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Barger Named Packard Fellow

Amy Barger

Amy J. Barger, formerly a postdoctoral fellow at IfA and now a University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor of astronomy, was one of 16 young academics named a 2003 Packard Foundation Fellow for Science and Engineering in October 2003. Barger and the other fellows will each receive an award of $625,000 during the next five years for unrestricted use in their programs of research.

As a visiting adjunct astronomer in the UH Department of Physics and Astronomy, Barger spends about half the year at the IfA. She wrote "Cosmic Downsizing and Quasar Extinction" in Na Kilo Hoku (no. 8, summer 2003).

Barger's research focuses on determining when cosmic star formation was most vigorous, when distant supermassive black holes were actively gobbling material from their nearby environments, and how the behavior of supermassive black holes relates to star formation in their galaxy hosts. Another of her research interests is understanding gamma-ray bursts--mysterious, fleeting, and highly energetic events suspected to be the powerful explosions that occur when very massive stars collapse to become black holes.

The Packard Fellowship Program was established in 1988 by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to strengthen university-based science and engineering programs. By supporting unusually creative researchers early in their careers, the foundation hopes to develop scientific leaders, further the work of promising young scientists and engineers, and support efforts to attract talented graduate students into university research in the United States.