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Gautham Narayan

Profile picture for Gautham Narayan

Contact Information

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

Office Hours

Fall 2023: by arrangement
Assistant Professor


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 NSF's National Optical & Infrared Astronomy Laboratory (NOIRLAB, then 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 astro-dogs Kepler and Archimedes.

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

Time-domain Astrophysics
Survey Science
Multi-messenger Astrophysics
Data Science
Machine learning

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, NGRST and future projects.

I am Analysis Coordinator for LSST's Dark Energy Science Collaboration (formerly deputy Analysis Coordinator and convener of the Time Domain Working Group), co-PI of the Young Supernova Experiment. I am also a PI of the SCiMMA Team ( I've been a member of the Pan-STARRS, ESSENCE, Foundation, MzLS, SIRAH, and RAISIN surveys, among others.


Physics, Ph.D., Harvard University
Physics, B.S. (Hons), Illinois Wesleyan University

Additional Campus Affiliations

Assistant Professor, Astronomy
Assistant Professor, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
Assistant Professor, Physics

Recent Publications

Shah, V. G., Narayan, G., Perkins, H. M. L., Foley, R. J., Chatterjee, D., Cousins, B., & Macias, P. (2024). Predictions for electromagnetic counterparts to Neutron Star mergers discovered during LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA observing runs 4 and 5. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 528(2), 1109-1124. Article stad3711.

The Dark Energy Science Collaboration (2024). Testing the LSST Difference Image Analysis Pipeline Using Synthetic Source Injection Analysis. Astrophysical Journal, 967(1), Article 10.

Aleo, P. D., Malanchev, K., Sharief, S., Jones, D. O., Narayan, G., Foley, R. J., Villar, V. A., Angus, C. R., Baldassare, V. F., Bustamante-Rosell, M. J., Chatterjee, D., Cold, C., Coulter, D. A., Davis, K. W., Dhawan, S., Drout, M. R., Engel, A., French, K. D., Gagliano, A., ... Zenati, Y. (2023). The Young Supernova Experiment Data Release 1 (YSE DR1): Light Curves and Photometric Classification of 1975 Supernovae. Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series, 266(1), Article 9.

Axelrod, T., Saha, A., Matheson, T., Olszewski, E. W., Bohlin, R. C., Calamida, A., Claver, J., Deustua, S., Holberg, J. B., Hubeny, I., Mackenty, J. W., Malanchev, K., Narayan, G., Points, S., Rest, A., Sabbi, E., & Stubbs, C. W. (2023). All-sky Faint DA White Dwarf Spectrophotometric Standards for Astrophysical Observatories: The Complete Sample. Astrophysical Journal, 951(1), Article 78.

Dhawan, S., Thorp, S., Mandel, K. S., Ward, S. M., Narayan, G., Jha, S. W., & Chant, T. (2023). A BayeSN distance ladder: H0from a consistent modelling of Type Ia supernovae from the optical to the near-infrared. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 524(1), 235-244.

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