Theoretical research at the Institute spans a broad spectrum of areas including geometry, analysis, computational science, particle astrophysics, general relativity, cosmology, quantum gravity and string theory. On the observational side, members of the Institute play a central role in major international initiatives including the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, LIGO (Laser Interferometric Gravitational Wave Observatory) and the SWIFT Gamma Ray Burst Explorer Satellite. There are ample research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students as well as post-doctoral scholars in all these areas.
At Penn State, through its inter-disciplinary research the Institute fosters scientific interactions between several departments and Centers in the Eberly College of Science. Similarly, the Center for Gravitational Wave Physics and the Center for Particle Astrophysics routinely deal with phenomenally large data sets which can provide challenging problems at the forefront of computational science. These offer opportunities for collaboration with experts on data mining and/or image analysis at the College of Information Science and Technology, particularly on the problem of giant pattern recognition. In recent years a large number of honors students in the Schreyer College have carried out research under the guidance of our faculty. In addition, several distinguished visiting scientists, including Roger Penrose, have given talks and held discussion sessions at this College.