Matthew Wiesner, PhD

Matthew Wiesner, PhD

Associate Professor

Phone: 630-829-6552
Office Location: Birck 326

BenU Faculty since 2016

Postdoctoral Fellow at Purdue University, 2014-2016
Ph.D. in Physics, Northern Illinois University (2014)
M. S. in Physics, Northern Illinois University (2010)
High school teacher licensure in physics and general science (2007)
M. A. in Education, Marquette University (2007)
B. S. in Physics, Marquette University (2003)

Courses Taught
Astronomy, College Physics, College Physics Lab, University Physics, Earth and Space Science, Statics, Dynamics, Electricity and Magnetism, Physical Science

Awards and Recognition

  • College of Science Dean’s Award for Research (2020)
  • Purdue University College of Science Engagement Award (2016)
  • Northern Illinois University College of Science Outstanding Teaching Assistant (2013)

Research Areas

  • Observational astrophysics: Gravitational lensing, galaxy clusters, interacting galaxies, large astronomical surveys
  • Physics education: Use of primary sources, writing across the curriculum, active learning, philosophy of science, astronomy education

Professional Activities

  • Member of Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Dark Energy Science Collaboration
  • Member American Physical Society
  • Member American Astronomical Society
  • Member American Association of Physics Teachers
  • Former Director of Northern Illinois University Observatory (2009-2014)

Recent Publications

  • “Designing an Optimal Kilonova Search using DECam for Gravitational Wave Events,” C. R. Bom, J. Annis…M. Wiesner, et al. The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 960, Number 2, January 2024.
  • “SOAR/Goodman Spectroscopic Assessment of Candidate Counterparts of the LIGO-Virgo Event GW190814,” Tucker, D., Wiesner, M., et al., The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 929, Number 2, April 2022.
  • “The Gravity Collective: A Search for the Electromagnetic Counterpart to the Neutron Star-Black Hole Merger GW190814,” Charles D. Kilpatrick, David A. Coulter, …Matthew Wiesner, et al., The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 923, Number 2, December 2021.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner, Huan Lin and Marcelle Soares-Santos. “Mass Calibration of Galaxy Clusters at Redshift 0.1-1.0 using Weak Lensing in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Stripe 82 Co-add.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 452 (1): 701-714, 2015 September 1.
  • Diehl, H.T., Abbott, T.M.C., Annis, J., Armstrong, R., Baruah, L., Bermeo, A., Bernstein, G., Beynon, E., Bruderer, C., Buckley-Geer, E.J., Campbell, H., Capozzi, D., Carter, M., Casas, R., Clerkin, L., Covarrubias, R., Cuhna, C., D’Andrea, C., Da Costa, L., Das, R., Depoy, D.L., Dietrich, J., Drlica-Wagner, A., Elliott, A., Eifler, T., Estrada, J., Etherington, J., Flaugher, B.L., Frieman, J., Fausti Neto, A., Gelman, M., Gerdes, D., Gruen, D., Gruendl, R., Hao, J., Head, H., Helsby, J., Hoffman, K., Honscheid, K., James, D., Johnson, M., Kacprzac, T., Katsaros, J., Kennedy, R., Kent, S., Kessler, R., Kim, A., Krause, E., Kron, R., Kuhlmann, S., Kunder, A., Li, T., Lin, H., Maccrann, N., March, M., Marshall, J., Neilsen, E., Nugent, P., Martini, P., Melchior, P., Menanteau, F., Nichol, R.C., Nord, B., Ogando, R., Old, L., Papadopoulos, A., Patton, K., Petravick, D., Plazas, A.A., Poulton, R., Pujol, A., Reil, K., Rigby, T., Romer, A., Roodman, A., Rooney, P., Sanchez Alvaro, E., Serrano, S., Sheldon, E., Smith, A., Smith, R.C., Soares-Santos, M., Soumagnac, M., Spinka, H., Suchyta, E., Tucker, D., Walker, A.R., Wester, W., Wiesner, M., Wilcox, H., Williams, R., Yanny, B., Zhang, Y.-Y., “The Dark Energy Survey and Operations: Year 1,” Proceedings of SPIE – The International Society for Optical Engineering, volume 9149, id 91490V, 2014.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner, Huan Lin, Sahar S. Allam, James Annis, Elizabeth Buckley-Geer, H. Thomas Diehl, Donna Kubik, Jeffrey Kubo and Douglas Tucker. “The Sloan Bright Arcs Survey: Ten Strong Gravitational Lensing Clusters and Evidence of Overconcentration.” The Astrophysical Journal, 761:1, 2012 December 10.
  • Jeffrey M. Kubo, Sahar S. Allam, Emily Drabek, Huan Lin, Douglas Tucker, Elizabeth J. Buckley-Geer, H. Thomas Diehl, Marcelle Soares-Santos, Jiangang Hao, Matthew Wiesner, Anderson West, Donna Kubik, James Annis and Joshua A. Frieman. “The Sloan Bright Arcs Survey: Discovery of Seven New Strongly Lensed Galaxies Between z=0.66-2.94.” Astrophysical Journal Letters 724 (2010) L137-L142.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner, “Does the Universe Revolve Around Me? A Critical Review of the Geocentrism Documentary The Principle.” Skeptical Inquirer, July/August 2016.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner, “Learning from the Starry Message: Using Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius in Introductory Astronomy Classes.” The Physics Teacher, May 2015.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner, “Modern Geocentrism: A Case Study of Pseudoscience in Astronomy.” Skeptical Inquirer, January/February 2015.

Recent Presentations and Talks

  • Matthew P. Wiesner, “Mass Calibration of Galaxy Clusters Found in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Stripe 82 Co-add.” Astrophysics Seminar given at Purdue University, April 18, 2016.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner and David Sederberg, “Saturday Morning Astrophysics at Purdue: Sharing Astrophysics with the Indiana Community”, contributed talk presented at American Association of Physics Teachers 2016 winter meeting, January 2016.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner and David Sederberg, “Saturday Morning Astrophysics at Purdue: A New Outreach Program in Astronomy”, poster presented at American Association of Physics Teachers 2016 winter meeting, January 2016.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner, “Studies of Astrometry Using PhoSim”, LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration Meeting, October 2015.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner, “Analysis of Astrometric Corrections for Atmospheric Effects using PhoSim”, LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration Meeting, February 2015.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner, Huan Lin, Marcelle Soares-Santos. “Investigations of Galaxy Clusters Using Gravitational Lensing.” Dissertation Talk presented at American Astronomical Society conference, January 2014.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner, Huan Lin. “How Many Galaxies? Checking the Accuracy of a Method for Extrapolating Galaxy Cluster Richness.” Presentation at New Perspectives conference, part of 2013 Fermilab Users’ Meeting.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner, Huan Lin, Elizabeth Buckley-Geer, James Annis, Sahar Allam, Jeffrey Kubo, H. Thomas Diehl, Douglas Tucker, Donna Kubik. “Are Galaxy Clusters Overconcentrated?” Poster presentation at American Astronomical Society conference, January 2012.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner, Huan Lin, Elizabeth Buckley-Geer, James Annis, Sahar Allam, Jeffrey Kubo, H. Thomas Diehl, Douglas Tucker, Donna Kubik. “Clusters and Lenses: Analyzing Ten Gravitational Lensing Systems Discovered in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.” Talk presented at New Perspectives conference, part of 2011 Fermilab Users’ Meeting.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner, Huan Lin, Elizabeth Buckley-Geer, James Annis, Sahar Allam, Jeffrey Kubo, H. Thomas Diehl, Douglas Tucker, Donna Kubik. “Clusters and Lenses: Ten Galaxy Clusters Exhibiting Strong Lensing Found in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.” Poster presentation at American Astronomical Society conference, January 2011.
  • Huan Lin, Sahar Allam, Elizabeth Buckley-Geer, H. Thomas Diehl, Joshua Frieman, Jeffrey Kubo, Douglas Tucker, Matthew Wiesner, Sloan Bright Arcs Team. “SBAS: The Sloan Bright Arcs Survey.” Poster presentation at American Astronomical Society Conference, January 2011.
  • Victor E. Scarpine, Steven M. Kent, Susana E. Deustua, Michael J. Sholl, Stuart L. Mufson, Melanie N. Ott, Matthew Wiesner, Brian J. Baptista, “The ring of fire: an internal illumination system for detector sensitivity and filter bandpass characterization.” Paper presented at SPIE Astronomical Instrumentation meeting, June-July 2010.
  • Matthew Wiesner, Huan Lin, Elizabeth Buckley-Geer, James Annis, Sahar Allam, Jeffrey Kubo, H. Thomas Diehl, Douglas Tucker, Donna Kubik, “Studying the Properties of Distant Galaxies Using a Sample of Strong Lenses from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.” Poster presentation at Great Lakes Cosmology Conference, June 2010.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner, Victor E. Scarpine, Stephen M. Kent, Robert D. Angstadt, Susana E. Deustua, Michael J. Sholl, Melanie N. Ott, Stuart L. Mufson, Brian J. Baptista, “The Ring of Fire: Testing an Internal Illumination System for the Joint Dark Energy Mission.” Poster presentation at 2010 Fermilab User’s Meeting.
  • Emily Drabek, Elizabeth Buckley-Geer, Huan Lin, Sahar Allam, Jeffrey Kubo, H. Thomas Diehl, Douglas Tucker, Donna Kubik, James Annis, Matthew Wiesner, “Spectroscopy of two strong lensing clusters.” Poster presented at 2010 Fermilab User’s Meeting and summer 2010 American Astronomical Society meeting.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner, “Writing to Comprehend and Inspire in Introductory Astronomy Laboratories.” Talk presented at winter 2009 conference of American Association of Physics Teachers.
  • Matthew P. Wiesner and Melissa A. Vigil, “Writing to Learn in Post-Secondary, Calculus-Based Physics Laboratories.” Talk presented at summer 2006 conference of American Association of Physics Teachers.
  • Melissa A. Vigil and Matthew P. Wiesner, “Learning Writing to Learn: Training for Undergraduate Physics Lab Teaching-Assistants.” Talk presented at summer 2006 conference of American Association of Physics Teachers.

updated 9/26/16

Research:

Current Projects

  • The Kilonova Data Challenge: An attempt to determine how well kilonovae will be found in LSST-DESC DC2 data. We are working on adding simulated kilonovae to a large astronomical image set using synthetic source injection.
  • The Rubin Science Platform: Conducting various tests on the simulated data in the RSP in advance of real Rubin Observatory data being released in 2024.
  • Follow-up of kilonova candidates with the Dark Energy Survey Gravitational Wave Collaboration: We conduct target of opportunity observations to spectroscopically confirm kilonova candidates in response to LIGO alerts.
  • Using Bayesian methods to measure cosmological parameters in a large sample of Type Ia supernovae: This is a project to be done in collaboration with Arrykrishna Mootoovaloo at Oxford University.
  • The interface of philosophy and astronomy: Best practices to teach philosophy in astronomy courses and basic cosmology in philosophy courses.