UCSC astronomy and astrophysics department chief Sandy Faber

UCSC astronomy and astrophysics department chief Sandy Faber

What do you do for a living? I study the evolution of the Universe and educate young people to do the same.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing that? I might be a forensic scientist, or perhaps design artistic water fountains and water sculptures.

What do you do in your free time? I have very little free time. Staying on top of a fast-moving scientific field and being department chair
keep me nearly 100 percent occupied. In my free time, I read the Wall Street Journal, read books about the Middle East and Islam and go
to movies with my husband.

What brought you to Santa Cruz? It was the only place where my husband and I both got positions. I needed an assistant professorship at a good university, and he needed a topflight law school. The only fit
was UCSC and Stanford.

What’s your favorite street? Pleasant Street in Newton Center, Mass., where I was born. Picture older homes with shady maple trees. Truly

Name something you’re excited about. Applying to the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope this summer to conduct the largest imaging survey ever conducted with the telescope.

Name a pet peeve. Prospective graduate students who visit our department but have not done their homework, do not know about our
science or faculty and have no idea that they are visiting a world-class astronomy department.

What are you reading? The Suicide Index, a memoir by my relative Joan Wickersham.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in the last three years? Flip answer: how to renovate a kitchen. More seriously: how the
structure of elliptical galaxies relates to their star-formation histories (thanks to our brilliant PhD graduate, Genevieve Graves).

What’s your sign? Capricorn, which fits me to a tee. I am rather rational, logical, and unemotional and I have knee and joint trouble just
as predicted.

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