1002 W. Green St.
Dr. Xin Liu is an associate professor in Astonomy. She received her B.A. in Physics from Tsinghua University in 2004 and her Ph.D in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University in 2010 under the guidance of Dr. Michael A. Strauss. Before joining UIUC in 2015, she was a NASA Einstein fellow at Harvard and a Hubble fellow at UCLA.
Astronomical survey and data science
Origin and cosmic evolution of galaxies and galactic nuclei
The nature of black holes and gravity
Machine learning applications in Astronomy
Professor Liu studies supermassive black holes that live in the hearts of galaxies across the universe. Understanding how black holes formed and evolved into their present forms has been a central theme in modern astronomy. The next decade will see an array of new facilities and large surveys aimed at addressing fundamental questions centered around this theme. The Liu group develops new observational tools and data analysis techniques in the context of large astronomical surveys. The goal is to understand black holes' origins, growth, ecology, and utilities as astrophysical probes for fundamental physics.
Ph.D., Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, 2010
M.A., Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, 2008
M.S., Physics, Tsinghua University, 2006
B.S., Physics, Tsinghua University, 2004
Awards and Honors
NCSA Faculty Fellow, 2020
Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professor, 2019
Center for Advanced Study Beckman Fellowship, 2017
Additional Campus Affiliations
Associate Professor, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
Burke, C. J., Shen, Y., Blaes, O., Gammie, C. F., Horne, K., Jiang, Y-F., Liu, X., Mchardy, I. M., Morgan, C. W., Scaringi, S., & Yang, Q. (2021). A characteristic optical variability time scale in astrophysical accretion disks. Science, 373(6556), 789-792. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abg9933
Burke, C. J., Liu, X., Chen, Y. C., Shen, Y., & Guo, H. (2021). On the AGN nature of broad balmer emission in four low-redshift metal-poor galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 504(1), 543-550. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stab912
Liao, W. T., Chen, Y. C., Liu, X., Miguel Holgado, A., Guo, H., Gruendl, R., Morganson, E., Shen, Y., Davis, T., Kessler, R., Martini, P., McMahon, R. G., Allam, S., Annis, J., Avila, S., Banerji, M., Bechtol, K., Bertin, E., Brooks, D., ... Walker, A. (2021). Discovery of a candidate binary supermassive black hole in a periodic quasar from circumbinary accretion variability. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 500(3), 4025-4041. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/staa3055
Shen, Y., Chen, Y. C., Hwang, H. C., Liu, X., Zakamska, N., Oguri, M., Li, J. I. H., Lazio, J., & Breiding, P. (2021). A hidden population of high-redshift double quasars unveiled by astrometry. Nature Astronomy, 5(6), 569-574. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-021-01323-1
Yang, Q., Shen, Y., Chen, Y. C., Liu, X., Annis, J., Avila, S., Bertin, E., Brooks, D., Buckley-Geer, E., Rosell, A. C., Kind, M. C., Carretero, J., da Costa, L., Desai, S., Diehl, H. T., Doel, P., Frieman, J., Garcia-Bellido, J., Gaztanaga, E., ... Walker, A. (2021). Spectral variability of a sample of extreme variability quasars and implications for the Mg II broad-line region. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 493(4), 5773-5787. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/staa645