**Ivan Agullo**, Louisiana State University

*Loop Quantum Cosmology, Non-Gaussianity, and CMB anomalies*

Loop quantum cosmology has become a robust framework to describe the highest curvature regime of the early universe. In this theory, inflation is preceded by a bounce replacing the big bang singularity. I will summarize the theoretical framework, and explore the corrections to the inflationary predictions for the primordial spectrum of cosmological perturbations that this pre-inflationary, quantum gravity phase of the universe introduces. The impact of the bounce on non-Gaussianity and the exciting relation to the observed large scale anomalies in the CMB will be discussed.

**Stephon Alexander**, Brown University

*A Bouncing Universe approach to Fine Tuning*

**Abhay Ashtekar**, Pennsylvania State University

*Bounce in Loop Quantum Cosmology and its Implications*

There is a huge body of work in Loop Quantum Cosmology comprising of several thousand journal articles. I will provide an overview of conclusions, focusing on the difficult conceptual and mathematical issues that accompany the notion of a bounce and opening the way for phenomenological implications that will be discussed by Ivan Agullo.

**Aurelien Barrau**, LPSC

*Loop quantum gravity and bounces : cosmology and black hoes*

In his talk I will review some recent results concerning the cosmological bounce in loop quantum gravity. In particular I will show how the predicted duration of inflation in affected by the choices of initial conditions, amount of shear and inflaton potential shape. Then I will show how those ideas can be used in black holes physics and comment on the associated phenomenology?

**Martin Bojowald,** Pennsylvania State University

*Space(-time) structure in models of loop quantum gravity*

Loop quantum gravity has suggested modifications of the dynamics of cosmological models that could lead to a bounce at large curvature. However, the same modifications may alter the gauge structure of the theory, which is related to the structure of space-time. In a large class of examples the space-time structure has been derived and shown to imply signature change just in the bounce region. The picture of a cyclic universe with a deterministic bounce then has to be replaced by the scenario of a non-singular beginning some finite time ago.

**Robert Brandenberger**, McGill University

*Challenges for Bouncing Cosmologies*

I will review various approaches to bouncing cosmologies and will discuss challenges which the different approaches face.

**Claudia de Rham**, Imperial College London

*Unitary Cosmological Bounces*

A non-singular cosmological bounce in the Einstein frame can only take place if the Null Energy Condition (NEC) is violated. I will explore the constraints imposed by demanding tree level unitarity on a cosmological background in single scalar field theories before focusing on the explicit constraints that arise in P(X) theories. In that context, perturbative unitarity makes it impossible for the NEC violation to occur within the region of validity of the effective field theory but I will show explicitly how unitarity may be restored by involving irrelevant operators that arise at a higher scale.

**Shane Farnsworth**, Albert Einstein Institute

*Spinor driven cosmic bounces and their (in)stability*

Resolving the big bang singularity with a non-singular classical bounce usually requires the introduction of some sort exotic matter which violates the null-energy condition (NEC), such as a scalar field that undergoes ghost condensation, or models involving Galileon fields. In such models an NEC violating phase is not difficult to achieve on its own, but the situation becomes much more restrictive once observational and stability requirements are taken into consideration. In this talk I discuss whether a more desirable outcome might be achieved by making use of fermionic rather than scalar matter. In particular, I describe bouncing scenarios which arise naturally within the context of Einstein-Cartan-Holst gravity coupled to classical Dirac spinors. As I will show, it is relatively easy to construct backgrounds which not only undergo a bounce, but which also accommodate other interesting dynamics outside the bouncing phase, such as inflation or ekpyrosis. Unfortunately, things work less well when considering perturbations in such bouncing backgrounds as I explain within the context of the simplest models: the comoving curvature perturbation diverges as the moment of NEC violation is approached, and hence the models of greatest interest break down before reaching the bounce.

**Jean-Luc Lehners**, Albert Einstein Institute

*Quantum cosmological instabilities - with and without boundaries*

The big bang singularity might be avoided by replacing it with a theory of initial conditions, or by considering a bounce from an earlier contracting phase. I will describe how both proposals can run into difficulties with instabilities when the spacetime must be treated semi-classically (i.e. when bounces occur due to a quantum tunneling transition rather than as classically non-singular solutions). The absence of such instabilities places new restrictions on the available theories, implying a selection criterion whose consequences remain to be explored.

**Ue-Li Pen**, CITA

*Observable Consequences of a Bounce*

I discuss potentially observable signatures of scalar and tensor decaying modes, which do not exist in inflation, and could be a probe of a bouncing universe.

**Mairi Sakellariadou**, Kings College London

*Cosmological implications of quantum gravity proposals*

I will highlight cosmological consequences of Group Field theory Condensate Cosmology and Emergent Gravity on Non-commutative Spaces, two cosmological models based on a top-down and a bottom-up, respectively, approaches to quantum gravity. In particular, I will show that the initial singularity of the standard cosmology is replaced by a bounce, while there is an inflation-like phase with a graceful exit, driven by a purely geometrical mechanism which does not require the introduction of an ad-hoc scalar field.

**Edward Wilson-Ewing**, University of New Brunswick

*Emergent bouncing cosmology from quantum gravity condensates*

I will explain how cosmological dynamics emerge from the hydrodynamics of isotropic group field theory condensate states in the Gross-Pitaevskii approximation. The correct Friedmann equations are recovered in the classical limit for some choices of the parameters in the action for the group field theory, and quantum gravity corrections arise in the high-curvature regime causing a bounce which generically resolves the big-bang and big-crunch singularities.