1002 W. Green St.
Dr. Xin Liu is an assistant 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. in Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, 2010
B.S. in 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
Assistant Professor, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
Burke, C. J., Shen, Y., Chen, Y. C., Scaringi, S., Faucher-Giguere, C. A., Liu, X., & Yang, Q. (2020). Optical Variability of the Dwarf AGN NGC 4395 from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. Astrophysical Journal, 899(2), . https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aba3ce
Burke, C. J., Baldassare, V. F., Liu, X., Foley, R. J., Shen, Y., Palmese, A., Guo, H., Herner, K., Abbott, T. M. C., Aguena, M., Allam, S., Avila, S., Bertin, E., Brooks, D., Carnero Rosell, A., Carrasco Kind, M., Carretero, J., Da Costa, L. N., De Vicente, J., ... Walker, A. R. (2020). The Curious Case of PHL 293B: A Long-lived Transient in a Metal-poor Blue Compact Dwarf Galaxy. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 894(1), [L5]. https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/ab88de
Guo, H., Liu, X., Tayyaba, Z., & Liao, W. T. (2020). Spectral energy distributions of candidate periodically variable quasars: Testing the binary black hole hypothesis. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 492(2), 2910-2923. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stz3566
Guo, H., Shen, Y., He, Z., Wang, T., Liu, X., Wang, S., Sun, M., Yang, Q., Kong, M., & Sheng, Z. (2020). Understanding Broad Mg II Variability in Quasars with Photoionization: Implications for Reverberation Mapping and Changing-look Quasars. Astrophysical Journal, 888(2), . https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab5db0
Hwang, H. C., Shen, Y., Zakamska, N., & Liu, X. (2020). Varstrometry for Off-nucleus and Dual Subkiloparsec AGN (VODKA): Methodology and Initial Results with Gaia DR2. Astrophysical Journal, 888(2), . https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab5c1a