Ma Chung-pei

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Ma Chung-pei
Native name
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology
AwardsFellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Fellow of the American Physical Society
Sloan Fellow
Simons Foundation fellow
Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy
Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award
Scientific career
FieldsCosmology, astrophysics
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley

Ma Chung-pei (Chinese: 馬中珮; pinyin: Mǎ Zhōngpèi) is a Taiwanese-American astrophysicist and cosmologist. She is the Judy Chandler Webb Professor of Astronomy and Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. She led the teams that discovered several of largest known black holes from 2011 to 2016.


Ma was born in Taiwan. She started playing violin at the age of four. She attended Taipei Municipal First Girls' Senior High School and won the Taiwan National Violin Competition in 1983.[1] She then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), receiving her bachelor of science degree in physics in 1987. She earned a PhD in physics from MIT in 1993. She studied theoretical cosmology and particle physics with Alan Guth and Edmund W. Bertschinger, her doctoral advisors. A violin prodigy as a teenager in Taiwan, winning a national violin competition in Taipei when she was 16, she also took violin classes during her college years at MIT at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music.[2]

From 1993 to 1996 Ma had a postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. From 1996 to 2001 she was an associate and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. While there she won the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.[3] She became a professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley's Department of Astronomy in 2001.

Ma's research interests are the large-scale structure of the universe, dark matter, and the cosmic microwave background.[2] She led the team that discovered the largest known black holes in 2011.[4][5]

Ma is the scientific editor in cosmology for The Astrophysical Journal.

Awards and honors[edit]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Ma, Chung-Pei; Bertschinger, Edmund (December 1995). "Cosmological Perturbation Theory in the Synchronous and Conformal Newtonian Gauges". The Astrophysical Journal. 455: 7–25. arXiv:astro-ph/9506072. Bibcode:1995ApJ...455....7M. doi:10.1086/176550.
  • Ma, Chung‐Pei; Fry, J. N. (10 November 2000). "Deriving the Nonlinear Cosmological Power Spectrum and Bispectrum from Analytic Dark Matter Halo Profiles and Mass Functions". The Astrophysical Journal. 543 (2): 503–513. arXiv:astro-ph/0003343. Bibcode:2000ApJ...543..503M. doi:10.1086/317146.
  • Boylan-Kolchin, M.; Ma, C.-P.; Quataert, E. (1 January 2008). "Dynamical friction and galaxy merging time-scales". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 383 (1): 93–101. arXiv:0707.2960. Bibcode:2008MNRAS.383...93B. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.12530.x.
  • McConnell, Nicholas J.; Ma, Chung-Pei (20 February 2013). "Revisiting the Scaling Relations of Black Hole Masses and Host Galaxy Properties". The Astrophysical Journal. 764 (2): 184. arXiv:1211.2816. Bibcode:2013ApJ...764..184M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/764/2/184.
  • Ma, Chung-Pei; Caldwell, R. R.; Bode, Paul; Wang, Limin (10 August 1999). "The Mass Power Spectrum in Quintessence Cosmological Models". The Astrophysical Journal. 521 (1): L1–L4. arXiv:astro-ph/9906174. Bibcode:1999ApJ...521L...1M. doi:10.1086/312183.
  • Fakhouri, Onsi; Ma, Chung-Pei; Boylan-Kolchin, Michael (21 August 2010). "The merger rates and mass assembly histories of dark matter haloes in the two Millennium simulations". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 406 (4): 2267–2278. arXiv:1001.2304. Bibcode:2010MNRAS.406.2267F. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16859.x.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 石麗東 (January 17, 2014). "震 動 全 球 天 文 學 界 的 馬 中 珮" (PDF). Atlanta Chinese News (in Chinese) (1212). p. 16.
  2. ^ a b "Leading physicist awarded US prize". Taipei Times. April 11, 2003.
  3. ^ "Current Faculty: Chung-Pei Ma". UC Berkeley Department of Astronomy. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Newly Discovered Black Holes Are Largest So Far". NPR. December 15, 2011.
  5. ^ "Newly Discovered Massive Black Holes Dwarf Previous Record Holders". PBS NewsHour. December 6, 2011.
  6. ^ "2003 Maria Goeppert Mayer Award Recipient". American Physical Society. Retrieved 22 November 2015.

External links[edit]