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Richard French

Richard French

Dick French graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in Physics and a Ph.D. in Astronomy. His primary research interests are the dynamics and structure of planetary rings and atmospheres, which he has investigated using ground-based telescopes around the world. After completing his doctoral studies, Dick was a Principal Research Scientist at MIT, where he developed detailed models for the orbits of the Uranian rings, based on stellar occultation observations. His passion for teaching led him to accept a faculty position at Wellesley College, where he is currently the Chair of the Astronomy Department and Director of the Whitin Observatory. While at Wellesley, Dick has focussed his attention on Saturn's rings, as the Principal Investigator of a long-term program to observe Saturn's rings with the Hubble Space Telescope's marvelous WFPC2 camera. He is a member of the Cassini Radio Science team, and after working on this space mission since 1989, he is looking forward with impatience to the first radio occultation observations of Saturn from Cassini, scheduled to take place in 2005.