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Professor of Astronomy, Vanderbilt University (appointed 1991)

  • Ph.D., 1989, Geophysics and Space Physics, University of California, Los Angeles: Near-Infrared Speckle Observations of T Tauri Stars and A Multi-Wavelength Study of the Prototype Star T Tauri
  • M.S., 1982, Geophysics and Spaced Physics, University of California, Los Angeles:
  • B.S., 1980, Physics and Astronomy, Yale University

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Vanderbilt University

Director, Communication of Science & Technology Program, Vanderbilt University

Co-Director, Scientific Computing Program, Vanderbilt University

Co-series Editor, Springer, “SpringerBriefs in Astronomy”

Co-series Editor, Springer, “Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics”

leadership experience:

  • 2016-2017, Chair, Faculty Council, College of Arts & Science, Vanderbilt University
  • 2011-2012, Chair, Faculty Senate, Vanderbilt University
  • 2003-2004, Chair, Faculty Council, College of Arts & Science, Vanderbilt University

Honors and Awards:

  • 2016 Robert M. Woods Memorial Lecture, Westminster (PA) College
  • 2015 Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award, American Association of Physics Teachers, which “recognizes outstanding communication of the excitement of contemporary physics to the general public
  • 2014 Natural Sciences Distinguished Lecturer, Colgate University
  • 2012  John Wiley Jones Distinguished Lecturer, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • 2012  Faculty of the Year Award, Sigma Xi Fraternity (Vanderbilt chapter)
  • 2011  Honorable Mention, PROSE Award in Cosmology and Astronomy, the Association of American Publishers, recognizing “the very best in professional and scholarly publishing,” for How Old is the Universe?
  • 2011 Ernest A. Jones Faculty Advisor Award, Vanderbilt University, honoring a faculty member “for dedication to undergraduate advising”
  • 2009  Thomas Jefferson Distinguished Service Award, Vanderbilt University, “for Distinguished Service to Vanderbilt University in the councils and government of the University”
  • 2008  Finalist, AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books, Category: Junior High and High School Readers, for Is Pluto a Planet?
  • 2005  Chancellor’s Award for Research, Vanderbilt University, recognizing a faculty member for “excellence in research, scholarship, or creative expression … for works published or presented in the preceding calendar year”
  • 2003  Jeffrey Nordhaus Undergraduate Teaching Award, Vanderbilt University, “for excellence in undergraduate teaching in the College of Arts & Science”
  • 2001 Chancellor’s Cup, Vanderbilt University, for the faculty member who has “made the greatest contribution outside the classroom to undergraduat student-faculty relationships in the recent past”
  • 1999  Fellow, Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, Vanderbilt University
  • 1994  Teaching Fellow, Lilly Endowment Teaching Fellows Program

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