RIT Astrophysicist Wins Fellowship at Prestigious Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Director of Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science will spend year in Cambridge




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Stefi Baum

Rochester Institute of Technology professor Stefi Baum has won a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University for the 2011–2012 academic year.

The Radcliffe Institute in Cambridge, Mass., is a scholarly community where fellows pursue advanced work across a wide range of academic disciplines, professions and creative arts. Baum, director of the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science at RIT, is among the 50 fellows chosen from more than 800 applicants. Her appointment will extend from September through May.

As an astrophysicist, Baum studies clusters of galaxies and galaxy formation and evolution. She will conduct a multi-wavelength study of nearby clusters during her eight months at the Radcliffe Institute. Baum will map the spatial, thermal and temporal evolution of the hot baryonic gas that fills the space between galaxies.

“While most of the matter in clusters is an unknown form called ‘dark matter,’ the baryonic matter is accessible to direct observation allowing astronomers to extract quantitative information from it,” she says.

“I seek to benefit, and provide benefit to, the rich environment Radcliffe has created,” Baum adds. “Developing new perspectives of thought encompassing creativity, philosophy, ethics, society and human interaction can make us more successful thinkers, doers and educators, and inspire us to new challenges.”

RIT professor John Schott, the Frederick and Anna B. Wideman Professor in the Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Laboratory, will serve as acting director of the Center for Imaging Science during Baum’s sabbatical.

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Stefi Baum