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Awards, Awards, Awards

Brendan Bowler Andrew Howard Nick Kaiser Jabran Zahid Ryan Swindle






IfA faculty, students, and alumni have accumulated a plethora of awards of late. Congratulations to them all.

Brendan Bowler, who completed his dissertation last year at the IfA and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology, Joint Center for Planetary Astronomy, has received the Robert J. Trumpler Award given by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for a recent PhD thesis considered “unusually important to astronomy.” The title of this thesis is “A Search for Giant Planets around Low-Mass Stars: Revealing the Architecture of M Dwarf Planetary Systems.”

Faculty members Andrew Howard and Nick Kaiser each won a Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research, awarded by the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents “in recognition of scholarly contributions that expand the boundaries of knowledge and enrich the lives of students and the community.” Howard was hailed for discovering dozens of exoplanets with telescopes both in Hawai‘i and in space, and for exploring their chemical compositions and formation histories. His research team was the first to demonstrate that an Earth-size exoplanet is made of the same materials as Earth, namely, rock and iron, and that temperate planets the size of Earth are common in our Milky Way Galaxy.

Kaiser was recognized for his groundbreaking work in cosmology. His contributions have included work on the theoretical interpretation of fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background, on the phenomenon of “biased galaxy clustering,” and on cosmic flows, galaxy clustering, and gravitational lensing. He was also the principal investigator for the Pan-STARRS project.

At the same awards ceremony, graduate student Jabran Zahid received a UH Mānoa Award for Student Excellence in Research at the Doctoral Level for his work on the formation and evolution of galaxies. He has measured the chemical evolution of the Universe by using observations of the heavy elements in galaxies across cosmic time. He has also contributed to the understanding of galaxy formation and evolution by theoretically modeling the chemical evolution of the Universe. He is continuing his career as the Clay Prize Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Ryan Swindle won the IfA Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Scholar Award for 2014. This $5,000 prize was announced at the annual ARCS Banquet May 5. All the ARCS Scholars also presented their work in a poster session on April 19.