Aaron Parsons

Professor of Astronomy


Through my research, I aim to answer fundamental questions about the universe by building specialized radio telescopes to conduct targeted experiments.  I enjoy all aspects of this process, from physically constructing antennas to designing the supercomputers that run inside radio interferometers, from writing software and analyzing data to publishing papers that (hopefully) improve our understanding of cosmology and astrophysics.

My current projects include:

    HERA: a proposed 568-element array of 14-m dishes in South Africa; the successor to PAPER (below) and the MWA.

    PAPER: a 128-antenna array constructed in South Africa that aims to detect when (~13 billion years ago) the light from the first stars and galaxies ionized the bulk of the hydrogen in the universe.

    BAOBAB: a forthcoming array for measuring the accelerating expansion of the universe via Baryon Acoustic Oscillations at a range of 8 billion light-years.

    CASPER: an international collaboration for improving how we build the supercomputers at the heart of modern radio telescopes.

    AIPY: a software toolkit in Python for exposing the tools of modern radio interferometry to the programmers who need them.



Assistant Professor

Dept. of Astronomy

UC Berkeley

Hearst Field Annex, B54

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA 94720-3441


(510) 406-4322


I enjoy teaching laboratory classes with hands-on learning techniques, and maintain the AstroBaki wiki -- a clearinghouse of public-domain pedagogical materials associated with astronomy, signal processing, and programming skills.

Recent classes I have taught include:

    Undergraduate Radio Lab (Ay121)

    Radiative Processes in Astrophysics (c207)

    Radio Astronomy Tools and Techniques (Ay250)