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Two Penn State Astronomers Recognized for Scientific Impact

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Eric Feigelson (left) Donald Schneider (right)

Two Penn State astronomers have been recognized for their scientific impact over the past two decades by ISI, an organization that monitors scientific citations worldwide. Professors Eric Feigelson and Donald Schneider, of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, are included in ISI's recently released list of 249 "highly cited" researchers from 14 nations who were recognized for their contributions to space science based on the number of times their research has been cited in papers published between 1981 and 1999.

"This recognition reflects the increasingly important role Penn State is playing in astronomy," said Peter Mészáros, Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. "We expect our impact to continue to rise in the future as our young faculty become more visible and as we make more discoveries with facilities such as the Hobby-Eberly Telescope and NASA's Swift satellite, which is scheduled to be launched late this year and for which Penn State will serve as the scientific control center."

Feigelson is widely recognized as one of the world's experts on the application of advanced statistical methods to astronomical data sets, and also has made a number of fundamental contributions in the field of stellar formation. He is a member of the team led by Penn State's Gordon Garmire, Evan Pugh Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, that developed the primary instrument for NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Feigelson has published over 120 peer-reviewed articles on topics ranging from the chemistry in materials surrounding stars to X-ray emission produced by massive black holes. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1980 and was a postdoctoral scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining the Penn State faculty in 1982.

Schneider, whose primary research field is observational cosmology, is the chairman of quasar science for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a large international effort that aims to observe 100,000 quasars, measure the distances to a million galaxies, and produce a comprehensive digital map of the sky during the next few years. Much of Schneider's recent research has been based on observations taken by the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, which was designed by Penn State professors Larry Ramsey and Daniel Weedman. Thus far in his research career, he has published over 240 peer-reviewed articles. He received his Ph.D. from Caltech in 1982 and was a Research Fellow at Caltech before taking a research position at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1985. He joined the Penn State faculty in 1994.

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Barbara Kennedy (PIO), Penn State, Eberly College of Science, 814-863-4682, E-mail: science@psu.edu
ISI WEB SITE: http://isihighlycited.com/isi_copy/Comm_news23.htm


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