Bowdoin’s William R. Kenan Professor of Physics Thomas Baumgarte, one of the nation’s leading numerical relativists, is one of 52 mathematicians and theoretical phyisicsts this year to win a Simons Fellowship. The fellowships are given to faculty who are advancing the frontiers of math and science.
The fellowship allows faculty to take a leave from teaching and administrative obligations to focus solely on research. This year, the Simons Foundation awarded fellowships to 12 theoretical physicists and 40 mathematicians. Baumgarte is one of only two recipients who teach at a liberal arts college — the rest are at research universities.
Indeed, since the fellowship program began, in 2012, only two physicists from a liberal arts college have been awarded the prize — and both teach at Bowdoin. Stephen Naculich, Bowdoin’s LaCasce Family Professor of Natural Sciences, received a Simons Fellowship in 2015.
Baumgarte researches relativistic astrophysics and numerical relativity; in particular he investigates the numerical simulation of neutron stars and black holes and their binaries.