Irwin I. Shapiro

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Irwin I. Shapiro
Born Irwin Ira Shapiro[1]
(1929-10-10) October 10, 1929 (age 87)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Fields Astrophysics
Alma mater Cornell University
Harvard University
Thesis Methods of Approximation for High Energy Nuclear Scattering (1955)
Notable students Steven J. Ostro
Alyssa A. Goodman
Known for Shapiro time delay
Notable awards Albert A. Michelson Medal (1975)
Dannie Heineman Prize (1983)
Brouwer Award (1987)
Charles A. Whitten Medal (1991)
William Bowie Medal (1993)
Albert Einstein Medal (1994)
Gerard P. Kuiper Prize (1997)
Einstein Prize (2013)

Irwin Ira Shapiro (born October 10, 1929 in New York City) is an American astrophysicist and Timken University Professor at Harvard University. He has been a professor at Harvard since 1982.[2] He was the director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics from 1982 to 2004.[3][4]


A native of New York, Shapiro graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in New York City. He later received his B.A. in Mathematics from Cornell University, and later a M.A. and Ph.D in Physics from Harvard University. He joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory in 1954 and became a professor of physics there in 1967. In 1982, he took a position as professor and Guggenheim Fellow[5] at his alma mater, Harvard, and also became director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. In 1997, he became the first Timken University Professor at the university.[2]

Shapiro's research interests include astrophysics, astrometry, geophysics, gravitation, including the use of gravitational lenses to assess the age of the universe.[6] In 1981, Edward Bowell discovered the 3832 main belt asteroid and it was later named after Shapiro by his former student Steven J. Ostro.[7]





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