Christopher C. Lindner – Biography

 

 

Chris Lindner is a graduate with a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin, not to be confused with the famous rock climber of the same name (ugh). 

I am a theoretical astrophysicist, and my research interests include black hole accretion disks, relativistic jets, computational fluid dynamics, and gamma ray bursts.  Visit my research page for information about this, including publications, videos, and lots of pretty pictures.

I was born in Georgia, lived in Ohio for awhile, and attended high school in South Carolina.  Despite the reputation, some of the schools in that state aren't so bad.

I completed my undergraduate study at the College of Charleston in Charleston SC, where I earned a BS in Physics and BA in Astronomy, with a minor in Computer Science.  I graduated Magna Cum Laude, and was the first astronomy graduate in the state of South Carolina.

I became interested in Astronomy after burning through an assortment of majors.  I initially wrote off astronomy as a useless science, but as I continued my work in physics, I realized that astronomy is just physics on really, really huge, insanely hot, fast-moving scales.  My work with Dr. P. Chris Fragile on black hole accretion disks spurred my excitement for the field, as I got to combine my interests in physics, computer science, and astronomy in a fun, creative, and incredibly challenging way.

In Fall 2008 I started my graduate career at The University of Texas at Austin.  From Fall 2008 to Spring 2009 I worked as a teaching assistant for Milos Milosavljevic's Astronomy 309R course.  In the Summer 2009 I was awarded the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship for my proposal, Late time evolution of GRB Progenitors and the Propagation of X-Ray Flares.  I completed this work, and have worked on several followup papers on black hole accretion and core collapse supernovae.  In 2014, I completed my graduate studies with my dissertation titled "Simulations of High-Energy Astrophysical Phenomena."

During my time as a graduate student, I discovered that many of the skills I'd learned through my undergraduate and graduate studies overlapped greatly with the most pressing challenge in the tech industry: Big Data. Being able to generate meaningful insight from massive, messy real-world data presents an exciting problem that I would like to be a part of solving. I am currently seeking out data science positions in the Austin area.

Public outreach is very important to me.  At the College of Charleston, I organized astronomy open house events which reached hundreds of visitors.  During the nights I gave presentations and hands-on experiences about interesting topics in astronomy and even hosted an astronomy-themed game show.  Our physics group also helped several girl and boy scout troupes earn their merit badges.  At UT, I have helped out with public observing nights and even took a group of undergraduates out to McDonald Observatory to give them the opportunity to receive hands on experience with real astronomy equipment.  I also helped with a live reenactment of the solar system.

Outside of data science, outreach, and astronomy,  I'm also interested in generating a cacophony of noises on guitar, bass, and drums, honing my Wii Bowling skills, contributing to the skeptics movement, poker, playing racquetball, volleyball, softball, and basketball, and fiddling around with computers.