Professor Lars Bildsten


Lars Bildsten is the Director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) and the Gluck Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his PhD in theoretical physics from Cornell University in 1991, where he held a Fannie and John Hertz Graduate Fellowship. Dr. Bildsten is a theoretical astrophysicist recognized for his work on the properties and behaviors of stars, both when they are burning their thermonuclear fuel for billions of years and when they explode as supernova or emit gravitational waves. He was at Caltech for three years as the Lee A. DuBridge Research Fellow in Theoretical Astrophysics and was an assistant and associate professor in both the Physics and Astronomy departments at University of California, Berkeley. Moving to Santa Barbara in 1999 as a Permanent Member at the KITP, he held the Rosing, Raab Chair in Theoretical Astrophysics prior to becoming Director in 2012. Among his awards are the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the Cottrell Scholar of the Research Corporation, the Helen B. Warner Prize from the American Astronomical Society and the Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2018. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Las Cumbres Observatory.