Michael A. Stecker


Born in 1957 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Wendy Freedman earned her B.S. (1979), M.S. (1980),
and Ph.D. (1984) in astronomy and astrophysics  from the University of Toronto. She joined the
Carnegie Observatories
in Pasadena, California  as a post-doctoral fellow in 1984 and became a
faculty member of the scientific staff there three years later -- the first woman to join Carnegie's
permanent staff. In 2003 she was named the Crawford H. Greenewalt Chair and
Director of
Carnegie Observatories. 
Currently, she is also Chair of the GMT Board. Wendy is also a
member of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey Committee of the National
Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council's Committee on Astronomy
and Astrophysics. 

Wendy Freedman received the 1994 Marc Aaronson Lectureship and prize "in recognition
of a decade of fundamental contributions to the areas of the extra galactic distance scale and
the stellar populations of galaxies".
She was awarded a Centennial Lectureship of the
American Physical Society in 1999 and a Cosmos Club Award in 2000, when she also was
elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2002 she received the
American Philosophical Society's Magellanic Premium Award for her leadership in
bringing observational cosmology into the 21st century. In 2003 she was elected to the
National Academy of Sciences.

Her research interests include observational cosmology, evolution of galaxies and their stellar
populations, and the extragalactic distance scale.  For almost a decade she has been involved
in determining the rate at which the universe is expanding, using the Hubble Space Telescope
(HST). This expansion rate, known as the Hubble constant, has been an important
cosmological problem for the past 70 years. Freedman is one of three principal
investigators on the project. In 2000 the group concluded that the universe is expanding at
a rate of 74 kilometers/second/megaparsec (one parcsec is 3.26 light-years) with a total
uncertainty of 10%.  In other research, Freedman, with Rebecca Bernstein and Barry Madore,
have made the most accurate optical measurements of the total integrated light from all
galaxies and objects in the universe.


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