Michael Anton Pajkos

Postdoctoral Scholar, California Institute of Technology

About Michael

Michael is a postdoctoral scholar in the Theoretical Astrophysics Including Relativity and Cosmology (TAPIR) group at Caltech.  He works with Saul Teukolsky and is a member of the Simulating Extreme Spacetimes (SXS) Collaboration, performing software development for the SpECTRE code---ultimately allowing for capabilities of simulations of stellar explosions, known as supernovae.  Likewise, Michael is currently collaborating with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, acts as a software developer for the Exascale Computing Project, and belongs to the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics-Center for the Evolution of the Elements (JINA-CEE).

For his PhD at Michigan State, he worked with Sean Couch, simulating the gravitational wave emission from stellar explosions, or supernovae, as a means to better understand the physics inside of massive stars right before their deaths.  

Michael is also a science communicator, believing responsible research involves communicating new ideas to those of every background and education level, as much as it is making new discoveries.  One such example is his TED talk about the connection between the cosmos and the human condition (linked on this page).

If you're a scientist interested in current and past research projects, look at the Research for Scientists tab; if you're a member of the public who is curious about Michael's work explained in an accessible way, look at the Research for the Public tab.