OCW Spotlight

James S. Bullock, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at UC Irvine, teaches courses on cosmology and performs research on dark James S. Bullock, Professor of PHysics and Astronomy at UC Irvinematter, galaxy formation, the Milky Way (our galactic home!), and stellar halos. He is currently active in cosmological simulation research working with ELVIS, a suite of high-resolution, cosmological zoom-in simulations. (See http://localgroup.ps.uci.edu/elvis/index.html for more information.) Professor Bullock’s courses Cosmology (Physics 20B) and Life in the Universe (Physics 20E) are popular among UCI students and are included in UCI’s OpenCourseWare collection.

Professor Bullock earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from The Ohio State University in 1994 and then completed his master’s and doctorate degrees in physics at UC Santa Cruz. He became a postdoctoral fellow in physics and astronomy at The Ohio State University and later was a Fellow at the Harvard Observatory for two years.

In addition to his professorship, Dr. Bullock is the director of the Southern California Center for Galaxy Evolution and the director of UCI’s Center for Cosmology. He has published some 130 refereed articles and has won numerous honors and awards including a UC Irvine Chancellor’s Fellowship (between 2012 and 2015), the UCI Celebration of Teaching Award in 2011, and the Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education Award in Physical Sciences, also in 2011.

Professor Bullock says, “The rate of discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics today is at a level never before seen in history. We are detecting habitable worlds around distant stars and peering to the edge of the Universe itself. These triumphs of understanding are the results of global efforts in science and engineering, discoveries that all citizens of the world have full right to learn about and understand.

“Unfortunately, until very recently, only a few fortunate people were in position to really appreciate these advances. The thing I love about OpenCourseWare is that it starts to break down barriers. It allows universal access to forefront ideas with the swipe of a finger.

“For me this is not just about education, it's also about inspiration. I like to imagine that some of these courses will spark new ideas; or even motivate a few young people to go into science who would otherwise not. Maybe, just maybe, there is a future scientist out there who will decipher the next clue that unlocks a deeper view of the Universe.”

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