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.