institute will stay at The Universe FlatEach participant whose accommodation has been arranged by the institute has received the details about the accommodation individually by email.

Registration: ALL participants should register. The registration will be on December 1  from 8:00 to 9:00 at the institute. You can find arrival instruction at http://www.ictp-saifr.org/?page_id=195.

Upon registration, participants from South America who are receiving financial support, please bring a photocopy of your ID or passport.

BOARDING PASS: All participants, whose travel has been provided or will be reimbursed by the institute, should bring the boarding pass upon registration, and collect an envelope to send the return boarding pass to the institute.

Emergency number: 9 8233 8671 (from São Paulo city); +55 11 9 8233 8671 (from abroad), 11 9 8233 8671 (from outside São Paulo).

Ground transportation instructions:

Ground transportation from Guarulhos Airport to The Universe Flat

Ground transportation from The Universe Flat to the institute

Ground transportation from Congonhas Airport to th Universe Flat