Carnegie Science Center recognizes Prof. Di Matteo with Emerging Female Scientist Award-Dept of Physics - Carnegie Mellon University

Monday, February 11, 2008

Carnegie Science Center recognizes Prof. Di Matteo with Emerging Female Scientist Award

On January 31, the Carnegie Science Center announced that Tiziana Di Matteo, associate professor of physics, has received the 2008 Award for Excellence in the Emerging Female Scientist category. The Awards for Excellence will be presented at a banquet on May 9.

“[Di Matteo] has proven herself to be an integral part of understanding the physics behind the planet Earth and its surrounding galaxies. Thanks to her research, scientists have gained a deeper understanding of how galaxies evolve over time and how to help uncover additional mysteries of the universe,” stated a press release from the Carnegie Science Center. “Di Matteo has proven herself to be a revolutionary female in the field of physics. Her motivation and academic excellence have solidified her place in the world of physics research and guarantee future scientific success.”

An essential part of Carnegie Mellon’s growing cosmology program, Di Matteo is perhaps best known for developing the most detailed computer simulations of galaxy formation to date. These simulations are giving scientists deeper understanding into how galaxies evolve over time and have the potential to unravel the mysteries of the universe.

Her previous research published in Nature in 2005 showed that growing black holes release a blast of energy that fundamentally regulates galaxy evolution and growth of the black hole itself. This finding allowed Di Matteo to incorporate black hole physics into a highly sophisticated model of cosmic evolution, a simulation called BHCosmo. BHCosmo is the largest cosmological simulation to be completed to date, studying galaxy formation over the past 13 billion years. Data collected from this simulation will allow researchers to determine where and when in the history of the universe black holes are assembled, what affect they might have on their host-protogalaxies and what the next generation of telescopes, which will probe the structure of the early universe, might expect to find.

“When I heard about the award I was extremely pleased, as although I have only lived and worked here for a few years, the institutions and people of Pittsburgh have been very supportive of my research,” said Di Matteo. “I’ve had the sense that people here are genuinely interested in what I have been doing — even though it involves studying fairly unusual things like supermassive black holes — and getting this award is a wonderful culmination of that.”

See also the MCS news item