David Spergel

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David Spergel
Born
David Nathaniel Spergel[1]

(1961-03-25) March 25, 1961 (age 61)
NationalityAmerican
Alma materPrinceton University
Harvard University
Known forCo-leading the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe project
AwardsHelen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy
Shaw Prize in Astronomy
Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics
Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
Scientific career
FieldsAstrophysics
InstitutionsPrinceton University
Flatiron Institute
Simons Foundation
ThesisThe astrophysical implications of weakly interacting, massive particles (1985)
Doctoral advisorWilliam H. Press
Doctoral studentsArlie Petters
Julianne Dalcanton
Hiranya Peiris
Shirley Ho[2]

David Nathaniel Spergel is an American theoretical astrophysicist and the Emeritus Charles A. Young Professor of Astronomy on the Class of 1897 Foundation at Princeton University. Since 2021, he has been the President of the Simons Foundation.[3] He is known for his work on the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) project.

Early life and education[edit]

Spergel was born to a Jewish family[4] in Rochester, New York. His father, Martin Spergel, was also a physicist and a professor at York College, City University of New York; he died in 2021.[5] The junior Spergel attended John Glenn High School in Huntington, New York.[6] He has a brother and a sister.[7]

Spergel graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts (AB) from Princeton University in 1982,[8] after completing a senior thesis on red giants under the supervision of Gillian R. Knapp.[8][9] He then went to the University of Oxford as a visiting scholar in 1983, where he studied with James Binney.[8] He obtained his Master of Arts (AM) in 1984 and his PhD in 1985, both from Harvard University.[10]

Career[edit]

At the invitation of John N. Bahcall, Spergel joined the Institute for Advanced Studies after his PhD. He left and moved to Princeton University in 1987 as an assistant professor.[4][7][11] He was promoted to associate professor in 1992 and full professor in 1997. In 2007, he was appointed the Charles A. Young Professor of Astronomy on the Class of 1897 Foundation.[8]

Spergel joined the Flatiron Institute in 2016 as the founding director of the Center for Computational Astrophysics.[12] Citing the hesitance to hold onto 2 positions,[4] he retired from Princeton University in 2019 at the age of 59, and has remained as emeritus professor since.[13]

Spergel is a 2001 MacArthur Fellow,[10] and was a member of the NASA Advisory Council and chair of the Space Studies Board.[14] He was the Keck Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study from 2000 to 2001.[8]

Since 1994, Spergel is part of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) project consortium.[7][15] Currently, he is a member of the Simons Observatory,[16] chairs the Science Definition Team of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (formerly known as the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope),[17] and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Institution for Science (since 2022).[18]

In 2022, NASA invited Spergel to lead the a team of scientists to investigate unidentified flying objects, termed "unidentified aerial phenomena" by NASA.[19][20]

Honors and awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "David Nathaniel Spergel". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  2. ^ "David Nathaniel Spergel". Mathematics Genealogy Project. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  3. ^ "David Spergel Takes the Helm as President of the Simons Foundation". Simons Foundation. July 1, 2021. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  4. ^ a b c "David Spergel". American Institute of Physics. November 2020. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  5. ^ Paglione, Tim (2022). "A Founding Prof. Dies: Tribute by a Faculty Mentee". York College, City University of New York. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  6. ^ "National Merit Scholars Listed In New York, Jersey, Connecticut". The New York Times. April 30, 1978. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  7. ^ a b c "Autobiography of David N Spergel". Shaw Prize Foundation. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  8. ^ a b c d e "David N. Spergel". Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  9. ^ Spergel, David (1982). The jolly red giant: late-type evolved stars and their evolution to planetary nebulae. Princeton, New Jersey: Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University.
  10. ^ a b "David N. Spergel". MacArthur Foundation. October 1, 2001. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  11. ^ "David Spergel". Institute for Advanced Study. December 9, 2019. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  12. ^ "David Spergel, Ph.D." Simons Foundation. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  13. ^ "Eighteen faculty members transfer to emeritus status". Princeton University. June 24, 2019. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  14. ^ a b "David Spergel Receives NASA's Exceptional Public Service Medal". Simons Foundation. April 13, 2022. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  15. ^ "WMAP Institutions". Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe. Archived from the original on July 5, 2022. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  16. ^ "Simons Observatory Collaborators". Simons Observatory. May 16, 2020. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  17. ^ "WFIRST at the 221st AAS Meeting". Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  18. ^ "David Spergel joins Carnegie Science Board of Trustees". Carnegie Institution for Science. January 28, 2022. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  19. ^ Roulette, Joey (June 10, 2022). "NASA to form scientific team to study UFOs". Reuters. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  20. ^ "NASA to Set Up Independent Study on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena". NASA. June 9, 2022. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  21. ^ "Astronomical Society Announces Prize Recipients for 1994". Physics Today. 47 (12): 75. 1994. Bibcode:1994PhT....47X..75.. doi:10.1063/1.2808582.
  22. ^ "David Spergel". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  23. ^ "Press Release" (Press release). Hong Kong: Shaw Prize Foundation. May 27, 2010. Archived from the original on July 5, 2022. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  24. ^ Bjerklie, David (2012). "The 25 Most Influential Space Scientists". Time. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  25. ^ "365 days: Nature's 10". Nature. 516 (7531): 311–319. 2014. Bibcode:2014Natur.516..311.. doi:10.1038/516311a. PMID 25519114. S2CID 4403548.
  26. ^ "New Jersey Astrophysicist David Spergel Wins 2015 Dannie Heineman Prize" (Press release). Washington, D.C.: American Institute of Physics. January 16, 2015. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  27. ^ "FACULTY AWARD: Spergel receives NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal". Princeton University. January 31, 2017. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  28. ^ "Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics Laureats: 2018". Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. Archived from the original on July 5, 2022. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  29. ^ "AAS Fellows Class of 2020 (Legacy Fellows)". American Astronomical Society. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.

Further reading[edit]

  • Goodman, Billy. (2002) "Big Days for the Big Bang". Princeton Alumni Weekly, p. 24.
  • Current Biography Yearbook Vol. 66 (2005). H. W. Wilson Company. pp. 535–536.

External links[edit]