Gautham Narayan

 Gautham Narayan

Contact Information

1002 W. Green Street, Rm. 129,
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Hours

  • M-F, 10 AM - 12 PM, 1:30 PM - 5ish PM
Assistant Professor
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I joined the faculty at UIUC as an Assistant Professor in 2019.

I did my undergraduate work studying comets that masquerade as asteroids with Prof. Linda French at Illinois Wesleyan, graduating in 2005. My graduate work was on refining the measurement of how fast the Universe is expanding using type Ia supernovae, and I worked with Profs. Christopher Stubbs and Robert Kirshner at Harvard, earning my Ph.D. in 2013.

I was a postdoctoral scholar at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) with Drs. Tom Matheson and Abi Saha, spending many nights atop beautiful Kitt Peak in the Sonoran desert, working on the ANTARES alert broker and flux-calibrating a network of DA white dwarfs for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) currently being comissioned in Chile. I deepened  my involvement with LSST as the Barry M. Lasker Data Science Fellow at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, MD.

I've been working with students throughout my time as a postdoc, and deeply value the mentor-mentee relationship. I think we are privilged to study the cosmos, and am deeply committed to public outreach. When I'm not working, you can find me hiking, or behind a camera lens, invariably accompanied by Kepler, the astro-dog.

If you'd like to get in touch, shoot me an email, or swing by my office - always happy to get a cup of coffee.

Research Interests

  • Cosmology
  • Time-domain Astrophysics
  • Survey Science
  • Multi-messenger Astrophysics
  • Statistics
  • Data Science
  • Machine learning
  • Supernovae

Research Description

My research interests lie at the intersection of multi-messenger and time-domain astrophysics, cosmology, statistics and data science. I work on wide-field surveys developing machine learning (particularly neural network-based) methods for real-time detection and classification of variable and transient sources, Bayesian models for cosmological inference with type Ia supernovae, and establishing an all-sky network of faint spectrophotometric standards for LSST, WFIRST and future projects.

I am one of the co-chairs of the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration's Supernova Working Group, and also a member of the LSST Transients and Variable Stars Science Collaboration, and I've been a member of the Pan-STARRS, ESSENCE, Foundation, MzLS and RAISIN survey, among others.


  • Ph.D., Physics, Harvard, 2013
  • B.S. (Hons.), Physics, lllinois Wesleyan, 2005


  • Not teaching in Fall 2019

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