2022 Rydell Professorship

Dr. Alex Filippenko

Dr. Alex Filippenko is the 2022 Rydell Professorship's scholar-in-residence. Filippenko is one of the world’s most highly cited astronomers and has been involved with some of the most exciting and impactful observational astronomy studies of the last 30 years. He is Professor of Astronomy and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.

Space Observation

Monday, May 9
9-11 p.m.
Olin Hall Observatory

Join Dr. Filippenko to look at the stars and planets on the roof of Olin Hall. Come and go as your schedule allows.

During his time at Gustavus, he will be giving two lectures that will be livestreamed and archived on this page.

Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

Wallenberg Auditorium

This lecture is intended for a general audience interested in space.

Type Ia Supernovae and the Accelerating Universe

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

Wallenberg Auditorium

This lecture will be technical and is intended for those with a background in physics.

Dr. Alex Filippenko

Alex Filippenko

Alex Filippenko is a Richard & Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences, and a Miller Senior Fellow in the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science (UC Berkeley). His accomplishments, documented in about 1000 research papers, have been recognized by several major prizes, including a share of both the Gruber Cosmology Prize (2007) and the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (2015). One of the world’s most highly cited astronomers, he is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (2009) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2015), as well as an elected AAS Fellow (2021). In 2017, he was selected for the Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award. He has won the most prestigious teaching awards at UC Berkeley and has also been voted the “Best Professor” on campus a record 9 times. Selected in 2006 as the Carnegie/CASE National Professor of the Year among doctoral institutions, he has also received the Richard H. Emmons Award for undergraduate teaching (2010). He produced five astronomy video courses with “The Great Courses” (see below), coauthored an award-winning astronomy textbook, and appears in more than 120 TV documentaries, including about 50 episodes of “The Universe” series. He has given over 1000 public lectures or other presentations, and he was awarded the 2004 Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization. An avid tennis player, runner, hiker, skier, whitewater rafter, snorkeler, and scuba diver, he enjoys world travel and he loves to observe total solar eclipses (17 so far).


The Rydell Professorship at Gustavus Adolphus College is a scholar-in-residence program designed to bring Nobel laureates and similarly distinguished scholars to the campus as catalysts to enhance learning and teaching. The Rydell Professorship was established in 1993 by Drs. Robert E. and Susan T. Rydell to give students the opportunity to learn from and interact with leading scholars.