Associate Professor and Department Chair
Hello! I am currently an associate professor in the Department of
Physics and Astronomy at the University of San Francisco.
Please visit my GENERAL WEBSITE HERE
for more details on my research, undergraduate projects, CV, recent
awards and press etc.
Recent awards and grants include a
Cottrell College Science Award from Research Corporation
(2010-2013), a USF Jesuit Foundation Grant (2012), and a
Dean's Scholar Award at USF for 2012-2013. I am USF's Lead Faculty Member in a 3-year $437,883 collaborative grant (2012-2015) from the National Science Foundation to the Undergraduate ALFALFA Team (UAT; PI: Prof. Rebecca Koopmann at Union College), a consortium of 19 undergraduate-focused institutions across the United States.
Please go here for my recent interview with Dr. Moira Gunn on Tech Nation with NPR on the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded for the discovery of the Higgs Boson.
My scientific interests lie primarily in theoretical cosmology,
including studies of the first stars and quasars in the universe,
cosmological reionization (particularly helium reionization),
cosmic element synthesis, the cosmic microwave background, the
physics and chemistry of gas in the early universe, dark matter,
and gravitational lensing. I have also worked in high-energy
astrophysics (gamma-ray bursts and cosmic rays) and planetary
astronomy as an undergraduate and graduate student. My current work
ranges from the above cosmology topics to projects in the fields of
dark stars and astrobiology.
Undergraduate Research: I have worked with many physics major (and astrophysics minor) students on a variety of theory cosmology
projects, as well as projects in radio astronomy through the ALFALFA
Collaboration using 21 cm observations on the world's
largest radio telescope, the 305-meter Arecibo Observatory in
Puerto Rico. My students have presented their research results at national meetings and workshops, as well at the annual USF Creative Activity and Research Day events.
Recent students include Long Yan Yung (starting his Ph.D. at Rutgers in Fall 2014) and Benjamin van Kleeck. Long Yan is also the 2012 recipient of the USF Arthur Furst scholarship award for his research.
Past students include Haley Sharp (M.S. in Planetary Astronomy, San
Diego State, expected in 2014), Christopher Downing, and Yue Zhao and Yang Wang (graduate school,
I joined USF's physics department in Fall 2006 to help
expand the astronomy and astrophysics program. Through the
introduction of new astronomy and astrophysics courses over the
last few years, we
now have two new undergraduate minors (astronomy, and astrophysics)
as of Fall 2009. More details are now available on the departmental
M.S. and Ph.D., University of Chicago
B.A. in Astronomy, Cornell University
Theoretical Astrophysics, Cosmology, First Stars and Primordial Supernovae, Cosmological Reionization, Cosmic Element Synthesis, Microwave Background, Dark Stars, Astrobiology