ASU Origins Project awards first Postdoctoral Prize Lectureship to astrophysicist

March 17, 2015

The Origins Project at Arizona State University awarded its first Postdoctoral Prize Lectureship to Adrian Liu of the University of California, Berkeley. The award, the largest of its kind in the world, is in recognition of Liu’s groundbreaking early career work in exploring the astrophysics of the early universe. It includes a $10,000 prize.

As part of the Origins Project postdoctoral prize lectureship, Liu will spend a week in Tempe in April and will deliver three colloquia and a public talk on his research. The public lecture is at 5:30 p.m., April 8, in the Marston Theater of ISTB4. He will also take part in an awards ceremony and other Origins activities. Adrian Liu Download Full Image

Liu is a Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics postdoc currently working on 21 cm (hydrogen line) tomography measurements of the early universe. His research focuses on understanding how our universe came to be what it is today by looking at how hydrogen is distributed in space and time.

“Adrian Liu is the perfect inaugural Origins Project Postdoctoral Prize Lecturer,” said Lawrence Krauss, director of the Origins Project at ASU. “Chosen from among 50 distinguished nominees from premier research institutions around the world, he stood out both for the quality of his research and for his superb ability to communicate it.”

“Adrian is already the recipient of prestigious fellowships in his field, including a Hubble fellowship,” Krauss added. “Moreover, he is exploring an emerging frontier in astrophysics that promises to shed light on the origin of all the cosmic structures we see today, from clusters of galaxies on downward, and thus to our own cosmic origin. And if that weren’t enough, he is a superb communicator. For example, he was the first person to get a perfect teaching score in the large courses he helped teach while a graduate student at MIT. It couldn’t be a better beginning for a world-class annual prize series focusing on Origins research.”

“It’s an absolute honor to be chosen for the Origins Project’s Postdoctoral Prize Lectureship,” Liu said. “In astrophysics our interests and goals are closely aligned to those of the Origins Project, in that we seek to understand how our universe works, and where the awe-inspiring astronomical structures that we see today came from. I’m particularly grateful for the opportunity to share my work with audiences at ASU, who will see that rather than being a solved problem, the question of our origins is an exhilarating journey that continues to fascinate scientists today.

“I’m trying to understand how our universe came to be the way it is,” Liu added. “For instance, what was the nature of the first galaxies? In what ways are they different from what we see today? How did they form? One way to answer questions like these is to make really, really good maps of how hydrogen is distributed in our universe. Once we have that, we can work backward and figure out how our universe came to be what it is today by studying how the state and distribution of hydrogen changed over our cosmic history.”

Liu graduated from Princeton University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 2006. He then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, obtaining his doctorate in 2012. His dissertation, advised by professor Max Tegmark, was titled “From theoretical promise to observational reality: calibration, foreground subtraction, and signal extraction in hydrogen cosmology.”

Liu has earned multiple teaching awards while a graduate student at MIT, including the Buechner Teaching Prize, the Henry Kendall Teaching Award and the Goodwin Teaching Medal.

The Origins Project postdoctoral prize lectureship is a worldwide competition for the best junior scholar chosen from all countries in any field of study relevant to the Origins Project. In its first year, the competition drew interest in fields including astrophysics, biology, geology, planetary science, history and medical engineering.

“Postdoctoral researchers are the young scholars who most often are behind the groundbreaking discoveries of tomorrow, but they are not often recognized until they are in more senior positions,” Krauss said. “We wanted to provide a significant world-wide recognition for this under-appreciated community, who will become the leaders of the next generation, and at the same time bring these exciting scholars to ASU to interact with our faculty and students, and perhaps forge long-term partnerships. In doing so, we will continue to enhance the mission of the Origins Project to promote new forefront investigations of foundational questions, and also expose the university and the public to the most exciting research being done in the world today."

For more information on the award, visit

Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


ASU Police invites public to reaccreditation hearing

March 17, 2015

Arizona State University community members are invited to attend a public hearing April 1 on the Tempe campus to offer comments about the ASU Police Department, as part of an on-site assessment by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).

The public hearing is part of a voluntary process to gain CALEA accreditation – a highly prized recognition of law enforcement excellence, according to Michael Thompson, ASU chief of police. The accreditation requires law enforcement agencies to comply with state-of-the-art standards in four basic areas: policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support services. Download Full Image

Accreditation is awarded for three years as long as the subject agency submits annual reports attesting to continued compliance with the standards under which it was initially accredited. The ASU Police Department received initial accreditation in 1997; and then again in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2011.

The hearing begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Computing Commons, room 120, and it will also be broadcast by video teleconference to the other ASU campus locations:

West campus: Faculty Office/Administration (FAB) conference room, S101

Polytechnic: Santa Catalina Hall (SANCA) room 138

Downtown Phoenix: University Center (UCENT) room 317

Individuals unable to attend can still provide comments by calling 480-727-6677 from 1:30 to 3 p.m., April 1. Written comments about the ASU Police Department will also be accepted by writing to: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia, 20155.

Public hearing appearances and telephone comments are limited to 10 minutes each and must address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA standards. To review a copy of the standards, call Hilda Godinez, ASU Police Department, at 480-965-2858.

Assessment team members are: Retired Chief Timothy Fitch from the St. Louis County Police Department and Denise Linkenhoker of the Virginia Tech Police Department. The team will examine compliance with the CALEA standards in the four basic areas. Once the assessors complete the agency review, they will provide a report to the full commission for their decision on renewing the ASU Police Department reaccreditation.

For more information about the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., write the commission at 13575 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia, 20155, or visit

For more information about the ASU Police Department and to view a contact information list, visit or call the Tempe campus department at (480) 965-3456.

Jerry Gonzalez

Media Relations Officer, Media Relations and Strategic Communications