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The Department of Astrophysical Sciences is pleased to welcome its two newest faculty members, Professor Jo Dunkley and Professor Joshua Winn.

Professor Dunkley comes to Princeton from the University of Oxford, where she is a Professor of Astrophysics in the Department of Physics. Her research is in cosmology and, in particular, on the statistical analysis of anisotropies in the Cosmic Microwave Background. For her contributions to determining the structure and history of our Universe as part of the science teams for NASA's WMAP satellite, the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, and ESA's Planck satellite, she was awarded the Maxwell Medal, the Fowler Prize, and the Philip Leverhulme Prize. Dr Dunkley will begin her joint appointment as Professor in the Department of Physics and in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences in Fall 2016.

Professor Winn comes to Princeton from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is an Associate Professor of Physics in the astrophysics division. Much of his research concerns the geometry and architecture of exoplanetary systems, with a focus on planet formation, orbital evolution, and habitability. He has also worked on topics in stellar astronomy, radio interferometry, gravitational lensing, and photonic bandgap materials. He was a member of the NASA Kepler team and is now Deputy Science Director of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, a NASA mission scheduled for launch in 2017. A gifted teacher whose achievements in the classroom have been recognized by several awards, Dr Winn will begin his appointment as Professor of Astrophysical Sciences in Fall 2016.

James Stone to become Chair of the Department of Astrophysical Sciences

Professor James Stone will become Chair of our department effective July 1, 2016. Jim did his graduate work at the University of Illinois, and has been on the faculty at Princeton since 2003. Jim studies astrophysical plasma dynamics in a wide variety of contexts, from protostars to clusters of galaxies, mostly using large-scale numerical computations. He has a joint appointment in the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics (PACM), and is also director of the Princeton Institute for Computational Science and Engineering (PICSciE). Michael Strauss will continue as Associate Chair. David Spergel, who has been chair for the past decade, will become Director of the Center for Computational Astrophysics (CCA) at the Flatiron Institute effective September 1, in addition to keeping a half-time appointment at Princeton.

David Spergel to Lead New Center for Computational Astrophysics

The Simons Foundation is delighted to announce the creation of the Center for Computational Astrophysics (CCA) and the appointment of David Spergel as its director. The next set of advances in astronomy will require understanding complex multi-scale physics and large astronomical datasets. CCA plans to develop the computational tools needed for these calculations, simulations and analyses. CCA also plans to hold conferences and meetings and serve as a focal point for computational astronomy around the world.

David Spergel is the Charles A. Young Professor of Astronomy on the Class of 1897 Foundation and chair of the astrophysical sciences department at Princeton University. His work has been recognized by fellowships and awards, including the MacArthur Fellowship (2001), the Shaw Prize (2010), the Gruber Prize (2012, as a member of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotrophy Probe team), and the Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics (2015). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he currently serves as chair of the National Academy of Sciences Space Studies Board.

The center will be based at the Simons Foundation headquarters in Manhattan, co-located with the Center for Computational Biology (formerly known as the Simons Center for Data Analysis). Over the next several years, CCA will be recruiting outstanding scientists from the U.S. and abroad for both junior and senior positions and will be hosting sabbatical and summer visitors as well.

Weekly Talks & Events:



10:30 AM: Astro Coffee.
Peyton Hall, Grand Central


3:30 PM: Graduate Tea Time.
Peyton Hall, Graduate Lounge



11 AM: Galread.
Peyton Hall, Grand Central


12:30 PM: Extrasolar planet discussion.
Peyton Hall, Room 140


12:30 PM: Cosmology discussion.
Peyton Hall, Dome Room 201





11 AM: SFIR.
Peyton Hall, Dome Room 201


4PM: Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Colloquium.
PPPL, Melvin B. Gottlieb Auditorium



9 AM: HSC group discussion. 


11 AM: Informal IAS astrophysics seminar.


12:30 PM: Thunch.
Peyton Hall, Room 33


4:30 PM: Physics Department Colloquium.
Jadwin Hall, Room A10



11 AM: Supernova group discussion.
Peyton Hall, Room 140


12 PM: Physics gravity group seminar
Jadwin Hall, Joseph Henry Room 102


12:30 PM: Astroplasmas Seminar.
Peyton Hall, Dome Room 201


5 PM: Sherry.
Peyton Hall, Grand Central


Astrophysics Seminars in the Princeton Area:

Monthly Observing Open House

Upcoming conferences and meetings of interest