Dr. John C Mather

Photo of JOHN MATHER

Dr. John C Mather

  • (AST,STELLAR,GALACTIC,EXTRAGALACTIC)
  • 301.286.6885 | 301.286.5558
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 443
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: NASA
  • Brief Bio

    Dr. John C. Mather is a Senior Astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. His research centers on infrared astronomy and cosmology. As an
    NRC postdoctoral fellow at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (New York City), he led the proposal efforts for the Cosmic Background Explorer (74-76), and came to GSFC to be the Study Scientist (76-88), Project Scientist (88-98), and also the Principal Investigator for the Far IR Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) on COBE. He showed that the cosmic microwave background radiation has a blackbody spectrum within 50 ppm. As Senior Project Scientist (95-present) for the James Webb Space Telescope, he leads the science team, and represents scientific interests within the project management. He has served on advisory and working groups for the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, and the NSF (for the ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, and for the CARA, the Center for Astrophysical Research in the Antarctic). He has received many awards including the Nobel Prize in Physics, 2006, for his precise measurements of the cosmic microwave backgorund radiatino using the COBE satellite.

    Teaching Experience

     Lecturer, Columbia University, 1975-76, Physics

    Education

    1968 B.A. (Physics), Swarthmore College, (Highest Honors, Phi Beta Kappa)
    1974 Ph.D. (Physics), Univ. of California at Berkeley (4.0 GPA)

    Professional Societies

    American Astronomical Society, American Physical Society, Sigma Xi, International Astronomical Union, National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Optical Society of America, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), 2013 - Present

    Professional Service

    1992 - 1994 Chair, Board of External Advisors, Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctic (CARA)
    1992 Member, NASA Lunar Astrophysics Management Operations Working Group
    1992 - pres Adjunct Professor, Physics, University of Maryland
    1995 Member, National Acad. of Sciences committee on GP-B
    1996 - 1998 Member, Structure and Evolution of the Universe subcommittee
    1996 Co-Chair, Origins Technology Working Group
    1996 - 2000 Member, New Millennium Program Science Working Group
    1998 - 2002 Member, MMA (Millimeter Array, became ALMA) Oversight Committee for NSF
    1998 - 2001 Councilor, American Astronomical Society
    1998 - 2001 NAS/NRC Board on Physics and Astronomy
    1999 HST Second Decade Committee, Bob Brown, Chair
    2001 - 2002 Member, National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Physics of the Universe
    2003 Member, National Academy of Sciences committee on GP-B
    2003-2005 Member, Standing Review Board, Kepler project
    2005 Member, Exoplanet Roadmap Committee
    2006-2007 Member, Astrophysics Subcommittee, NASA Advisory Committee
    2006 - President, John and Jane Mather Foundation for Science and the Arts
    2008 - Member, Board of Directors, Center for Excellence in Education
    2008 Chair, Blue Ribbon panel, SOFIA scientific program review
    2010 - 2011 Member, National Academy of Science committee, “Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards”

    Awards

    Open Scholarship (honorary), Swarthmore, 1964-68
    Putnam national math contest, 1967, 27th place nationwide
    Highest possible score (990), physics Grad Records, 1968
    Highest Honors and Phi Beta Kappa, Swarthmore 1968
    NSF Fellowship and honorary Woodrow Wilson Fellowship 1968-70
    Hertz Foundation Fellowship, 1970-74
    Group Achievement Award, GSFC, 1978
    Exceptional Achievement Award, GSFC, 1986
    Certificate of Recognition, Inventions and Contributions, GSFC, 1986
    John C. Lindsay Memorial Award (NASA-GSFC), 1990
    Group Achievement Award (NASA-GSFC), 1990
    NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award, 1991
    NASA Group Achievement Award, 1991
    Rotary National Space Achievement Award, 1991
    National Air and Space Museum Trophy, 1991
    Aviation Week and Space Technology Laurels, 1992, for Space/Missiles
    Discover Magazine Technology Award finalist, 1993
    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space Science Award, 1993
    Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics, American Astronomical Society and American
    Institute of Physics, 1993 (presented Jan. 1994)
    Senior Astrophysicist (3104 position), 1993, GSFC
    Goddard Fellow, 1994, GSFC
    Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, Swarthmore College, 1994
    John Scott Award, City of Philadelphia, 1995
    Rumford Prize, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1996
    Fellow, American Physical Society, 1996
    Hall of Fame, Aviation Week and Space Technology, 1997
    Member, National Academy of Sciences, 1997
    GSFC Group Achievement Award, Next Generation Space Telescope, 1997
    Marc Aaronson Memorial Prize, 1998
    Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1998
    Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics, Franklin Institute, 1999
    NASA/GSFC Outstanding Teamwork award for NGST SEB, 1999
    Newton (NJ) High School Hall of Fame, 2003
    Presidential Rank Distinguished Performance award, NASA, 2003
    George W. Goddard Award, Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, 2005
    Cosmology prize, Pat and Peter Gruber Foundation, 2006
    Nobel Prize in Physics, with George Smoot, 2006
    Fellow, Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers, 2006
    Award in Physics, Washington Academy of Sciences, 2006
    Antoinette de Vaucouleurs medal, U of TX, 2007
    NASA Distinguished Service Medal, 2007
    Robinson Prize in Cosmology, Newcastle University, 2008
    Presidential Rank Distinguished Performance award, NASA, 2008
    D. Sci. (Honorary), University of Maryland, College Park, 2008
    Fellow, Optical Society of America, 2009
    Gold Medal, Prime Minister of India, 2009
    Award of Excellence, NJ Educational Association, 2010
    GSFC Group Achievement Award, WISE science team, 2011
    Daniel Chalonge medal, Observatoire de Paris, 2011
    D. Sci. (honoris causa), University of Notre Dame, 2011
    Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science, 2012
    Award of Excellence, Carson Scholars Foundation, 2013
    Regents' Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley, 2013
    Circle of Discovery, University of Maryland, 2013




    Brief Bio

    Dr. John C. Mather is a Senior Astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. His research centers on infrared astronomy and cosmology. As an
    NRC postdoctoral fellow at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (New York City), he led the proposal efforts for the Cosmic Background Explorer (74-76), and came to GSFC to be the Study Scientist (76-88), Project Scientist (88-98), and also the Principal Investigator for the Far IR Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) on COBE. He showed that the cosmic microwave background radiation has a blackbody spectrum within 50 ppm. As Senior Project Scientist (95-present) for the James Webb Space Telescope, he leads the science team, and represents scientific interests within the project management. He has served on advisory and working groups for the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, and the NSF (for the ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, and for the CARA, the Center for Astrophysical Research in the Antarctic). He has received many awards including the Nobel Prize in Physics, 2006, for his precise measurements of the cosmic microwave backgorund radiatino using the COBE satellite.

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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