Larry Smarr, a physicist whose work at the University of Illinois on calculating black hole collisions led him to champion a federal commitment to dramatically enhance U.S. computing power—which led to the development of NCSA Mosaic, the precursor to today's web browsers—was named as the first 2014 recipient of the Golden Goose Award. This award honors researchers whose work may not have initially appeared to have significant practical applications but has resulted in major benefits to society.
The Laboratory for Cosmological Data Mining has been selected for the 2014 Google Summer of Code. Undergraduate students will work with Professor Robert Brunner and members of the LCDM and receive stipends to develop open source implementations of important astrophysical algorithms such as finding and classifying sources in astronomical image data, estimating distances to galaxies, identifying strong gravitational lens systems, and accelerating cosmological computations by using cloud computing.
Professor Robert J. Brunner, PI of the Laboratory for Cosmological Data Mining, has been appointed to an affiliated faculty position in the Image Formation and Processing Group of the Human Computer Interaction theme at the Beckman Institute. He will work on applications of computer vision to astronomical image challenges in collaboration with Professor Thomas Huang's group.
Athol Kemball, Associate Professor in the Department of Astronomy, has been named one of twelve appointees to the Blue Waters professorship.This prestigious honor will give Prof. Kemball access to the Blue Waters Supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).
Three Astronomy graduate alumni have recently received prestigious national awards.
Karen Yang (PhD 2011) is one of twelve recipients of the Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan.
Jim Stone (PhD 1990) has been named a Fellow of the American Physical Society for “his leading role in the development of tools for computational magnetohydrodynamics and in advancing our understanding of the physics of accretion disks, the dynamics of disk driven winds, and the dynamics of molecular clouds.”
Scott Kenyon (PhD 1983) has also been named a Fellow of the American Physical Society for “his world-leading stature in observational and theoretical astrophysics including studies of the Symbiotic Variables, Star Formation, Recurrent and Classical Novae, Solar System Formation, and the Structure of the Galaxy.”
Congratulations to all three!