I was born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, of Hungarian parents, came to the
U.S. at the age of four, and grew up near Baltimore, Maryland. I became
interested in astronomy in high school, being particularly fascinated
by the magnificent photographs made with the world's great telescopes.
Trying to make photos with my own home-built telescope helped fuel an
avid interest in all things technical and a growing passion for
I pursued astronomy at Indiana University in Bloomington, studies that
also included heavy doses of math, physics, and computer science. I
left college in 1975 with a degree in Astrophysics for graduate studies
at Case Western Reserve University (Warner and Swasey Observatory) in
Cleveland, Ohio. In 1978 I joined Computer Sciences Corporation at
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where I
helped support a variety of space science missions, culminating with
the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite.
I arrived at the newly-established Space Telescope Science Institute in
1983, still employed by CSC, to help design and implement software for
astronomers to view and analyze data obtained by the not-yet-launched
Hubble Space Telescope. The next several years were a roller-coaster
ride of anticipation, dissappointment, and triumph, watching launch
delays, the Challenger accident, deployment of the telescope,
realization of serious problems, and finally the successful servicing
of HST in 1993. Each subsequent servicing mission has greatly improved
the capabilities of the telescope, and allowed it to produce better and
more interesting images.
In 1993 I began to work in the Office of Public Outreach at STScI, now
employed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy
(AURA). I started this phase of my career just when the first
remarkable data emerged from the repaired telescope, and found myself
helping to produce and distribute the first successful images. Ever
since, I have been privileged to work with scientists and technical
professionals here at STScI and throughout the world to assemble the
observations into photos, illustrations, video and other products that
we distribute to the public via the internet, news media, and
I am a member of the Hubble Heritage Team, which strives to showcase
the finest images made by the Hubble Space Telescope. I have been
fortunate to assemble and help publicize some of the most remarkable
HST images, including the Orion Nebula, Whirlpool Galaxy, Helix Nebula,
Hubble Deep Fields, Andromeda Galaxy Halo, and many others.
Translating data intended for scientific analysis into photographs
meaningful to many viewer turns out to be an interesting challenge. I
have tried to apply lessons learned from the work of the greatest
photographers to tease out as much beauty as possible from the wealth
of information hiding in the exquisite data.
When I'm not busy with Hubble photos and news, I enjoy my family and trying to make photographs with my earth-bound camera while traveling, hiking, camping, and canoeing, as well as occasionally getting my hands dirty gardening, woodworking and keeping the house from falling apart.