Get Inspired. Meet the Pros. Science meets psych.

Friday, September 30, 2022 | 5PM-7PM | Salomon Center | Providence, RI

The Physics Department of Brown University is hosting an evening of inspiring conversation featuring Nobel Prize winning physicist, Mike Kosterlitz alongside pro climbers Ashima Shiraishi, Kyra Condie, and Nathaniel Coleman at the Salomon Center in Providence, RI on Friday, September 30, 2022 from 5PM until 7PM.

Doors open at 4:30PM with a portion of REEL ROCK 11 featuring Ashima Shiraishi playing while everyone gets settled in.

After the headlining guests begin at 5PM, local climbers Regina Madden (@shortpeoplebeta) and Madeline Brandt (@maddie_moves_) share their experiences climbing in Rhode Island and all the speakers will have a discussion about physics and the sport of climbing. Following the event, local climbing company, Rock Spot Climbing, is offering complimentary climbing at their Providence, RI location to all those in attendance so everyone can have an opportunity to give this inclusive and accessible sport a try.

The Physics Department of Brown University is hosting this event in conjunction with the launch of their latest Physics Fundamentals episode, “The Physics of Climbing.” Please watch this episode below and check out the rest of their series on YouTube.

For questions about the speakers, Physics Fundamentals, or Brown University, contact Angella Johnson and for questions about climbing, please contact Questions@RockSpotClimbing.com

Learn more about the presenters

J. Michael Kosterlitz, PhD

Michael Kosterlitz was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2016, the Maxwell Medal and Prize from the British Institute of Physics in 1981, and the Lars Onsager Prize from the American Physical Society in 2000, especially, for his work on the Kosterlitz–Thouless transition. Since 1992, he has been a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Professor Kosterlitz joined the faculty of Brown University in 1982. He received his B.A. and M.A. from Cambridge University and Ph.D. in high energy physics from Oxford University in 1969. He has engaged in research at the Instituto di Fisica Teorica, Torino, Italy, and in this country at Cornell University, Princeton University, Bell Telephone Laboratories and Harvard University. He has also served on the faculty of the Department of Mathematical Physics, University of Birmingham.

Nathaniel Coleman

Nathaniel Coleman is an American professional climber who won the silver medal in men’s combined sport climbing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He became the first American male climber to qualify for the Olympic Games after advancing to the final at IFSC Combined Qualifier Toulouse 2019 in November–December, 2019, a qualifying event for the 2020 Games in Tokyo. On June 17, 2020, Coleman added the first ascent of The Grand Illusion (8C+/V16) in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah (USA) to his list of accomplishments.

From 2016 to 2018, Coleman won three straight USA Climbing Bouldering Open National Championships, and finished 2nd in the 2019 competition. He also finished second in the 2019 Combined Invitational. Coleman won the 2020 USA Climbing Bouldering Open National Championships. Coleman also finished 4th overall in bouldering at the 2015 IFSC Climbing World Cup, winning silver medals in Toronto and Vail.

As a youth competitor, Coleman won the age group events at the USA Climbing Youth Bouldering Nationals in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

At 14, Coleman took fourth at Youth Bouldering Nationals in Boulder, Colorado.

Kyra Condie

Kyra Condie is a 25 year old professional climber and University of Minnesota alumni. Kyra was born and raised in Shoreview, Minnesota, but currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. She started climbing when she was 11 years old at her original home gym, Vertical Endeavors in St. Paul, MN. After she had completely fallen in love with the sport of climbing, she discovered that she had severe, idiopathic scoliosis. It was devastating news, but she wouldn’t let her condition hold her back. On March 12, 2010 she had a spinal fusion surgery to correct her more than 70 degree curvature and took several months to recover. Though she started competitive climbing before her surgery, she didn’t win her first major competition until after her time off. Since then, she has qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, become a Bouldering World Cup finalist, and is a regular at pro competitions around the US.

Kyra has a very aggressive and quick climbing style that has been described by commentators as having “reckless abandon” on the wall. She attributes her style to the wall she started training on when she first started climbing—a 45-60 degree overhanging bouldering wall named B2. One of the things that Kyra is most proud of in her climbing career is her part in helping build the wall that she trains on when in Minneapolis called “The A.”

When Kyra isn’t training or competing, she spends her time as a board member on the Board of Directors of USA Climbing, hanging with her two cats Pika and Pepper, watching Netflix, doing jigsaw puzzles, and finding new coffee shops. She hopes to one day attend veterinary school and work as a small animal veterinarian.

Ashima Shiraishi

Ashima Shiraishi started climbing at the age of six at Rat Rock in Central Park, joining her father. Only a few years later, she quickly established herself as one of the top boulderers and sport climbers in the world. Her numerous accolades include first-place finishes in international competitions, and multiple first female and youngest ascents. Shiraishi is featured in several short documentary-style films, and is the subject of the documentary short “Return to the Red” (2012).

The New York Times referred to her as a “bouldering phenom”. Outside Magazine described her as a “young crusher”. And The New Yorker called her “a Gretzky of the granite”. At age 13 she became the second-ever female, and youngest person, to climb a sport route with a difficulty grade of 5.14d/5.15a (9a/9a+). In 2016, she made the second ascent of Horizon in Mount Hiei, Japan and became the first-ever female to solve a V15 (8C) boulder.

Watch the latest episode of Physics Fundamentals

Physics Fundamentals is a fun, educational video series created by the Brown University Physics Department. Join Brown faculty in the Demonstration Lab to learn the physics of our universe. Created with grades 6 through 8 in mind, these videos are engaging and educational for everyone.

A portion of Reel Rock 11 will be shown at 4:30PM leading up to the event

Featuring Ashima Shiraishi, seen below making the second ascent of Nuclear War, V14, at The Master Bedroom in New York

Bonus Content from Ashima


Since 1998, Rock Spot Climbing has provided unforgettable experiences for climbers of all ages and ability levels. Whether you are new to the sport, or a seasoned climber, our gyms are warm and inviting. Walk-ins are welcome, and we have options for day use, memberships, and punch passes so you can choose the experience that suits you best. Our amazing local teams will have you climbing in minutes and when you’re ready, we make it simple to join our incredible communities with programs to support you for your entire climbing journey. Select a location near you to learn more and plan your climbing adventure with us.