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S. George Djorgovski

Professor of Astronomy and Data Science; Director, Center for Data Driven Discovery
Contact information for S. George Djorgovski
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B.A., University of Belgrade, 1979; M.A., University of California, 1981; Ph.D., 1985; Assistant Professor, Caltech 1987-90; Associate Professor, 1990-97; Professor, 1997-; Director, Center for Data Driven Discovery, 2014-; Executive Officer for Astronomy, 2016-2019.
Research Areas: Astronomy

Research Interests

Computational, data-intensive science (e-Science), development of cyber-infrastructure, the roles of computation in knowledge discovery, Astroinformatics, Virtual Observatory, large digital sky surveys, data-mining, visualization, and exploration.  Extragalactic astronomy, cosmology, galaxy formation, fundamental properties of galaxies, g-ray bursts, quasars, blazars, radio galaxies, gravitational lenses, globular star clusters, early structure evolution, cosmological tests, dark energy, exploration of the time domain.

I have worked on a broad variety of topics, including structure and dynamics of globular clusters, fundamental properties of galaxies and their evolution, gamma-ray bursts, early phases of galaxy and structure formation, distant quasars, dark energy, etc.

More recently, I have been concentrating on large digital sky surveys and Virtual Observatory, and how these large and complex data sets can be used to explore systematically the observable parameter space, and possibly even discover new types of astrophysical objects and phenomena. I am currently focusing on synoptic sky surveys, where large areas of the sky are imaged repeatedly, looking for highly variable sources and transient events. Their follow-up and interpretation pose many interesting challenges and scientific opportunities.

About a half of my time is spent on the development of computational, mostly data-driven science, beyond astronomy proper. Broadly speaking, I am interested in the ways in which computational and information technology changes the ways we study and understand the world around us. This ongoing revolution is changing all of the science and scholarship, along with nearly every other aspect of modern society. As all fields of sciences face the challenges of an exponential growth of data volumes and complexity, and extraction of knowledge and understanding from the data, we are essentially forging new, general tools for the scientific methodology in the 21st century.

I enjoy working with undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and other junior scientists, and have many collaborators world-wide. I appreciate self-motivated, enthusiastic people with a real passion for research.

[Image credits: S. G. Djorgovski and C. Donalek]

Selected Awards

Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science, 2014 First Prize, Boeing-Griffith Science Writing Contest, 2008 Presidential Young Investigator, 1991 – 1997 One of the ISI 1000 most cited physicists, 1981 – 1997 NASA Group Achievement Award, 1996 Dudley Observatory Award, 1991 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, 1988 – 1991 Harvard Junior Fellow, 1985 – 1987

Professional Societies

American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) American Astronomical Society (AAS) International Astronomical Union (IAU) Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Selected Publications

For a complete list of my publications, please visit: