Leadership

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Daniela Huppenkothen as an Associate Director for the DIRAC Institute. Dr. Huppenkothen will lead a team of researchers who will address fundamental questions in astrophysics and define the research directions in which DIRAC Institute will expand.

Director
My work focuses on using large surveys to study cosmology and the evolution of galaxies. This ranges from studying the clustering of galaxies and their evolution with redshift, weak gravitational Read More
Andrew ConnollyDirector

My work focuses on using large surveys to study cosmology and the evolution of galaxies. This ranges from studying the clustering of galaxies and their evolution with redshift, weak gravitational lensing of galaxies, and estimating the properties of galaxies based on their colors (aka photometric redshifts). The common theme to this work is addressing the need for massive data sets and how to work with them. One area that interests me a lot at the moment is the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) where I lead the development of simulations of what LSST might observe. Beyond cosmology, I am also interested in how to make the technologies that companies use to search the internet useful in research and education.

Associate Director
I’m interested in using time series to understand the physics of black holes and neutron stars, especially using astrostatistics, a field that makes modern statistical methods useful for astronomical data Read More
Daniela HuppenkothenAssociate Director

I’m interested in using time series to understand the physics of black holes and neutron stars, especially using astrostatistics, a field that makes modern statistical methods useful for astronomical data analysis. I have worked on a number of problems, including methods to help us understand variability in fast transients like magnetar bursts, and using machine learning to classify time series from black hole X-ray binaries. At DIRAC, I am hoping to combine X-ray and optical data to make our inferences about black holes better, among other things. I am also interested in how we can use machine learning and statistics to mitigate biases introduced into our data by detectors. I am lead developer for a software project called Stingray, which aims to build a standard implementation of a lot of time series methods used in astronomy. Beyond astronomy, I am interested in finding new ways to teach data science to astronomers as a co-organizer of AstroHackWeek, and I think about participant selection for scientific workshops a lot (via the software project Entrofy).

Faculty
I’m interested in astronomical ‘Big Data’: developing and applying methods and algorithms that let us use large data sets to answer research questions. Major astronomical surveys of today are routinely Read More
Mario JurićFaculty

I’m interested in astronomical ‘Big Data’: developing and applying methods and algorithms that let us use large data sets to answer research questions.

Major astronomical surveys of today are routinely collecting hundreds of terabytes of images, creating databases with billions of objects and several billion measurements. Large surveys astronomers are becoming part data scientists. In my research, I go where the data takes me — I’ve worked on topics ranging from asteroids in the Solar System, Galactic structure, to the scale structure of the universe. My current focus is using survey data to understand the minor bodies of the Solar System and the structure and evolution of the Milky Way.

Faculty
Željko Ivezić (pronounced something like Gel-co Eva-zich) obtained undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering and physics from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, in 1990 and 1991. He obtained Ph.D. in physics Read More
Željko IvezićFaculty

Željko Ivezić (pronounced something like Gel-co Eva-zich) obtained undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering and physics from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, in 1990 and 1991. He obtained Ph.D. in physics from the University of Kentucky in 1995, where he worked on dust radiative transfer models and wrote the code Dusty. He moved on to Princeton University in 1997 to work on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and took a professorship at the University of Washington, Seattle, in 2004. Željko’s scientific interests are in detection, analysis and interpretation of electromagnetic radiation from astronomical sources. His current obsession is the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project, for which he serves as the Project Scientist.

Faculty
I am a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Washington. I am leading the development of major portions of two new large optical time-domain surveys. I Read More
Eric BellmFaculty

I am a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Washington.

I am leading the development of major portions of two new large optical time-domain surveys. I am the Alert Production Science Lead for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope as well as Survey Scientist for the Zwicky Transient Facility.

I use optical variability data to classify high-energy sources, particularly compact binaries. My research includes observation, instrumentation, and large-scale data analysis.

Faculty
I am technical manager for LSST Data Management at Princeton University. Previously, I spent several years at the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy of the University of Amsterdam. Before that, I was a member of Hertford College, Oxford, where Read More
John SwinbankFaculty

I am technical manager for LSST Data Management at Princeton University. Previously, I spent several years at the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy of the University of Amsterdam. Before that, I was a member of Hertford CollegeOxford, where I studied Physics and, latterly, Astrophysics. I was born and raised in GlasgowScotland.