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Daniel Eisenstein
Daniel Eisenstein

The Sound waves propagating through the plasma of the Universe only 400,000 years after the Big Bang now offer some of our most precise measures of the composition and history of the Universe. In the last decade, we have been able to detect the fossil imprint of these sound waves using maps of the distribution of galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Professor Eisenstein will give an overview of the cosmological role of the sound waves and our observational program then describe what the results tell us about the shape of the Universe and the evolution of dark energy. Professor Eisenstein received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1996 and then held postdoctoral positions at the Institute for Advanced Study and the University of Chicago. He was on the University of Arizona astronomy faculty for 9 years before moving to his current position as a professor of astronomy at Harvard University in 2010. He has been active in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey since 1998 and is currently the Director of SDSS-III. He is now serving as chair of the National Science Foundation Astronomy Portfolio Review committee. Professor Daniel Eisenstein studies cosmology and extragalactic astronomy with a mix of theoretical and observational methods. His dominant focus over the last decade has been on the development of the baryon acoustic oscillation method to measure the cosmic distance scale and study dark energy. Dr. Eisenstein received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1996 and then held postdoctoral positions at the Institute for Advanced Study and the University of Chicago. He was on the University of Arizona astronomy faculty for 9 years before moving to his current position as a professor of astronomy at Harvard University in 2010. He has been active in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey since 1998 and served as the Director of SDSS-III from 2007 to 2015. He is currently the co-Spokesperson of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument collaboration. He is a member of the JWST Near-Infrared Camera instrument team, the SDSS-IV consortium, and the Euclid consortium. In 2012, he served as chair of the National Science Foundation Astronomy Portfolio Review committee. He has been a member of numerous other scientific collaborations and national committees. In 2014, he received the Shaw Prize in Astronomy and was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He was named as a Simons Investigator in 2016.