The Evolved Man of the Week: Brian Nord

Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s “Evolved Man of the Week” profile. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved person, famous and non-famous individual alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to astrophysicist, visiting Research Assistant Professor at University of Chicago, and co-creator of Black Light, Brian Nord.

Brian Nord is an astrophysicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Illinois. He’s the third and youngest Black physicist to hold a position at Fermilab, a U.S. Department of Energy lab in operation since 1967. Nord also holds positions at the University of Chicago and is the co-founder of the Deep Skies Lab, a multi-institutional group of astrophysicists and deep learning experts.

Nord is a native of Wisconsin and holds degrees in physics from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan. He’s currently part of Fermilab’s Machine Learning group, which focuses on using artificial intelligence to solve astronomy and physics problems. 

Nord has a proven track record of supporting science education and diversity in STEM. He’s the organizer of Space Explorers, a program at the Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago that helps underrepresented minorities in high school experience physics through hands-on activities outside the classroom. He is also a co-creator of ThisIsBlackLight.com, a website with helpful content and resources to explain the Black experience in America.

Brian Nord uses artificial intelligence to search for clues on the origins and development of the universe. He actively works on statistical modeling of strong gravitational lenses, the cosmic microwave background, and galaxy clusters. As a leader of the Deep Skies Lab, he brings together experts in computer science and technology to study questions of cosmology, including dark energy, dark matter, and the early universe, through large-scale data analysis.

Nord has authored or co-authored nearly 50 papers. He trains scientists in public communication, advocates for science education and funding. He works to develop equitable and just research environments. As co-leader of education and public engagement at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at UChicago, he organizes Space Explorers, a program to help underrepresented minorities in high school engage in hands-on physics experiences outside the classroom. He is an associate scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a member of the Machine Intelligence Group.

Today we honor Brian Nord as our Evolved Man of the Week

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