Notice To Users

Gerard Williger


(and learn why research is key to the mission of the University) - updated 2018.08.31


I am a professor in the Dept. of Physics & Astronomy 
at the University of Louisville
E-mail: gmwill06 (-at-) louisville dot edu
NB: do NOT e-mail to my departmental account as it is retired and may not forward.
Office: Natural Science Bldg #206,  tel. 502/852-0821, fax 502/852-0742. 
Here are driving directions and a map of main campus
(on which we are in Bldg 34).
I am also a Visiting Fellow at the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute
for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at U. Central Lancashire, Preston, England,
a member of the
Institute for Computational and Astrophysical Sciences at the
Catholic University of America, the Jeremy Horrocks and worked during 2009-12 as a Prof. des Universites at
the Obs. de la Côte d'Azur, at Lab. Lagrange, Univ. de Nice, France.
I am a former visitor (2005-09) at the Center for Astrophysics & Space Science at JHU; here is a wonderful interview
with my supervisor at JHU, H. Warren Moos
I  am a sometime visitor at Konkoly Observatory, Budapest after a Fulbright Fellowship there 2018-19

I frequently help with the annual Bullitt Lecture in Astronomy. I also sometimes am on the committee which presents the annual
Bullitt Scholarships and the Best Paper in Astronomy Award.

I was friends with former U. Louisville faculty member Andrew Chamblin, who has a memorial page here.
I support lectures in his memory, both in Louisville and at other places including Cambridge and U. Kentucky, linked here.



I spoke on the Great American Eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017 at Against the Grain on 17 May 2017 for "Louisville Underground Science".
It followed another 25 minute lecture by my student, Nicholas Duong, on Near-Earth Asteroids.
The two 25 minute audios, slides and animations are here.

I spoke on the formation of stars in distant galaxies at Against the Grain on 15 Oct 2014 for "Louisville Underground Science".
The 43 minute audio, slides and animations are here.
I also help to organize the Astronomy on Tap (a.k.a. PALS), started in Nov 2015.  Our talks are archived
here (slides and audio files).

Here is my interview on NPR's Science Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 on the colossal Large Quasar Group
found by Roger Clowes and collaborators.

One of several articles about the Giant Arc (Lopez, Clowes & Williger, 2022, MNRAS, 516, 1557,
from the BBC, 3 Mar 2023

The Kentucky Area Astronomical Society (KAAS) hosts AAS Regional meetings:
Shawnee St., Portsmouth OH + hybrid, Mar. 15-16, 2024 website
U Kentucky-Lexington + hybrid, Apr. 14-15, 2023 website
Austin Peay + hybrid, Apr. 1-2, 2022 website
Online, Apr. 16-17, 2021 website
Louisville, Mar. 7, 2020 website
Morehead St., Apr. 13, 2019 website
Northern Ky U. Apr. 7, 2018 website
Murray St. U. Apr. 8, 2017 website
Eastern Ky U. Apr 9, 2016 website.
U. Kentucky May 3, 2014  website.

Main Interests:

Outside Research Groups:

Louisville Research Group:
Jim Lauroesch, currently Assoc Professor (collaborator), former research scientist
Lutz Haberzettl, currently Adjunct Professor and Linux system manager, former post-doc
Jeremy Hornbeck, graduate student - publications
John Pritchard, graduate student (went to Purdue Aug 2022)
Alexia Lopez, graduate student at U. Central Lancashire, England, supervised by Roger Clowes
see here for a 7' video on Alexia Lopez' work, from BBC4, May 2022
Brady Smith, UL undergrad, working on Jupiter spatial Doppler imaging with D. Gulledge, C. Shaw, since July 2022


Former students:

Katie Harris, former PhD U. Central Lancashire (2012), former post-doc at U. de Nice (2012), then a post-doc at Virginia Tech, currently in industry, publications with me
Gabriel Marinello, former PhD U. Central Lancashire (2015), post-doc at U. de Chile, currently a data analyst at ALMA Observatory
Karen Collins, graduate student 2006-09, wrote MS thesis, did a PhD at UL under J. Kielkopf, then a post-doc at Vanderbilt, currently a post-doc at Harvard - publications
Brian Carpenter, graduate student 2005-07, teacher at Laurel School, Shaker Heights OH
won inspirational teacher award, from MIT, 2013
twitter account, Brian Carpenter [at]physicscarp

Brianna Mills, undergraduate student 2017-18, wrote Bachelor's thesis, won AAS Chambliss Award at 2018 meeting, currently a PhD student at U. Virginia
Nicholas Duong, undergraduate student 2016-17, wrote Honors thesis, currently a PhD student at UC Santa Cruz
Jared Keown, undergraduate student 2013-14, wrote Honors thesis, currently a PhD student at U. Victoria, BC, Canada - publications
Katherine Davis, undergraduate student 2008-09, wrote Honors thesis, won NSF Graduate Fellowship for PhD in physics at Purdue, was a post-doc at Princeton, now tenure-track at Emory U.

Wes Miller, undergraduate student 2006-07, won Fulbright to Konkoly Observatory, Budapest 2007,  finished PhD in physics at U. Oregon, in 2017 a Sr. Engineer and Device Physicist at HEE Solar, Dallas TX publications

If you want me to write a reference for you, I need (1) all university transcripts (if you graduated in the past 3 years),
(2) your current CV and publications list, (3) the job/graduate school ad, (4) any essays you need to write, with at least 3 weeks' notice. I request that you waive the right to see the reference, if I am to write the best one possible.

Short CV

A popular description of some of what I do

FUSE links (password-protected):

D/H team page
D/H target index
postscript spectral plots for D/H FUSE programs
Links to Professional Astronomers in Kentucky

Teaching/Summer Internship Suggestions/Career Advice

Scholarships for junior/senior year or graduate school

Publications/Conference proceedings/Press Releases

Popular Topics/Links/Popular Press Articles (including on our research)

Portal to the Universe: International Year of Astronomy 2009 (400th anniversary of Galileo's telescope)

Louisville Astronomers' View of 40th Anniversary of First Manned Lunar Landing: Tim Dowling & Gerry Williger

Popular Astronomy Talks and Talk Archive at U. Louisville

Regional Astronomy-related Seminars

Physics/Astronomy Departments in ACC/U Louisville Benchmark Institutions

ACC Academic Consortium (includes fellowship/REU information)

Physics departments which have closed (partial list)

Physics and Astronomy rankings: 2010 NRC (US, ~35 depts.) and 2011 Guardian (World top 100)
US (31 universities), UK (13), Germany (8), Australia (5), Japan (5), Canada (4),
France (4), Netherlands (4), Switzerland (4), China (4), Hong Kong (3), Israel (2),
South Korea (2), Singapore (2), Spain (2), Denmark (1), Finland (1), Ireland (1), Italy (1),
Russia (1), Sweden (1), Taiwan (1)
By language: English (54 (59 with Hong Kong & Singapore)), German (11), French (5), Japanese (5), Dutch (5), Mandarin (5), Cantonese (3), Hebrew (2), Korean (2), Malay (2),
Spanish (2), Danish (1), Finnish (1), Italian (1), Russian (1), Swedish (1)

Ten Reasons Why Caltech is the World's #1 (Research) University, Times Higher Education (UK), 17 Feb 2014, Phil Baty

Journal/Preprint Links

Astronomy Humor

Astronomy on Tap: main website ; partial list of host businesses

I am also the Louisville chapter advisor for Mortar Board


Useful data

Computer tools; links

Science Jokes