Alyssa A. Goodman, Harvard professor of astronomy and research associate of the Smithsonian Institution, has been selected the 2015 Scientist of the Year, part of the Harvard Foundation Albert Einstein Science Conference: Advancing Minorities and Women in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics. The award will be presented at the annual conference luncheon on March 27. The conference will be held March 28.
Goodman’s research and teaching interests span astronomy, data visualization, and online systems for research and education. In her astronomical pursuits, Goodman and her research group at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, study the dense gas between the stars.
Goodman co-founded the Initiative in Innovative Computing (IIC) at Harvard, and served as its director (2005-2008). The initiative created a University-wide interdisciplinary center. More recently, Goodman organized a diverse group of researchers, librarians, and software developers into an ongoing effort known as “Seamless Astronomy,” aimed at developing, refining, and sharing tools that accelerate the pace of scientific research, especially in astronomy.
Goodman received her undergraduate degree in physics from MIT in 1984 and a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard in 1989. She came to Harvard as an assistant professor in 1997. She was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2009. She recently served as chair of the Astronomy Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and on the National Academy’s Board on Research Data and Information.