Joshua Bloom

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Joshua Bloom
BornJoshua Simon Bloom
(1974-06-08) June 8, 1974 (age 44)
Washington, D.C., USA
Alma materHarvard College, A.B..
Cambridge University, M.Phil
California Institute of Technology, PhD
Known forGamma-Ray Bursts, Artificial Intelligence
AwardsGordon and Betty Moore Foundation Data-driven Discovery Fellow
Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy
Sloan Research Fellow
Harvard Society of Fellows
Hertz Foundation Fellow
Scientific career
FieldsAstrophysics, Computer Science
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley

Joshua Simon Bloom (born June 8, 1974 in Washington, D.C.) is an American astrophysicist, full professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, and was the CTO and co-founder of the machine-learning company (acquired[1] by General Electric, 2016). He received a Bachelor of Arts in astronomy and astrophysics and physics from the Harvard College in 1996, an M.Phil from Cambridge University in 1997, and a PhD in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology in 2002. He was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows from 2002 to 2005. His astronomy research focuses on gamma-ray bursts[2] and other astrophysical transients such as supernovae and tidal disruption events. He is author of the book What Are Gamma-Ray Bursts?[3] published by Princeton University Press in 2011.


In 2009, ScienceWatch wrote that Bloom's gamma-ray bursts "work ranks at No. 10 by total cites, based on 85 papers cited a total of 3,639 times. Five of these papers are on the lists of the 20 most-cited papers over the past decade and over the past two years."[4] He has published over 150 refereed articles[5] and is principal investigator of the Peters Automated Infrared Telescope (PAIRITEL)[6] at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Arizona. He is also principal investigator of the Synoptic Infrared Survey Telescope (SASIR).[7] Project and is currently co-chair of the transients and variable star group of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). Some of Bloom's current work focuses on the classification of astrophysical transients using machine-learning techniques.[8][9] He suggested[10] that GRB 110328A was due to a new class of relativistic outflow events from tidal disruption of a star by a massive black hole.

Honors and awards[edit]

Bloom was awarded the Herchel Smith Harvard Scholarship to Cambridge University in 1996, and was a Hertz Foundation Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. In 2006, Bloom was named as a Sloan Research Fellow by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In 2008, he was included as one of Astronomy magazine's ten "rising stars.[11] In 2009, he was awarded the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy from the American Astronomical Society. In 2010, he was named as the Sophie and Tycho Brahe Visiting Professor at Copenhagen University.[12] He is the Co-Creator of the VOEvent messaging scheme for astronomical transients.


Bloom teaches astronomy to graduate and undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley. Some of his lectures are available to the public as podcasts[13] and video streams (Python class) [14]


  1. ^ Frederic, Lardinois (November 2016). "GE acquires to deepen its machine learning stack". Techcrunch.
  2. ^ Wong, Kathleen (February 2008). "Tracking Space Transients". ScienceMatters@Berkeley. Berkeley, California. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011.
  3. ^ Bloom, Joshua (2011). What Are Gamma-Ray Bursts?. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-14557-0.
  4. ^ "Gamma-ray Bursts, Special Topics Interview". Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch. August 2009. Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  5. ^ "Refereed articles of Joshua Bloom". Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  6. ^ "PAIRITEL, Robotic Telescope for the 21st century". Retrieved January 4, 2011.[dead link]
  7. ^ "SASIR". Retrieved January 4, 2011.[dead link]
  8. ^ "NSF Supports UC Berkeley in Taming the Data Deluge in Astronomy". Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  9. ^ Mike, Wall (October 11, 2010). "Astronomy Overload: Scientists Shifting From Stargazing to Data Mining".
  10. ^ Joshua S. Bloom; et al. (2011-03-30). "GRB 110328A / Swift J164449.3+573451: X-ray analysis and a mini-blazar analogy". GCN Circulars 11847 (30 March 2011).
  11. ^ "National magazines tout two chemists and two astronomers as top innovators in their fields" Archived June 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., University of California Newsroom, Berkeley, CA, August 22, 2008.
  12. ^ "Sophie and Tycho Brahe Programme". Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  13. ^ "Astro 10P Introduction to General Astronomy". Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  14. ^ "AY250: Python computing for physical science". Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved February 21, 2012.

External links[edit]