OCW contributor Sara Seager wins MacArthur ‘genius grant’

Photo courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Justin Knight. All rights reserved.

Professor Sara Seager. Photo courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Justin Knight. All rights reserved.

Astrophysicist and professor Sara Seager has been named MacArthur ‘genius grant’ winner, one of 24 recipients for the year.  Dina Katabi, an MIT computer science professor, was also a grant recipient. MIT News provides the following write-up on Professor Seager:

Seager, who is the Class of 1941 Professor of Physics and Planetary Science, is an astrophysicist and planetary scientist who has explored the possibility of life elsewhere in the galaxy. Specifically, she has adapted the principles of planetary science to the study of exoplanets — planets outside our own solar system.

The MacArthur Foundation cited Seager, 42, for “quickly advancing a subfield initially viewed with skepticism by the scientific community. A mere hypothesis until the mid-1990s, nearly 900 exoplanets in more than 600 planetary systems have since been identified, with thousands of more planet candidates known.”

Seager joined the MIT faculty in 2006, following appointments at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and the Carnegie Institute of Washington. She is the author of “Exoplanet Atmospheres” and “Exoplanets,” both published in 2010. Read more.

MIT OpenCourseWare currently shares three of Professor Seager’s courses:

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