"If we worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, then there would be little hope for advance".
Orville Wright, aviation pioneer
I am an Assistant Professor in the Astronomy Department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. My research combines unique analytic models and high-resolution numerical simulations to get new insights into the dynamical processes that form the stellar skeleton of our Galaxy. While the study of our Solar System is captivating, I am more interested in what happens outside of it. There are 300 billion stars in our Milky Way. Thanks to the GAIA satellite launched in 2013, for the first time in human history, we will know for 1 billion of those stars their location, distance from us, proper motions and in some cases
whether they have planets around them.
In a future when we might become a space-faring civilization, I believe it is more inspiring to have a detailed knowledge of the environment outside of the Solar System.