Curriculum Vitae

KYLE DAWSON portrait
  • Associate Professor, Physics And Astronomy


Research Summary

I study the fundamental properties of the Universe through observational cosmology. I am the Instrument Scientist for the extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (eBOSS) at Apache Point Observatory. In eBOSS, we will place the most precise distance constraints to date in the 0.8<z<3.5 redshift range. I also help prepare the cosmology program for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI). DESI will begin in 2019 and will be 10X larger than any other spectroscopic program.

Research Statement

New observations are required to better understand if cosmic acceleration is caused by deviations from General Relativity (GR) on large scales or by a new form of energy. It is possible to distinguish scenarios of acceleration that require dark energy from those that require modifications to GR by independently probing both cosmic expansion history and the structure growth rate. Of equal importance to dark energy, the fundamental properties of neutrinos and General Relativity (GR) are recorded in cosmic history, yet poorly explored by current surveys. Wide-field optical spectroscopy figures prominently in the effort to constrain fundamental physics; the three-dimensional maps of galaxies and quasars obtained by such surveys provide an atlas of large-scale structure in which the physics of the expansion history, neutrino masses, and GR are embedded.

To meet the DESI goals of BAO, RSD and neutrino measurements will require optimized routines to classify spectra, complete understanding of the selection functions, and accurate models of clustering to small scales.  My research group is largely involved with characterizing the millions of spectra from the BOSS and eBOSS programs.  By doing so, we will improve the catalogs used to measure clustering and gain a better understanding of the astrophysics behind the galaxies and quasars used as tracers of the matter density field.


Research Groups

  • Jamie Dyer, Undergraduate Student. 02/15/2016 - present.
  • Tim Hutchinson, Graduate Student. 12/01/2015 - present.
  • Julian Bautista, Postdoc. 10/01/2014 - present.
  • Vivek Mariappan, Postdoc. 09/01/2014 - present.
  • Vikrant Kamble, Graduate Student. 06/01/2014 - present.

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • Spectral Templates and Models of Small-scale Clustering for eBOSS and DESI. PI: DAWSON,KYLE. DOE-HEP, 04/01/2016 - 03/31/2019. Total project budget to date: $550,000.00
  • extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Experiment (eBOSS). PI: DAWSON,KYLE. DOE-HEP Operations, 05/01/2015 - 03/31/2018. Total project budget to date: $1,350,000.00
  • SDSS-IV - INSTRUMENT SCIENTIST. PI: DAWSON,KYLE. UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, 06/01/2013 - 12/31/2016. Total project budget to date: $442,846.00