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Andrew Friedman: Bio
   I am an NSF funded Research Associate in the MIT Program in Science, Technology and Society (STS) and a Visiting Research Scientist at the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics. I recently completed an NSF STS Postdoctoral Fellowship, also at MIT STS. I am currently involved in several theoretical and observational cosmology projects, including devising fun experiments that leverage cosmology to help test fundamental physics and observing exploding stars with ground and space based telescopes. Before MIT, I completed a PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the Harvard University Department of Astronomy and I received my BA in Physics & Astrophysics from UC Berkeley. My observational cosmology research background has been primarily on cosmological studies of Gamma-Ray Bursts and Infrared observations of Type Ia Supernovae which can be used to measure the expansion history of the universe, cosmic acceleration, and dark energy. I am very interested in projects at the intersection between observational astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, and the philosophy of science, especially the philosophy of cosmology. I am excited to continue bringing some of these fascinating scientific questions to the public through science writing, art, animation, public outreach, and working with the science media.

   I am currently working with MIT Physics Department Faculty, including Professors David Kaiser and Alan Guth, in the MIT Program in Science, Technology and Society and the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics (CTP). Along with Jason Gallicchio (Chicago KICP), Brian Keating (UCSD CASS), Anton Zeilinger (Vienna IQOQI), and collaborators, we are currently developing an experiment that would test quantum mechanics and entanglement with the help of astronomical observations. Specifically, we are aiming to close one of the last remaining loopholes in tests of Bell's inequality that could allow a so-called local hidden variable theory to mimic the predictions of quantum mechanics. See here for more on our proposed “Cosmic Bell” experiment. Our work is being funded through the NSF INSPIRE program, via NSF Award #1541160 (2015-2018). Previously at MIT, I was a NSF STS Postdoctoral Fellow, supported by NSF Award #1056580 (2012-2014).

   My PhD thesis project with Professor Robert Kirshner was on Infrared Light Curves of Type Ia Supernovae. Type Ia Supernovae can be used as standardizable candles for cosmology to measure the expansion history of the universe and constrain the mysterious dark energy thought to be causing the acceleration of cosmic expansion. The supernova aspect of the project used infrared data obtained with the fully robotic 1.3 meter Peters Automated Infrared Imaging Telescope (PAIRITEL) at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory on Mount Hopkins, Arizona (P.I. Professor Joshua Bloom, UC Berkeley). See here for more on infrared observations of Type Ia and other types of Supernovae. I am also currently a Co-Investigator on observational programs with the Hubble Space Telescope (PI R. Kirshner and collaborators) which observe Type Ia Supernovae at cosmological distances in the near-infrared (RAISIN, Cycle 20, #13046, RAISIN2, Cycle 23, #14216).

   My previous work with Professor Ramesh Narayan and Professor Joshua Bloom focused on testing the potential applications of Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) for cosmology by studying GRB spectra and energetics. This work formed the basis of my graduate research exam project and my Harvard Master's thesis. My work has been supported in part by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a NASA Graduate Student Research Program Fellowship, where I collaborated with researchers at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, including Dr. Neil Gehrels, the Principal Investigator of the NASA Swift Satellite, a space experiment that studies both GRBs and supernovae. See here for more on using GRBs for cosmology.

   At UC Berkeley, I did my undergraduate Astronomy thesis on supernova light curves with Prof. Alex Filippenko.

   A reasonably up to date list of my publications is here or on NASA/ADS.

   Some of the projects I've worked on are here.

Postdoctoral Research - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
       Can the Cosmos Test Quantum Entanglement?
        The Universe Made Me Do It? Testing “Free Will” With Distant Quasars
        Testing Bell's Inequality with Cosmic Photons: Closing the Setting-Independence Loophole
        The Shared Causal Pasts and Futures of Cosmological Events
        Past Light Cone Intersection Movies

Ph.D. Research - Harvard University
       CfAIR2: Infrared Light Curves of 94 Type Ia Supernovae
        PhD Thesis: Infrared Light Curves of Type Ia Supernovae
        Type Ia Supernova Light Curve Inference: Hierarchical Bayesian Analysis in the Near Infrared
        Type Ia Supernovae are Good Standard Candles in the Near Infrared: Evidence from PAIRITEL
        PAIRITEL Supernova Project
        PAIRITEL Website

A.M. Research - Harvard University
       Gamma-Ray Burst Energetics and Cosmology
        Using GRBs for Cosmology

Undergraduate Research - University of California, Berkeley
       Supernova Discoveries Page, The Lick Observatory Supernova Search (LOSS)
        IAU Circulars, Senior Thesis, Astro Labs, Andy's Cheat Sheets
        Berkeley Scientific Journal Graphics, Berkeley Scientific Journal
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Harvard University Astronomy Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory UC Berkeley Astronomy NSF Graduate Research Fellowship NASA Graduate Student Research Program Peters Automated Infrared Imaging Telescope (PAIRITEL) NASA Swift Satellite
Last Updated: Andrew Samuel Friedman, 9/2015

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF Award #1056580 (2012-2014) through an NSF Science, Technology, and Society Postdoctoral Fellowship at MIT and the NSF INSPIRE program via NSF Award #1541160 (2015-1018).

Original animations are shared under a
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