Colin J. Burke

 Colin Burke

Contact Information

132 Astronomy
1002 W. Green Street
Urbana IL 61801
M/C 221
Graduate Student
View CV


Colin is a first-year graduate student in astronomy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He obtained his B.S. in physics from Purdue where he helped develop and validate image simulation software for optical and infrared telescopes. In addition, he interned at Engility Corp. where he developed simulations of imaging systems for US government satellites.

Research Interests

  • Survey Science
  • Active Galactic Nuclei
  • Observational Cosmology

Research Description

Colin is currently working with Professor Xin Liu. Our goal is to understand how supermassive black holes formed and came to occupy nearly every massive galaxy in the Universe. Currently, I am using optical surveys, like the Dark Energy Survey, to search for intermediate mass black holes in active galactic nuclei. 

In the near future, we will use the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope to carry out a similar mission with unprecedented scale and sensitivity.


  • B.S. Physics, Purdue University