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Vicky Kalogera Named 'Rising Star of Astronomy'

July 17, 2008 | by Megan Fellman
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Vicky Kalogera, associate professor of physics and astronomy in Northwestern University's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, has been named a "rising star of astronomy" by the magazine Astronomy.

Kalogera is being recognized as one of the country's 10 "up-and-coming astronomers likely to blaze new trails in coming decades." For its 35th anniversary issue (August 2008), the magazine asked a group of senior astronomers to name exceptional scientists who, early in their careers, already are making important contributions.

The magazine said of Kalogera's work: "She uses computers to model the extreme processes that produce small, dense astronomical objects like black holes and neutron stars.…Kalogera tries to bridge the gap between what came before and what we see now. This requires the interplay of computing and observing. She works closely with observers, drawing from their data to feed her models."

Kalogera's research interests are in the astrophysics of compact objects and, in particular, their formation and evolution in multiple stellar systems. She studies the physical properties of X-ray binaries, millisecond radio pulsars and double compact objects in our own and other galaxies and works on the theoretical interpretation of current observations of their electromagnetic emission and their anticipated gravitational radiation.

Kalogera's awards and honors include the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award from the American Physical Society, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science and Engineering, the Cottrell Scholar Award, the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation and the Annie J. Cannon Award from the American Astronomical Society and the American Association of University Women.

Kalogera, who joined the Northwestern faculty in 2001, is an active member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration and serves on the LIGO Program Advisory Committee. The author of more than 100 publications, she is a member of the American Astronomical Society and the American Physical Society. Kalogera's research is supported by the National Science Foundation and NASA.