Research Expertise and Interest
astrophysics, cosmology, optical astrophysics
Steven Kahn is an experimental astrophysicist and cosmologist. His current research is geared around the Vera C. Rubin Observatory. He is working on the commissioning of the active optics system, with particular emphasis on the application of new techniques associated with machine learning and reinforcement learning. Scientifically, his main interests lie in constraining the nature of dark energy through weak gravitational lensing and other statistical methods. He is also interested in the use of Rubin to discover ultrafast optical transient sources through novel methods.
Steven Kahn received his A.B. (summa cum laude) from Columbia in 1975 and his Ph.D. in physics at Berkeley in 1980. In addition to Berkeley, he has served on the faculties of Columbia, where he was the I.I. Rabi Professor of Physics, and at Stanford, where he was the Cassius Lamb Kirk Professor in the Natural Sciences. He was the U.S. Principal Investigator for the Reflection Grating Spectrometer on the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton Observatory, which was launched in December 1999 and is still flying. More recently, he was the Director of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory which will begin operations in 2024. Kahn is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.