Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Office: 416 Thornton Hall, Mondays 1-2 pm or by appointment
Phone: (415) 338-6450
I grew up partly in a small town in New York state and partly in Geneva, Switzerland. My family moved to New York City when I was high school. I don't remember thinking too much about what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I always loved math and I also loved teaching. So I think I always assumed I'd be a teacher. I also enjoyed hanging around my father's lab--he was an experimental physicist--and building things in the lab's machine shop.
I joined the faculty at SF State in 1996. I've been teaching astronomy classes ever since and using space-borne observatories to study ancient star clusters in the Milky Way with my students. I also direct the SFSU planetarium and Observatory facilities and, with CSME's support, have been working on improving the pathway to K-12 teaching for physics and astronomy students. In 2016, again with CSME's support, I teamed up with College of Education professor Isabel Quita to design and co-teach a STEM HOUSE course in space science for future K-12 teachers.