Lee Samuel Finn

Pennsylvania State University, USA


Lee Samuel Finn was born in 1959 in Burbank, Calif, USA. He went to school at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned the B.S. degree in physics and mathematics. He studied theoretical gravitational physics and astrophysics at the California Institute of Technology, earning the M.S. degree in 1983 and the Ph.D. degree in 1987 with a thesis on relativistic stellar pulsations. In 1987, he joined the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at Cornell University as a Research Associate, where he refocused his research onto gravitational wave sources. In 1991 he joined the faculty of Northwestern University, where —in anticipation of the construction of the LIGO and Virgo detectors— his research interests broadened to encompass gravitational wave data analysis and interpretation of observations. He was tenured in 1996 to spend 1997-1998 with the LIGO Laboratory at Caltech. In 1998, he joined the faculty of The Pennsylvania State University Physics and Astronomy and Astrophysics Departments. In 2000-2001, he led the creation of the Center for Gravitational Wave Physics, which he directs. He was promoted to a Full Professor in 2002 and elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2003. He has been associated with the LIGO as a Member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration since its inception, and before that as the first Chair of the LIGO Research Community and the LIGO Laboratory Program Advisory Committee. He coled the first analyses of LIGO data for burst sources of gravitational radiation and remains the lead of one of the largest LIGO Scientific Collaboration groups. He is currently a Member of the LISA International Science Team, helping to frame the science requirements for this ambitious space-based gravitational wave detector. His current research interests focus on gravitational waves as a tool of astronomical discovery and as a probe of the fundamental physics of gravity in the regime of strong and dynamical fields.

Biography Updated on 23 August 2007

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