I am an observational astronomer and currently
a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Space Telescope
Science Institute. I work with Howard Bond on the
subject of how stars evolve near the ends of their
lives. Understanding how stars evolve is important
on its own, and for the possibility of using the
stars to learn more about the Universe. One example
of this is using certain types of stars -- those
in a particular stage of evolution -- to measure
the distances to other galaxies. Howard and I are
both interested in this subject, which is also known
as the ``cosmological distance scale.''
My undergaduate (Harvey Mudd College) and graduate
school (University of California, Davis) degrees
are in physics. While I was in graduate school,
I worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
on the the MACHO Project, which is a search for
a certain type of dark matter (dark matter can be
detected by its gravitational effect on normal stars,
but is otherwise too dark to observe directly).
Even though the work I do is classical astronomy,
my background in physics is often very useful. In
fact, my interest in the stars can be described
as "from the inside out" -- I like to think about
the physics happening inside a star, and how we
can learn more from what we see on the outside.
I was born, raised, and lived my entire life in
California until I started working at STScI. Living
and working in Baltimore was quite an adjustment.
Fortunately, I met a great girl. Her name is Jennifer
Rados. She took this picture of me while we were
on vacation in Hawaii.