Aaron Parsons in front of the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array in South Africa

Research Expertise and Interest

cosmic reionization, experimental cosmology, radio interferometry, digital signal processing, observational astrophysics

Research Description

Aaron Parsons is an associate professor in the Department of Astronomy, and Director of the UC Berkeley Radio Astronomy Laboratory. Through his research, he aims to answer fundamental questions about the universe by building specialized radio telescopes to conduct targeted experiments.  He enjoys all aspects of this process, from physically constructing antennas to designing the supercomputers that run inside radio interferometers, from writing software and analyzing data to publishing papers that improve our understanding of cosmology and astrophysics.  Prof. Parsons is the Principal Investigator of the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) and was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) in 2019.

He received an A.S. from Colorado Northwestern Community College in 1998 while in high school, and a B.A. from Harvard in 2002 in physics and mathematics working with Paul Horowitz. He worked as a development engineer at the Space Sciences Laboratory from 2002 to 2004 with Dan Werthimer. He received his Ph.D. in 2009 from UC Berkeley working with Don Backer, spending the years from 2007 to 2009 as a predoctoral researcher at Arecibo Observatory. He spent two years as an NSF postdoctoral fellow and honorary Charles Townes fellow at UC Berkeley before joining the faculty here at Berkeley in 2011.

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