August E. (Gus) Evrard

I am a computational cosmologist, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, and team leader for the learning services Academic Reporting Tools and Problem Roulette at the University of Michigan. I received my PhD in Physics from SUNY-Stony Brook in 1986 and BS in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981.

Contact me at evrard@umich.edu. My office is 3245 Randall Lab, phone 734-764-4366.

Here's a short curriculum vitae and a long-form version (revised March 2016).


Research

Computational Cosmology

Cosmology is the science of the universe. The role of a computational cosmologist is to create high-fidelity numerical simulations of structures in the cosmos, based on physical principles and supported by large-scale computing environments. The ultimate purpose of my work is to produce a deeper understanding of our origins in the physical cosmos.

Structures to a cosmologist are self-gravitating, quasi-equilibrium objects that range in scale from star clusters with a few million stars up to great clusters of galaxies containing many hundreds of large galaxies like our Milky Way, each with billions of stars. Detailed comparisons of simulations with observations unravel the complex astrophysical processes that drive the visible components of the universe, providing discriminatory power for large-scale surveys of galaxies and clusters of galaxies to understand dark matter and dark energy. These two mysterious substances account for roughly 95 percent of the present mass-energy density of our universe, yet their relationships to known fundamental physical quantities (particles and fields) remains highly uncertain.

From 2007 to 2015, I co-led the simulation working group for the Dark Energy Survey, and I also help coordinate the theory/simulation working group of the XMM-XXL collaboration. My early computational research involved collaboration with the international Virgo Consortium.

In 2012, I was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society for groundbreaking work in simulations of large-scale structure with particular emphasis on theory of galaxy clusters.

Publications

I have published over 140 refereed papers which collectively have been cited roughly 14,000 times. My ISI h-index is 51. The following services provide links to my papers.

NASA ADS refereed publication search

arXiv preprints

Funding for this research is provided by US taxpayers through peer reviewed proposals to NASA, the US Department of Energy Office of Science, and the National Science Foundation.


Service

As an ORCID Ambassador for the University of Michigan, I promote the values of the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) to researchers. See this article for more information.

Collaborating with developers in the Digital Innovation Greenhouse, I lead a 15-member steering team who are building academic reporting services for faculty, staff and students. The ART2.0 project is providing tools aimed at supporting curricular decisions with evidence you understand and trust. A beta Course Profile tool was released in March 2016 here (UMich uniqname required).

I also lead the development of the Problem Roulette study service (UMich uniqname required). Problem Roulette provides a low-stress way for students to study for exams in large introductory courses by offering random-within-topic access to prior test problems. Since 2012, PR has helped more than 10,000 students work millions of problems in eight courses across Physics, Statistics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Enginering. A description of the service can be found in this paper.

Other service activities can be found in my cv.


Teaching

I have taught a variety of courses in physics at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Since Fall 2014, I have also taught a course cross-listed in the School of Information and Honors Program entitled Cyberscience: Computational Science and the Rise of the Fourth Paradigm.

In 2009, I was named an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan for contributions to undergraduate education. Criteria for this award include a strong commitment to students and to teaching and learning, excellence in teaching, innovation in teaching and learning, a strong commitment to working effectively with a diverse student body, and a demonstrable impact on students' intellectual and/or artistic development.


last modified - Mar 2016