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About Scott

prepfold plot of MSPThe discovery plot of the first Fermi MSP, a highly accelerated black widow, J2214+3000.

I'm a tenured astronomer working on all things pulsar or neutron star related at NRAO. I search for exotic pulsars (such as binary and/or millisecond pulsars or MSPs) and then time them, using their atomic clock-like rotational characteristics to probe as much basic physics or astrophysics as possible. I've been here at NRAO for 10 years.

Prior to that, I was a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University in Montreal in Vicky Kaspi's pulsar group. I received my PhD from the Harvard Astronomy Department., and if you are interested (or extremely bored), you can read my thesis here. I also did a 6-year stint in the U.S. Army as a Field Artillery officer after having attended West Point for my undergraduate education.

My interests include high-performance computing (particularly with respect to "Big Data"), digital instrumentation for radio astronomy (like GUPPI), and advanced Fourier and DSP algorithms for time-domain data analysis. I do all of this stuff because pulsars are cool, and if we can find many more of them and time them much better, we'll be able to do a huge amount of basic physics with them. Examples include testing general relativity, probing matter at supra-nuclear density, and directly detecting gravitational waves in the next several years. I work a lot with the Green Bank Telescope (GBT), Arecibo, Fermi, Chandra, and other major telescopes and observatories.

Ladder in S. Africa"Jacob's Ladder" on Table Mountain in S. Africa

PRESTO is the suite of pulsar search and analysis software (written in C and Python) that I wrote, maintain, and use. You can get it and some other software on github.

Jim Condon and I usually teach the UVA graduate Radio Astronomy Course (Astro5340) and our lecture notes are on the web as Essential Radio Astronomy. You can also buy the book!

I'm the project scientist for GUPPI, the best damn pulsar instrument in the world. The GBT Pulsar Spigot is the pulsar instrument that I used to be responsible for (may it RIP).

Here is my CV and a short bio.

When I'm not doing pulsar stuff, I love to hang with my kids, read, hike, trail run, downhill ski, and most of all, rock climb.