Geoff Mathews photo

Geoff Mathews, Instructor of Astronomy

I am an Astronomy Instructor in the University of Hawaii's Department of Physics and Astronomy. I teach ASTR 110, Introduction to Astronomy, and ASTR 300L, the Observational Astronomy lab.

Education

I attained my B.S. in physics at the University of Texas at Austin, where I also enrolled in the then-prototype UTeach teacher preparation program. After several years as an English teacher in Japan and then a high school math and science teacher near Austin, I moved to Hawaii where I completed my Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa's Institute for Astronomy.

Research

For my dissertation, I worked with Jonathan Williams and the GASPS team on characterizing the gas and dust content of a group of young stars. These observations, conducted using ground based (sub)millimeter observatories (JCMT, IRAM 30m, and SMA) and the Herschel Space Observatory, allow us to place constraints on the timescale of giant planet formation. In addition, I have developed model fitting code to simultaneously use broad band photometry and (sub)millimeter visibilities to semi-automatically determine the geometry of dusty circumstellar disks.

After the completion of my Ph.D., I moved to Leiden, the Netherlands, where I worked with the research group of Ewine van Dischoeck carrying out further sub-millimeter imaging of circumstellar disks. In my work, I used data from the new ALMA observatory to demonstrate the utility of DCO+ as a tracer of the CO freeze-out region of disks, and make a call for the identification of other localized tracers in order to carry out disk "tomography".