Talk Title: The Acceleration of the Universe
10:30 a.m. March 17, 2010
Tucson Marriott University Park
Dr. Nicholas Suntzeff
About the Speaker
Suntzeff is a native of Corte Madera California. He graduated from Redwood High School in Larkspur California, received a B.S. with distinction in Mathematics in 1974 from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Astronomy & Astrophysics from UC Santa Cruz and Lick Observatory in 1980. He won the Robert Trumpler Award for the outstanding Ph.D. thesis of the year from North American universities in 1983. From 1982 to 1986 he was a Carnegie Fellow at Mt. Wilson and Las Campanas Observatories. In 1986 he moved to the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory and NOAO for 20 years, where he rose to the rank of Astronomer and Associate Director of Science. He specializes in the study of supernovas, stellar populations, stellar abundances, and astronomical instrumentation. In 1994 the group he co-founded established the use of Type Ia supernovas to measure accurate distances and the Hubble constant. In 1998, the group he co-founded with Brian Schmidt announced evidence for acceleration in the local Universe implying the Universe is 75% filled with dark energy. This discovery has lead to many awards for Suntzeff, including Science Breakthrough of the Year of 1998, the Gruber Prize in Cosmology, and the AURA Science Award in 1992 and 1998. He has since moved to Texas A&M University to found an astronomy program and help direct the Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy. He also founded the Charles Munnerlyn Astronomical Laboratory and Space Sciences Engineering program. Suntzeff serves on the boards of museums, observatories, and private companies. He is presently an elected councilor of the American Astronomical Society, and will become its Vice President in June 2010.