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Yervant Terzian
Yervant Terzian

Yervant Terzian

Yervant Terzian is the David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences in the Department of Astronomy and Space Sciences at Cornell University, where he was Department Chairperson from 1979 to 1999.

Terzian's fields of expertise include planetary nebulae, physics of the interstellar medium, galaxies, and radio astronomy. He has been a Visiting Professor at various universities including the University of Montreal (Canada), the University of Thessaloniki (Greece), and the University of Florence (Italy). He has been Chairman or member of numerous national and international scientific committees affiliated with NASA, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the International Astronomical Union. He has been President of Cornell's Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society; Chairman of Cornell's Research Policies Committee; and a Research Professor with the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center. He is a member of the International Astronomical Union, the International Union of Radio Science, the American Astronomical Society, and the Hellenic Astronomical Society. He served as a Scientific Editor of The Astrophysical Journal from 1989 to 1999.

Professor Terzian is also a dedicated teacher. In 1984, he received the Clark Distinguished Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1996, he was appointed Director of NASA's New York Space Grant Program to enhance science education. In a lighter vein, he is famous among colleagues for his collections of student humor. One of his favorites is from a student evaluation, which expressed admiration for the professor's ability to maintain "a phony Armenian accent for the entire semester."

Terzian received his Ph.D. in astronomy from Indiana University. He has been awarded Honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Indiana University (1989), the Yerevan State University in Armenia (1994), the University of Thessaloniki in Greece (1997), and from Union College (1999). In 1990, he was elected Foreign Member of the Armenian Academy of Sciences. He is the author or co-author of more than 200 scientific publications and the editor of six books, including Carl Sagan's Universe.