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Alexander S. Szalay Cosmologist

Alexander Szalay works on the spatial distributions of galaxies and galaxy formation. He is currently building a parallel database engine and is leading a grass-roots standardization effort to bring the next generation Terabyte-sized databases in astronomy to a common basis, so that they will be interoperable. He is the architect for the Science Archive of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), the most ambitious astronomical survey project ever undertaken, and has designed the software to perform data mining on the SDSS Terabyte sized archive, based on innovative spatial indexing techniques.


Microsoft Jim Gray Award for eScience, 2007.

Humboldt Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 2004.

Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2003.

Eötvös Medal of the Hungarian Physical Society, 1997.

E.W. Fullam Prize of the Dudley Observatory, 1990.

Relevant Publications

G. Bell, "Petascale Computational Systems," IEEE Computer, vol. 110, pp. 39, 2006.

J.K. Adelman-McCarthy et al, "The Fourth Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey," Astrophys. J. Supp., vol. 162, pp. 38, 2006.

D. E. Vanden Berk et al, "Spectral Decomposition of Broad-Line AGNs and Host Galaxies," Astron. J., vol. 131, pp. 84, 2006.

W. O'Mullane, et al, "OpenSkyQuery and OpenSkyNode: the VO Framework to Federate Astronomy Archives, Proc. ADASS Conference XIV," ASP Conference Series, ed: P.Shopbell, M. Britton and R. Ebert, vol. 341, pp. 347, 2005.

V. Haridas, "FITS Image Cutout Web Services, Proc. ADASS Conference XIV, ASP Conference Series," ed: P.Shopbell, M. Britton and R. Ebert, vol. 665, pp. 347, 2005.



Associate Fellow Cosmology & Gravity


The Johns Hopkins UniversityHenry A. Rowland Department of Physics & Astronomy


PhD (Astrophysics) Eotvos University

MSc (Theoretical Physics) Eotvos University

BSc (Physics) Kossuth University


United States

Ideas Related to Alexander S. Szalay

Cosmology & Gravity | Video

Sackler Lecture: The Fourth Paradigm – How Big Data is Changing Science

CIFAR Associate Fellow Alexander Szalay (Johns Hopkins University) presents a lecture on how science is changing as a result of the vast amounts of data we are collecting from gene sequencers to telescopes and supercomputers.

Cosmology & Gravity | News

Turbulence causes solar flares to break rules of physics

A widely accepted principle in physics called flux-freezing says that magnetic lines of force travel fluidly like strands of thread,...