Chris studies supernovae, both as probes of cosmology and as fascinating astrophysical events. He coordinated all the spectroscopic followup of supernovae in the first two seasons of the survey, and has remained deeply involved in the effort ever since.
We asked Chris a few more questions — here’s what he had to say:
When did you know you wanted to be a scientist?
I always enjoyed mathematics, but never knew what I wanted to do with it. The summer after I finished high school, I read Brian Greene’s “Elegant Universe”, and became enthralled with fundamental physics and cosmology. I’ve wanted to study the universe ever since.
Do you have kids? Do they want to be scientists too?
I do, but he’s not yet two, so I think he wants to be a cement truck at the moment. But I have taught him how to say “supernova”, which is fun!
Thinking back to when you were an undergrad in physics (if applicable), was there anything you were taught then that is not taught now?
I remember being an undergraduate when the first WMAP results were announced. An event was scheduled in one of the lecture halls in the Physics building where the announcement would be watched live. The school newspaper interviewed one of the professors and asked him what was going to be announced. His response was, “They’re going to show a wiggly line, and they’re going to tell us what the wiggles mean.”