Mitch Begelman named CU Distinguished Professor

Submitted by sburrows on Wed, 12/09/2020 - 10:14 am

Mitchell Begelman

Image Credit
Glenn Asakawa

JILA fellow Mitch Begelman has been named CU Distinguished Professor by the CU Board of Regents. Begelman is the 5th JILA fellow of only 118 CU professors who have been awarded this honor since 1977. He joins JILA fellows Dick McCray, Carl Lineberger, Carl Wieman, and Margaret Murnane with this distinction.

“This is a special honor, since CU is such an amazing community of scholars.  Being part of JILA, in particular, has enabled me to work with some of the best faculty colleagues, students and postdocs in the world,” Begelman says of the award.

Begelman’s research has been recognized through numerous awards. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Helen B. Warner Prize of the American Astronomical Society, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, and a Presidential Young Investigator Award. In 2018, Begelman was named a Professor of Distinction by the College of Arts and Sciences.

His group at JILA investigates high-energy and theoretical astrophysics. His seminal research on the growth of black holes and how they interact with their environments has shed new light on their key role in the Universe. He has also made highly notable contributions to understanding energetic astrophysical plasmas, including those in cosmic jets and accretion disks.

Begelman has fostered the beginning careers of dozens of Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scholars. His leadership has enabled them to go on to form their own research groups throughout the world. Begelman developed the highly popular Black Holes course, of which he says, “Where else would I have had the opportunity to develop and teach one of the first courses anywhere on the astrophysics of black holes, aimed at non-science majors?” In 1996 he was awarded the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award for “Gravity’s Fatal Attraction: Black Holes in the Universe”; a book he co-authored with Sir Martin Rees, which is used for this course.

The title of Distinguished Professor is well deserved of such a prestigious, prolific JILA fellow.

Congratulations Mitch Begelman!

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