People PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nguyen Le   

Principal Investigator (PI): Christopher M. Johns-Krull, Ph.D.

C.M. Johns-Krull obtained his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, studying the spectral variability of newly formed low mass stars. Dr. Johns-Krull continued his studies on young stars as a postdoctoral fellow at McDonald Observatory and then at JILA before returning to Berkeley as a research scientist at the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory. He has been an assistant professor at Rice University since July, 2001. Dr. Johns-Krull has done extensive work on optical high resolution spectroscopy of young stars, including the discovery of rotational modulation of wind and accretion signatures (Johns et al. 1992; Giampapa et al. 1993; Johns & Basri 1995; Johns-Krull & Hatzes 1997). More recently, Dr. Johns-Krull has been studying the magnetic properties of newly formed stars and currently the world expert on this topic (e.g. Johns-Krull et al. 1999a,b; Johns-Krull et al. 2004; Yang et al. 2005, Daou et al. 2006).

Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI): Juan Carlos Reina, Ph.D.

Dr. Reina's background is as an experimentalist and he has done research using dynamic laser light scattering techniques to study phase transitions in gels and colloids. He has taught Physics and Astronomy at the university level for thirty-three years. As an experimentalist, he has transferred his interests from polymer physics research into astronomical observation and instrumentation. He has successfully developed a television show on astronomy, "Astronomy Spoken Here," for the student body and public at large that is viewed by approximately by 3,000 people each week. He has developed the Astronomy Program at HCC as a discipline under physics. Dr. Reina currently serves as Director of the HCCS Title V program, drawing professors, teachers and students from underrepresented and economically disadvantaged groups into science. Dr. Reina has successfully implemented programs in the fields of physics and astronomy that encourage diversity, broaden opportunities, and enable the participation of all underrepresented groups in scientific education and research. This program corresponds directly and seamlessly with the goals of the Title V program and long-term goals of HCCS. HCCS begins plans for a Math and Science Institute of Excellence in the Spring of 2006, and the TORRE program will fit institutional goals relative to the Institute.


Remote Technical Advisor: Roger Boston, MBA

Roger Boston is a world class leader in Distance Education, a pioneer in the use of internet for instruction with special emphasis on international and long distance educational collaborations. He has facilitated international distance education over two decades. He will manage the development of the distance technology process and educational technology to be used.

Co-Investigator: Reginald J. Dufour, Ph.D.

Dr. Dufour has been a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Rice University for 30 years. He has observed at most major observatories around the world with over 130 refereed publications. He has taught astronomy laboratories at Rice for many semesters and serves as chair of the observatory committee that manages Rice’s on-campus observatory (a 16-inch computerized Meade telescope) and has served as a consultant to George Observatory (a 36-inch RCOS Ritchey-Chrétien and other telescopes). He has also been a PI on numerous NASA space observatory missions such as IUE, FUSE, HST and Spitzer. Recently he was the lead investigator on a joint USAF-NSF funded program to develop a multi-purpose imager-polarimeter-spectrometer for the USAF-AEOS telescope in Maui which was successfully installed in February 2004.

Co-Investigator: Hartigan

Co-Investigator: Don Wells

Don Wells is an award-winning TV Production Manager and an avid amateur astronomer. He has combined these interests in the production of Skyfarer, a recurring astronomy segment on Stafford METV's Stafford Weekly News. He is the Staff Advisor for Houston Community College's student astronomy club, the Star Squad, and as a member of the Fort Bend Astronomy Club's Asteroid Discovery Team, Mr. Wells has helped to discover many of the team's 400+ asteroids. Also a member of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, Mr. Wells has submitted thousands of observations tracking the behavior of variable stars to the AAVSO International Database.

Co-Investigator: Roland Fields

Roland Fields is the Supervisor of Instructional Computing Support for HCC's Southwest College. Mr. Fields lends his extensive experience in technology support to the TORRE project and assists faculty and students with star parties, equipment use, maintenance and integration.


IT Director: Jake Fan, Chaogic Systems, LLC 

Chaogic Systems, LLC is a Houston based company specialized in cutting-edge information technologies such as web-centric software applications and high performance supercomputing/clustering.  The company's diverse customer base ranges from oil & gas to medical to R&D. With a background in condensed matter physics and electronic engineering, founder and chief engineer Jake Fan has extensive experiences in control and automation, instrumentation, data acquisition, data analysis, web/database integration, parallel computing, and rapid application development. He will lend his expertise and empower the TORRE project with the state-of-the-art information technologies. A strong advocate of the Open Source ideology as well as an avid contributor and developer, he will leverage the full potential of Open Source and at the same time, ensure that all possible technological advancements resulted from the TORRE project will remain Open Source and be contributed back to the community.



  Editor in Chief: Nathaniel Whitehead