AAS recently announced its 2024 prizes for outstanding achievements in research and education at its 243rd meeting in New Orleans.
The Warner Prize is given to a young scientist for a “significant contribution to observational or theoretical astronomy.” The AAS is an international organization that includes professional astronomers, astronomy educators and amateur astronomers. Its membership of approximately 8,000 also includes physicists, geologists, engineers and others whose interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects that comprise the astronomical sciences.
Rodriguez was recognized for fundamental advances on the astrophysical origin of gravitational-wave sources. He has discerned how repeat mergers of black holes and stars in dense clusters would lead to the existence of massive black holes, a prediction later verified by gravitational-wave detectors. His work has opened new directions in research into gravitational-wave sources and their connection to the formation of both star clusters and galaxies.
Rodriguez joined the UNC faculty in January 2023 from Carnegie Mellon University. He completed his Ph.D. in 2016 from Northwestern University and received a B.A. in physics from Reed College in 2010.
His research group is interested in both stellar dynamics (the movement of stars and compact objects in star clusters and galaxies) and the astrophysical sources of gravitational waves.
Among other awards, Rodriguez received a prestigious Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering in 2022.