Rodger Thompson, now a professor of astronomy
at the University
of Arizona, was born in Texarkana, Texas. His
family moved to Marietta Ohio at the age of one
and then to Cuyahoga Falls Ohio at the age of 3.
He stayed in Cuyahoga Falls through high school
where he developed an early interest in science,
baseball and music. Not being good enough to make
a living at the last two he decided that science
was the easiest of the three.
He then went to the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology where he earned both
his Bachelors and Doctorate in Physics. While at
MIT he became interested in astrophysics and space
sciences. He did early graduate work in space x-ray
astronomy but switched to infrared astronomy to
avoid getting entangled in large space projects.
After graduation from MIT he became a professor
at the University of Arizona to exploit their ground
based infrared astronomy facilities. After several
years of work in the areas of stellar nucleosynthesis,
star formation, and Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs),
the wisdom of his graduate student days eroded and
he became the principal investigator for NICMOS
for the Hubble Space Telescope, thus becoming hopelessly
ensnared in the largest scientific space project
of all time. He survived this decision, barely,
and is now utilizing the data obtained with NICMOS
to pursue investigations in cosmology, AGNs and
When not involved in doing science he sometimes
escapes to gain the wisdom obtained by watching
baseball games and for a few reckless days skiing
in Telluride. He also pretends to be a real cook
and enjoys cooking dinner, particularly Italian
style. His friends are tolerant of this most of
Rodger Thompson's science team:
R. Thompson (U. Arizona), R. Bouwens (UCSC), M.
Dickinson (NOAO), D. Eisenstein and X. Fan (U. Arizona),
M. Franx (U. Leiden), G. Illingworth (UCSC), M.
Rieke (U. Arizona), and A. Riess (STScI).