Andrew Friedman: Bio
    I am an astronomer, cosmologist, and data scientist, currently a NSF & NASA funded Assistant Research Scientist at the UC San Diego Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences (CASS) and a Research Affiliate in the MIT STS Program. My primary research programs include devising and implementing fun experiments that leverage cosmology to test fundamental physics, including novel tests of quantum theory with astronomical observations, searches for exotic new physics with optical polarization studies of distant galaxies, as well as Infrared and Optical studies of Supernovae with ground and space based telescopes to measure the expansion history of the universe, cosmic acceleration, and dark energy. I enjoy exploring fascinating scientific questions at the interface between observational cosmology and the philosophy of science through research, science writing, art, animation, public outreach, and science media engagement. For more, see my Bio, Resume, and CV.
   Before UCSD, I was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT, a NSF Funded Research Associate at MIT, and a Visiting Research Scientist at the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics. I completed my PhD in Astronomy & Astrophysics from the Harvard University Department of Astronomy and I received my BA in Physics & Astrophysics from UC Berkeley. I am currently working with collaborators at UCSD CASS, MIT, Harvard, Harvey Mudd College and elsewhere.

   At UCSD CASS, I am leading a new Astroparticle Physics project with UCSD CASS Faculty, including Professors Brian Keating and David Tytler to test for violation of Lorentz Invariance and Charge-Parity-Time (CPT) symmetry, which would represent exotic new physics beyond the Standard-Model of Particle Physics. We are specifically using astrophysical tests with optical polarization measurements of cosmological sources, including Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), all in the framework of the Standard-Model Extension. We are collaborating with Astronomer Gary Cole, an expert in robotic polarimetry automation and instrumentation, to observe several AGN using a small telescope system maintained and operated by Cole.

   I am also involved in a collaboration with MIT Physics Department Faculty, including Professors David Kaiser and Alan Guth, in the MIT Program in Science, Technology and Society (STS) and the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics (CTP). Along with Jason Gallicchio (Harvey Mudd Physics), Brian Keating (UCSD CASS), Anton Zeilinger (Vienna IQOQI), and collaborators, we are developing and implementing a series of experiments that 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” experiments including our experimental proposal paper, a popular description, and a paper on our first successful experiment. See here for a new paper led by Jason Gallicchio's group at (Harvey Mudd) on using astronomical sources like stars and quasars as sources of random numbers for foundational quantum experiments. 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 at the Harvard University Department of Astronomy and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 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-.

   See these links for my short Resume and complete CV.

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

Research Scientist - UC San Diego

Postdoctoral / Research Associate
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ph.D. Research - Harvard University

A.M. Research - Harvard University

Undergraduate Research - University of California, Berkeley

University of California, San Diego UCSD Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT Center for Theoretical Physics Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Vienna Harvard University Astronomy Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics UC Berkeley Astronomy National Science Foundation National Aernautics & Space Administration
MIT Vera
Tufts/MIT Cosmo
Last Updated: Andrew Samuel Friedman, 6/2017

University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive
CASS, M/C 0424, SERF Bldg. 334, La Jolla, CA 92093-0424, USA (858) 534-5416

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 (2015-2020).

Original animations are shared under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 US License

Cosmic Bell
David Kaiser
Jason Gallicchio
Alan Guth
Brian Keating
Anton Zeilinger
IQOQI, Vienna
Harvard CfA
Harvard Astro
Harvard PIN
Harvard Library
Andy's Cheat Sheets
NSF Essays
Shu Exam
Grad Students/Advisors
Student/Faculty Photos