Carnegie Mellon University
April 28, 2015

Physicist Shirley Ho Receives Cooper-Siegel Professorship

By Jocelyn Duffy

Physicist Shirley Ho Receives Cooper-Siegel Professorship

PITTSBURGH—Shirley Ho, assistant professor of physics, has been named the recipient of the Cooper-Siegel Professorship. The professorship, which supports an early career faculty member, alternates between the Physics and Computer Science Departments at Carnegie Mellon University.

Ho is considered to be among the premier young astrophysicists for her research and contributions to international collaborations. She has devised methods for controlling systematic errors in data and analysis methodologies for large-scale astronomical surveys, which have led to the most accurate measurements of the scale of the universe to date. She also conducts research aimed at understanding how dark energy accelerates the expansion of the universe.

A member of CMU’s McWilliams Center for Cosmology, Ho has taken a number of leadership roles in large international research collaborations, serving as co-chair of the Clustering Working Group for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, co-leader of the Large Scale Structure Working Group for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope’s Dark Energy Science Collaboration, and co-chair of the Lyman Alpha Forest Working Group for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. She is also a member of the NASA team of U.S. scientists participating in the science program for Euclid, a European Satellite Experiment.

A member of the Carnegie Mellon faculty since 2011, Ho has received numerous honors, including the 2014 Macronix Prize from the International Organization of Chinese Physicists, the Carnegie Science Award in the Emerging Female Scientist category from the Carnegie Science Center, and the 2011 NASA Group Achievement Award for her work with the Planck satellite.

The Cooper-Siegel Professorships were established by CMU trustee Eric Cooper and his wife Naomi Weisberg Siegel. Cooper was a faculty member in computer science at CMU from 1985 to 1991, leaving to co-found FORE Systems, one of Pittsburgh’s most successful technology companies. He was appointed Distinguished Service Professor of Computer Science in 1999, and has served the university as a trustee, guest lecturer and adviser to a number of university committees and boards. Siegel has had a life-long connection to the university. Her father, the late Robert Ted Siegel, earned three degrees in physics, including his Ph.D., from Carnegie Tech by the time he was 23. He then worked as a research associate and a physics professor at Carnegie Tech. Siegel’s mother, the late Rebecca Weisberg Siegel, earned two bachelor’s degrees from Carnegie Tech in music and music education.




About Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon ( is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 13,000 students in the university’s seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon has campuses in Pittsburgh, Pa., California’s Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico.