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Matthew Penny
The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) will be NASA's next flagship mission to follow James Webb. Roughly a quarter of WFIRST's primary mission will be spent conducting an exoplanet microlensing survey. The survey will provide a statistical assay of the cold exoplanet population with masses greater than that of Mars and orbits beyond ~1 AU, with a total planet yield comparable to Kepler's. It will also measure the mass function of free-floating planets potentially down into the mass regime of large Kuiper Belt Objects. In my talk I will discuss the importance of measuring cold exoplanet demographics, introduce how microlensing is used to detect planets, and describe the expected highlights of the WFIRST microlensing survey. Time permitting I will also briefly introduce a new survey of transiting hot Jupiters in the Galactic bulge designed to bridge the gap between WFIRST's cold planets in the Galactic bulge and Kepler's warm planets in the Galactic disk. Short bio: PhD @ University of Manchester, 2011 Postdoc @ Ohio State University 2012-2014 Sagan Fellow @ Ohio State University, 2014-2017 Senior Postdoc @ Ohio State University, 2017