Andrew W. Howard
Professor of Astronomy
California Institute of Technology
Curriculum vitae (pdf) [to add]
2006 Ph.D., Harvard University
1998 S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Andrew was born and raised in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he obtained an undergraduate degree in physics and worked in the laboratory of Tom Greytak. He obtained a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University working with Paul Horowitz on optical SETI experiments. He changed fields to astronomy as a postdoc and studied extrasolar planets with Geoff Marcy at UC Berkeley as a Townes Postdoctoral Fellow. Prior to joining Caltech faculty, Andrew was a faculty member at the University of Hawaii.
Andrew is interested in the formation and evolution of extrasolar planets. His team discovers and characterizes these extrasolar planets using telescopes in Hawaii, California, and in space. He approaches this as an observer studying the physical and orbital characteristics of individual planetary systems and the patterns of their ensemble physical properties. With thousands of planetary systems for comparison, we place our Solar System in a broader context.
Andrew is particularly interested in the diversity of small planets. Within our Solar System, Neptune and Earth are the archetypal small planets, representing low-density ice giants and high-density rocky planets. In extrasolar systems we see a much greater diversity of structure and composition owing to broadly varying admixtures of the basic planetary ingredients of hydrogen gas, water, rock, and iron.
office: 208 Cahill
mail: Caltech – MC 249-17, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125
Administrative Assistant: Gita Patel