The College of Sciences has selected Tamara Bogdanovic to receive the 2018 Leddy Family Faculty Fellowship. The award recognizes her outstanding research leadership and educational innovation in high-energy astrophysics.
The two-year fellowship goes to a faculty member at the associate professor level. The award recognizes proven accomplishments in research and teaching. It is made possible by a generous gift to the College of Sciences by alumnus Jeffrey A. Leddy (B.S. in Physics 1978) and his wife, Pam.
Bogdanovic is the second Leddy Family Faculty Fellow. In 2016, Dan Margalit, professor in the School of Mathematics, was named the inaugural recipient of the award.
“I am truly honored to have been selected for the 2018 Leddy Family Faculty Fellowship,” Bogdanovic says. “This award is unexpected but very much appreciated, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of an outstanding researcher, educator, and a colleague, Dan Margalit. I am very grateful to the Leddy family for their generous gift and commitment to research and teaching at Georgia Tech.”
“Tamara is clearly what one envisions of an exceptional faculty member. She is a person with a remarkable creativity in research, passion for teaching, and serious commitment to increasing the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in science.”
Bogdanovic focused her early efforts on likely electromagnetic and gravitational wave signatures from the merger of supermassive black hole binaries. No such event has been observed so far. Her work paves the way toward discovery of such a titanic cosmic cataclysm.
Meanwhile, Bogdanovic has facilitated the search for paired supermassive black holes by identifying specific spectroscopic signatures as efficient criteria. Her approach is used by many other researchers to identify from archival data sets candidates for further monitoring and investigation.
Another phenomenon of interest is tidal disruptions of stars by black holes. When a star is close enough to a supermassive black hole, tidal forces from the black hole disrupt the star. A flash of radiation accompanies the disruption. Recent observations have confirmed Bogdanovic’s theoretical predictions about the characteristic spectral signatures of these events.
As an educator, Bogdanovic is passionate about innovation in teaching. She was a member of the task force that reviewed the introductory physics curriculum. In 2017, she organized a colloquium series on physics education, which helped define the future of introductory physics courses at Georgia Tech. She is proactive in training astrophysics graduate students. The course she developed on high-energy astrophysics is the core foundation for students working with faculty in the Center for Relativistic Astrophysics.
“Tamara is clearly what one envisions of an exceptional faculty member,” says School of Physics Chair and Professor Pablo Laguna. “She is a person with a remarkable creativity in research, passion for teaching, and serious commitment to increasing the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in science.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” says College of Sciences Dean and Sutherland Chair Paul M. Goldbart. “I congratulate Tamara on her selection as the second Leddy Family Faculty Fellow. And I thank the Leddy family for its generous support of the College of Sciences.”
Bogdanovic was a 2013 Sloan Research Fellow, a 2016 Cottrell Scholar, and a 2016 Cullen-Peck Fellow.