Gautham Narayan

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Personal profile

Personal profile

I joined the faculty at UIUC as an Assistant Professor in 2019.

I did my undergraduate work studying comets that masquerade as asteroids with Prof. Linda French at Illinois Wesleyan, graduating in 2005. My graduate work was on refining the measurement of how fast the Universe is expanding using type Ia supernovae, and I worked with Profs. Christopher Stubbs and Robert Kirshner at Harvard, earning my Ph.D. in 2013.

I was a postdoctoral scholar at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) with Drs. Tom Matheson and Abi Saha, spending many nights atop beautiful Kitt Peak in the Sonoran desert, working on the ANTARES alert broker and flux-calibrating a network of DA white dwarfs for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) currently being comissioned in Chile. I deepened  my involvement with LSST as the Barry M. Lasker Data Science Fellow at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, MD.

I've been working with students throughout my time as a postdoc, and deeply value the mentor-mentee relationship. I think we are privilged to study the cosmos, and am deeply committed to public outreach. When I'm not working, you can find me hiking, or behind a camera lens, invariably accompanied by Kepler, the astro-dog.

If you'd like to get in touch, shoot me an email, or swing by my office - always happy to get a cup of coffee.

Research Interests

Time-domain Astrophysics
Survey Science
Multi-messenger Astrophysics
Data Science
Machine learning

Professional Information

My research interests lie at the intersection of multi-messenger and time-domain astrophysics, cosmology, statistics and data science. I work on wide-field surveys developing machine learning (particularly neural network-based) methods for real-time detection and classification of variable and transient sources, Bayesian models for cosmological inference with type Ia supernovae, and establishing an all-sky network of faint spectrophotometric standards for LSST, WFIRST and future projects.

I am one of the co-chairs of the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration's Supernova Working Group, and also a member of the LSST Transients and Variable Stars Science Collaboration, and I've been a member of the Pan-STARRS, ESSENCE, Foundation, MzLS and RAISIN survey, among others.


Ph.D., Physics, Harvard, 2013
B.S. (Hons.), Physics, lllinois Wesleyan, 2005

Office Address

1002 W. Green Street, Rm. 129,
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Phone

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Research Output

  • 56 Article
  • 3 Review article
  • 2 Conference contribution

A Classification Algorithm for Time-domain Novelties in Preparation for LSST Alerts. Application to Variable Stars and Transients Detected with DECam in the Galactic Bulge

Soraisam, M. D., Saha, A., Matheson, T., Narayan, G., Lee, C. H., Vivas, A. K., Scheidegger, C., Oppermann, N., Olszewski, E. W., Sinha, S. & Desantis, S. R., Apr 1 2020, In : Astrophysical Journal. 892, 2, 112.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Delay Time Distributions of Type Ia Supernovae from Galaxy and Cosmic Star Formation Histories

    Strolger, L. G., Rodney, S. A., Pacifici, C., Narayan, G. & Graur, O., Feb 20 2020, In : Astrophysical Journal. 890, 2, 140.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Optical Polarimetry of the Tidal Disruption Event AT2019DSG

    Lee, C. H., Hung, T., Matheson, T., Soraisam, M., Narayan, G., Saha, A., Stubens, C. & Wolf, N., Mar 20 2020, In : Astrophysical Journal Letters. 892, 1, L1.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • A machine learning classifier for microlensing in wide-field surveys

    Godines, D., Bachelet, E., Narayan, G. & Street, R. A., Jul 2019, In : Astronomy and Computing. 28, 100298.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • K2 Observations of SN 2018oh Reveal a Two-component Rising Light Curve for a Type Ia Supernova

    Konkoly, ePESSTO, University of Arizona, K2 Mission Team, Kegs, Kepler Spacecraft Team, Pan-STARRS, Decam, Asas-Sn, Ptss/tnts, Las Cumbres Observatory, ATLAS & Narayan, G., Jan 1 2019, In : Astrophysical Journal Letters. 870, 1, L1.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle