Alexei V. Filippenko, Ph.D.

Nobel Conference 49
Oct. 1 & 2, 2013

Alexei V. Filippenko, Ph.D., Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences, Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley

One of the world’s most highly cited astronomers, Alexei Filippenko was a member of the Supernova Cosmology Project and the High-z Supernova Search Team that used observations of extragalactic supernovae to prove the accelerating expansion of the universe and thus imply the existence of “dark energy.” The discovery was voted the top science breakthrough of 1998 by Science magazine and earned the teams’ leaders the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics. Filippenko also works on quantifying the physical properties of quasars and active galaxies and searches for black holes in both X-ray binary stars and nearby galactic nuclei.

Filippenko received a B.A. in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1979 and a Ph.D. in 1984 from the California Institute of Technology, where he was a Hertz Foundation Fellow. He joined the faculty at Cal-Berkeley in 1986 and has won top teaching awards there and been voted “Best Professor” on campus a record nine times. In 2006 he was selected as the Carnegie Foundation/CASE National Teacher of the Year among doctoral institutions, and in 2010 he won the Richard H. Emmons Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Filippenko was invited to deliver the 42nd Oppenheimer Memorial Lecture in 2012. He has produced five astronomy courses for The Great Courses, has co-authored an award-winning textbook, and appears in numerous TV documentaries including some 40 episodes of the History Channel’s The Universe series.