17 November, Tuesday, 7:45 PM, Presidio Observation Post, Building 211
“Ending the Dark Ages: The Universe’s First Stars”
Aaron Lee, Dissertation Fellow, UC Berkeley Department of Astronomy
In this talk, Lee will explore how stars form and evolve and how their environments play a significant role in their development. The first stars began to form in the Universe a half billion years after the Big Bang. It is now believed that these first stars were thousands to millions of times brighter than our own Sun, but live for less than a few million years. Discover how these stars played a significant role in the development and evolution of the Universe, as well as the eventual development of intelligent life.
Aaron Lee is a graduate student astronomer and dissertation fellow at the University of California Berkeley. His research focuses on the formation and evolution of both stars and planets across all of cosmic time, as well as the pedagogical methods used in teaching undergraduate and graduate level astronomy courses. Currently, Aaron is researching the formation of the first stars ever to form in our Universe.
Aaron researches the formation of planets and stars using some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, often utilizing thousands of individual computers working simultaneously to simulate the flow of gas and radiation over millions of years. Using these computers, Aaron sifts through hundreds of terabytes of data in order to complete his research, which has been published in leading astronomical journals. Aaron is a passionate public advocate for astronomy and science communication. He has written for high school math and science magazines, given interviews for the Daily Dot and radio shows, and has answered over 100 ask-an-astronomer questions for the department. He often works closely with Alex Filippenko in running Alex’s immensely popular Introductory Astronomy undergraduate class. His dedication to teaching has been acknowledged by his students and the University, having received both teaching awards from UC Berkeley and numerous accolades from his students. Aaron completed his pre-graduate studies at Northwestern University and Cambridge University before coming to UC Berkeley for graduate school.