Aaron LaCluyzé attended the University of Notre Dame, where he obtained a B.S. in Physics in 1998. From there, he went to Michigan State University, where he earned a M.S. on the way to completing his Ph.D. in Physics & Astronomy in 2008.
Although his first love in astronomy was nearby variable stars, Dr. LaCluyzé’s dissertation involved active galactic nuclei — the very bright cores of distant galaxies. While completing his dissertation, he had already begun working with Dr. Reichart’s group at the University of North Carolina (UNC) studying gamma-ray bursts, and was involved with the 2005 discovery of a record-setting burst from very early in the history of the universe. In 2008, he joined the UNC research group full time.
Dr. LaCluyzé’s research has taken him across the United States as well as to Chile and Australia, where the group continues to build robotic telescopes for research, education, and public outreach. He has taught the introductory astronomy courses and labs at UNC, both as traditional in-person lectures and as online courses. He is consistently ranked as one of the top instructors in UNC’s Department of Physics & Astronomy.
Two things you may not know: Yes, he ties his own bow ties every day, and although his last name is pronounced “La Clue Zay”, he mostly goes by Cluze, which is pronounced “Clues.”