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Rory Barnes is a theorist in the Virtual Planetary Laboratory primarily interested in the formation and evolution of habitable planets. He focuses on planets in and around the “habitable zones” of low-mass stars, showing how their composition, orbital oscillations, and tidal processes affect our concept of planetary habitability. He has also worked extensively on the orbital evolution of giant exoplanets, demonstrating that most multiple planets systems appear packed, meaning no more can exist between those that are known. He is the editor of the book “Formation and Evolution of Exoplanets” (Wiley-VCH). Rory is also a member of the Astrobiology Program, the SDSS-III MARVELS collaboration, the APOSTLE survey of transiting exoplanets, and the N-Body Shop.

Studied at: University of Washington (2009)

Joined UW in: 2009


My research interests in the past have focused on detecting and following-up unusual microlensing events in real-time (with MACHO, GMAN, and MPS). However, my pursuits have since broadened to the generalized problem of detecting and classifying astronomical variability regardless of type (with DLS, SDSS, and LSST). In particular, if one wants to recognize rare classes of transient events, the background of more prosaic astronomical variability must first be recognized and removed. Modern surveys that simultaneously survey faint, fast, and wide are now at a threshold where we expect these new sorts of discoveries. Accomplishing this will require advances in the integration of computing and information management necessary to extract and model astronomical variability information in real-time. Recent science pursuits include:…

Studied at: University of Washington (2000)

Joined UW in: 2002

I am Research Professor at the UW Astronomy Department. My main research field is cosmic structure formation. Using computer simulations I try to understand how Galaxies, Super Massive Black Holes and Galaxy Clusters formed out of dark matter, baryons, and dark energy… and a lot of physics. It is a rapidly changing, fascinating field, that rewards a vivid imagination, independence, attention to details and collaborative work. I often collaborate with UW professors Jessica Werk, Tom Quinn and Matt Mc Quinn.

Studied at: Universita' di Roma II Tor Vergata


I’m interested in astronomical ‘Big Data’: developing and applying methods and algorithms that let us use large data sets to answer research questions. Major astronomical surveys of today are routinely collecting hundreds of terabytes of images, creating databases with billions of objects and several billion measurements. Large surveys astronomers are becoming part data scientists. In my research, I go where the data takes me — I’ve worked on topics ranging from asteroids in the Solar System, Galactic structure, to the scale structure of the universe. My current focus is using survey data to understand the structure and evolution of the Milky Way. I also lead the Data Management team for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, a project to build the…

Source: depts.washington.edu