Professor of Physics, Particle Physics, and Astrophysics
Risa Wechsler is the Humanities and Sciences Professor and Professor of Physics and Particle Physics and Astrophysics at Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology.
Her research combines large cosmological simulations and modeling with the biggest and most precise maps of the universe to model and measure cosmic structure, understand the physics of galaxy formation, and elucidate the nature of dark matter and dark energy. She has played leadership roles in several of these very large surveys, including as a founding member of the Dark Energy Survey and the founding Co-Spokesperson of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument. She has been involved in various aspects of LSST for more than 15 years, including as a contributor to the LSST Science Book, founding member of the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration and Galaxies Collaboration, member of the LSST Scientific Advisory Committee, SLAC Point of Contact for LSST DESC, member of the Rubin Operations Management Board, and advisor to LSSTC on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues.
Wechsler received an S.B. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has served on advisory committees for the National Academy of Sciences, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, and several major foundations, and is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Aspen Center for Physics. She has a longstanding commitment to building a more inclusive astrophysics community and is passionate about broadening access to the field and engaging the public with scientific discovery.