Alexei Filippenko (University of California, Berkeley)

Alex Filippenko received his B.A. in Physics from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and his Ph.D. in Astronomy from the California Institute of Technology, subsequently becoming a Miller Research Fellow at UC Berkeley. In 1986 he joined the faculty at UC Berkeley, where he has remained through the present time. An observational astronomer who makes frequent use of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck 10-meter telescopes, his primary areas of research are exploding stars, active galaxies, black holes, gamma-ray bursts, and the expansion of the Universe; he has also spearheaded efforts to develop robotic telescopes. His research accomplishments, documented in more than 470 published papers, have been recognized by several major awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is one of the world's most highly cited astronomers. He is a prominent member of the High-Redshift Supernova Search Team, whose co-discovery of the accelerated expansion of the Universe was voted the top scientific breakthrough of 1998 by the editors of Science magazine.

Filippenko is Past President of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and has been a Councilor of the American Astronomical Society. A dedicated and enthusiastic instructor, he has won the top teaching awards at UC Berkeley; also, in 1995, 2001, 2003, and 2004 he was voted the "Best Professor" on campus in informal student polls. He has appeared in numerous TV documentaries such as Stephen Hawking's "Mysteries of Deep Space" and Nova's "Runaway Universe." In 1998 and 2003 he produced extensive video courses on introductory astronomy with The Teaching Company, and in 2001 he coauthored an award-winning introductory astronomy textbook. In 2004 he won the Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization. Besides being an avid tennis player and hiker, he enjoys world travel and is addicted to total solar eclipses, having seen 8 of them.

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