Dr. John F. Wu Receives 2024 Maryland Outstanding Young Scientist Award

FOR RELEASE: 9:30 a.m. EDT May 15, 2024


Dr. John F. Wu Receives 2024 Maryland Outstanding Young Scientist Award

The Maryland Academy of Sciences has selected John F. Wu of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, as the recipient of the 2024 Outstanding Young Scientist (OYS) award.

He received the award in a ceremony on May 15, 2024 at the Maryland Science Center, located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

Dr. Wu is an assistant astronomer at STScI and an associate research scientist at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Baltimore.

Using machine-learning methods that he developed, Dr. Wu has pioneered the discovery of low-mass galaxy candidates and contributed to theoretical models of galaxies, dark matter halos, and their cosmic surroundings. The algorithms are used to process astronomical imaging data at the pixel scale to understand how galaxy appearances are governed by their growth and evolution.

“Congratulations to Dr. Wu for this recognition of his work,” said STScI director Jennifer Lotz. “John is pioneering the techniques that astronomers will need to digest the huge amounts of data that will soon arrive with the upcoming launch of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope.”

Wu began his tenure-track assistant astronomer position at STScI in 2022. He first joined STScI as a postdoctoral researcher in 2020, prior to which he was a postdoctoral researcher at JHU in 2019. He previously earned his PhD in Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in 2019, and his BSc in Physics and Astrophysics at Carnegie Mellon University in 2013.

The OYS award program was established in 1959 and recognizes Maryland residents who have distinguished themselves early in their careers for accomplishments in science. Award recipients are chosen by members of the Maryland Academy of Sciences’ Scientific Advisory Council, which provides expertise and content review to the Maryland Science Center. 

Past OYS award recipients include STScI tenured associate astronomer Dr. Laurent Pueyo and former STScI multi-mission project scientist Dr. Jason Kalirai.

The Space Telescope Science Institute is expanding the frontiers of space astronomy by hosting the science operations center of the Hubble Space Telescope, the science and mission operations centers for the James Webb Space Telescope, and the science operations center for the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. STScI also houses the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) which is a NASA-funded project to support and provide to the astronomical community a variety of astronomical data archives, and is the data repository for the Hubble, Webb, Roman, Kepler, K2, TESS missions and more. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy in Washington, D.C.

Media Contacts:
Cheryl Gundy / Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland
[email protected] / [email protected]


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