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Jim Lyke (Ph.D. Astrophysics, Advisor: R. Gehrz; B.S. 1997)


My advisor was Professor Bob Gehrz in astrophysics. I did my undergrad and grad work at Minnesota.

I was there for 10 years so it's hard to list one memory. I mostly remember the people and how helpful they were--from Terry Thibeault and Ginny Olson in the astronomy office to Al Knutson in the electronics shop, and all my classmates. My wife, Didi, and I were married in 2008 and we have 2 year old twins: Kate and Henrik. They are fun and full of energy! I am responsible for keeping a subset of Keck's astronomical instruments in top shape for use every night. In addition, I work with our visiting astronomer to show them how to get the most out of their nights. I have worked with teams discovering planets outside our solar system, new planets in our solar system (which led to Pluto's demotion--sorry about that), stars, the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Center, and galaxies. I get to work on nearly all fields in optical/IR astronomy. Again, it's hard to list one: Woods Halley for freshman physics and again at grad level quantum, Gehrz for intro to astrophysics, Paul Ellis for classical and quantum, YC Tang for E&M, Ben Bayman for grad level classical, Tom Jones for high-energy astro, Terry Jones for all things astro, and, of course, Hans Courant for stimulating discussions. Minnesota really prepared me for where I am today. Currently Support Astronomer II in Hawaii, United States. After grad W.M. Keck Observatory. Ph.D. advisors Gehrz and Chick Woodward