Frank N. Edmonds, Jr. Regents Professor Emeritus in Astronomy
Large-scale structure of spiral galaxies: star formation on large scales.
The University of Texas at Austin
Department of Astronomy
Austin, TX 78712
B.A., Willamette University, 1959
M.A., Harvard University, 1962
Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1967
Frank N. Bash, Ph.D., served from 1989-2003 as director of McDonald Observatory, one the world's
foremost astronomical research institutions and a pioneer in public outreach and informal science
A native of Medford, Oregon, Bash earned his bachelor's degree from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon;
his master's degree in astronomy from Harvard University; and his doctorate from the University of Virginia.
A well-known and widely published specialist in radio astronomy, Bash joined the faculty of the University of Texas
at Austin in 1969. He served as Chairman of the University of Texas at Austin Department of Astronomy
from 1982 through 1986. In 1985, he was named the Frank N. Edmonds Regents Professor of Astronomy at UT Austin.
As a researcher, Bash is interested in large-scale star formation processes in spiral galaxies. He has won numerous
awards for the quality of his teaching, and was named to the teaching excellence Hall of Fame at UT Austin in 1984.
As Director of McDonald Observatory, Bash led the effort for design, funding, and construction of the magnificent
new 11-meter Hobby·Eberly Telescope at
McDonald Observatory in West Texas, which has the largest primary mirror in the world. The only comparable
telescopes, Keck I and Keck II, in Hawaii, each cost nearly $100 million to build. The Hobby·Eberly Telescope
cost $13.5 million, due to its cost-effective design. This design makes it possible, for the first time, to contemplate
construction of the next generation of telescopes, of up to 29 meters in diameter.
Bash also led the effort to expand the public-outreach programs of McDonald Observatory. These programs include the
Observatory's Visitors' Center, which hosts over 130,000 visitors per year,
the Texas Astronomy Education Center, which is currently under construction and StarDate radio, which reaches
millions of people each day in English, Spanish, and German.
AST 301: Introduction to Astronomy (Spring 2005)
AST 301: Introduction to Astronomy (Fall 2004)
AST 301: Introduction to Astronomy (Fall 2002)
AST 301: Introduction to Astronomy (Fall 2001)