Note that this is a different canon from the previous 1984 and 1989 films. That version Columbia University is covered here.
Erin Gilbert taught theoretical physics at Columbia University and was looking forward to an established career in the Physics Department. Erin spent many years working hard and ingratiating herself with the faculty.
While working as an associate professor, Erin studied the subatomic particle called a neutrino and also attempted to solve the challenge of unifying quantum mechanics and Einstein's gravity with her own Grand Unified Theory. Amid her impending tenure review, Erin learned she was being published again and was assigned to lecture in the Max Planck Auditorium or the "big hall." Phil Hudson, her boyfriend and colleague, greeted Erin at an administrative gathering at the alumni hall in the morning at Columbia University. She informed him she was lecturing in the big hall. Phil thought it was wonderful then asked if that was what she was wearing for the lecture. He then introduced Erin to Phyllis Adler, a guest lecturer and a physicist she admired. It soon became apparent Phyllis would answer everything contrary to what Erin would say. She excused herself to get ready for the lecture. As she leaned over to kiss Phil, he instead greeted a colleague named Simon. She kissed his shoulder instead then brushed it with her hand. She joked about not stepping on any cracks then played with a man's ponytail. Phyllis asked Phil if he really knew her. He replied he did. Erin's plans started to go downhill when Ed Mulgrave Jr. visited her. Erin was psyching herself up for the lecture and started shaking her butt around unaware Mulgrave was behind her. He was speechless. She turned around and was startled. Mulgrave apologized for interrupting her and explained he needed to speak to her about her book. Erin tried to dissuade him that she had written anything about ghosts, but he confirmed this by holding up her author picture. Erin claimed it was a gag. Mulgrave was skeptical it was a 460 page gag and pointed out the first sentence was, "This is not a joke." Erin gave up and asked him what he wanted. Mulgrave introduced himself and asked her to come to the Aldridge Mansion because he believed it was haunted by the ghost of Gertrude Aldridge. He admitted he tried the police first but he just sounded crazy telling them what happened. Erin was unsure how he even found a copy since she thought she burned both copies. He further explained that the book was available on Amazon in multiple formats, which prompted Erin to track down Abby Yates.
Erin went to her office and she found out that Abby was operating her paranormal research at the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute. Dean Harold Filmore came to her office and informed her the committee was set for the final review of her tenure case on Thursday. She had her monitor on an Amazon listing for Ghosts from Our Past and hid it from his view. Filmore brought up her recommendation letter from Dr. Branum at Princeton and asked her to get one from a more prestigious college. She was caught off guard by his opinion. Filmore stated to her that he believed she was an asset to modern physics and would hate to see her throw it down the drain. He thought about telling her something about her clothes but changed his mind and left after she remarked it was "too sexy for academia." After the events at the Aldridge Mansion Museum, where Erin encountered Gertrude Aldridge, Dean Filmore found the video Jillian Holtzmann and Abby Yates uploaded of an ecstatic Erin declaring ghosts are real. He fired Erin, indicating that Columbia did not want to be associated with a professor who didn't hold up to their standards. Erin took the walk of shame and made up stories so no one thought she was fired. Phil pretended to be studying a chart on the wall and ignored Erin. After the first Mercado incident, Fox 5 News spoke with Harold Filmore about Erin. Filmore found it was unfortunate that Columbia University had these former ties with her but stated they were about real science, discovering truth, and not lying for a sad moment of fame.
- Alma Mater Sculpture
- Max Planck Auditorium
- Erin Gilbert's office
- Dean Harold Filmore's office
Theatrical and Extended Versions
- Dean Harold Filmore
- Doctor Roberts
- Phil Hudson
- Phyllis Adler
- Guest Lecturer
- Doctor Gibbons
- Not all of the shots of Columbia University were actually shot there.
- Only the aerial establishing shot and the Alma Mater Sculpture shot are from the real Columbia University.
- The outside shot of Erin walking through campus was taken on Emmanuel College Grounds in Boston.
- Max Planck Auditorium is named after real life theoretical physicist Max Planck, who is most known for his work on quantum theory.
- James Maxwell also noted one of his colleagues worked closely with production to make sure the equations that appear throughout the movie such as on blackboards and papers scattered around the laboratory scientifically accurate.
- Erin's office is a recreation of movie consultant and Physics professor Janet Conrad.
- In Erin's office, there is a paper on neutrinos formatted in the style of real-world journal Physical Review Letters and the co-author is listed as G.F. Siegal, a nod to movie consultant Lindley Winslow's baby.
- Near Erin's office in the hall is a bust of Harold Ramis.
- On September 15, 2015, filming started at the Stonehurst estate in Waltham. Four rooms in the state were dressed simulate senior staff offices and the alumni hall of Columbia University.
- The Great Hall was dressed as the alumni hall.
- A bedroom was dressed as Erin's office.
- The dining room was dressed as Dean Filmore's office. The decorative fireplace and door behind Erin is indicative of the dining room.
- Erin's walk of shame scene was filmed in the Emmanuel College's Administration Building in Boston.
- On page 17 of Ghostbusters International #7, the whiteboard in panel 6 is a non-canon reference to Erin's equations in the Columbia lecture hall near the start of the movie.
- On page 4 of Ghostbusters International #8, once again on the whiteboard, is the equations written by Erin in the Columbia lecture hall at the start of the movie.
- Ghostbusters (2016 Movie)
- Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal
- Ghostbusters (2016 Movie)
- Fox 5 News Anchor #1 (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 12 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 1:27:56-1:28:01). Sony Pictures. Fox 5 News Anchor #1 says: "We spoke to Dr. Harold Filmore, Physics Department Chair at Columbia University, where Ms. Gilbert used to teach."
- Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 219. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002. Line reads: "Erin Gilbert, Ph.D., M.S., previously taught theoretical physics at Columbia University before taking permanent extended leave to cofound the Ghostbusters. The former academic firebrand's work has been published in Scientific American, Nature, and The Journal of Unexplained Things, Explained."
- Erin Gilbert (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 4 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:23:21-00:23:30). Sony Pictures. Erin Gilbert says: "Fired! After years, years of hard work. And ass-kissing. God, I kissed so many different kinds of asses."
- Boston Globe " Meet the MIT physicists who vetted the science in ‘Ghostbusters’" 7/27/16 Line reads: "Like Wiig's character, Winslow is an assistant professor. She studies a subatomic particle called a neutrino. So little is known about neutrinos they're called the "ghosts of the standard model," Winslow said."
- Erin Gilbert (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 1 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:07:31-00:07:39). Sony Pictures. Erin Gilbert says: "As you can see from my calculations, we will soon be able to combine general relativity and quantum theory."
- Phil Hudson (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 1 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:06:58-00:06:59). Sony Pictures. Phil Hudson says: "Hey, good luck on your tenure review."
- Erin Gilbert (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 1 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:05:44-00:05:46). Sony Pictures. Erin Gilbert says: "I'm lecturing in the big hall today."
- Dean Harold Filmore (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 1 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:09:16-00:09:18). Sony Pictures. Dean Harold Filmore says: "We're set for the final review of your tenure case on Thursday."
- Dean Harold Filmore (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 1 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:09:21-00:09:25). Sony Pictures. Dean Harold Filmore says: "But I saw that you had a recommendation letter from Dr. Branum at Princeton."
- Dean Harold Filmore (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 1 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:09:39-00:09:46). Sony Pictures. Dean Harold Filmore says: "You see, I think you're an asset to modern physics, but I would hate to see you throw it down the drain."
- EC The Hub "The Next Ghostbusters Movie is Being Filmed at Emmanuel" 7/1/15 Line reads: "Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig hung out in the Yawkey Center between several takes of a casual stroll across the quad, cameras rolling. Tents for director Paul Feig and film VIPs were erected inside the Atrium and furnished with couches."
- People "Melissa McCarthy Ditches Ghostbusters Jumpsuit and Spends Day with Her Daughters in Boston" 7/1/15 Line reads: "The stars of the all-female Ghostbusters rebootthis link opens in a new tab headed to Emmanuel College in the Fenway neighborhood to film on Tuesday, where McCarthy, 44, debuted her official ghost-busting suit as she strolled across the campus, which was set up to double as New York City’s Columbia University."
- Boston Globe " Meet the MIT physicists who vetted the science in ‘Ghostbusters’" 7/27/16 Line reads: "Winslow herself spent a week writing out a lengthy and elaborate Grand Unifying Theory known as SU(5). (You can spot it in a scene where Wiig's character, Erin Gilbert, while trying to earn tenure at Columbia, prepares to speak on the challenge of unifying quantum mechanics and gravity.)."
- PC Magazine "Reimagining Ghostbusters, and Proton Packs, for 2016" 7/11/16 Line reads: "The inspiration went beyond just facilities, though. In one scene in the movie, Wiig's Gilbert stands in front of a lecture hall, speaking on challenges of reconciling quantum mechanics with Einstein's gravity. On the whiteboards, behind her, a series of equations tells the same story: a self-contained narrative, written by Winslow and later transcribed on set, illustrating the failure of a once-promising physics theory called SU(5). (Yes, "Pa/RA(NO x RM)alS + UDIes/Lab" might be an easter egg, but "conformal compensator superfields" are a real thing.."
- Paranormal Studies Lab "Busting Ghosts with Science" 01:16-01:25 3/3/16 James Maxwell says: "One of my colleagues at MIT, she's been working with them very closely to make sure that the blackboards and all the papers you see strewn around the laboratory are accurate."
- Boston Globe "Meet the MIT physicists who vetted the science in Ghostbusters" 7/27/16 Line reads: "Physics professor Janet Conrad, another consultant on the film, saw her office re-created, and many of her books and papers make cameos in the movie."
- Wired "The MIT Physicists Who Infused Ghostbusters With Real Science" 7/11/16 Line reads: "With Winslow now on parental leave, the production asked Conrad to create physics papers and grant applications to use as props on the character’s desks—something she did in almost absurd detail. Wiig’s character got a paper on neutrinos, formatted in the style of real-world journal Physical Review Letters. (There’s an even deeper homage as well: on the paper, Gilbert’s coauthor is one G.F. Siegal—the name of Lindley Winslow’s new baby.)"
- Waltham Patch "'Ghostbusters' Starts Filming in Waltham This Week" 9/15/15
- Stonehurst "Ghostbusters visit Stonehurst!" 3/14/16
- Spook Central Shot on Site "Return of Shot on Site Summer - Ghostbusters 2016 Locations, Part 2 (Movie Rundown)" 6/10/18
- Erin Gilbert (2016). Ghostbusters (2016 Movie) Extended Edition; Chapter 2 (2016) (Blu-Ray ts. 00:12:03-00:12:11). Sony Pictures. Erin Gilbert says: "And if my colleagues at Columbia University Google my name, that is the first thing that comes up. Along with a ghost emoji now, thank you very much, ...that does a little dance."
- Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 1. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002. Line reads: "Unbelievably absurd. ---Dr. Harold Filmore, head of the Columbia University Physics Department"
- Shaffer, Andrew (2016). Ghosts From Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal, p. 219. Three Rivers Press, New York NY USA, ISBN 9781101906002. Line reads: "Erin Gilbert, Ph.D., M.S., previously taught theoretical physics at Columbia University before taking permanent extended leave to cofound the Ghostbusters"