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Jennifer L. Hoffman is a professor and astronomer at the University of Denver (DU), where she holds the Womble Chair of Astronomy and directs DU's historic Chamberlin Observatory. She earned her Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Wisconsin and held a National Science Foundation Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Berkeley before joining the Department of Physics & Astronomy at DU. Hoffman's research focuses on the connections between massive stars and their supernova descendants, in particular on the role of binary stars in shaping the eventual explosions. She uses a combination of polarized light observations and 3-D computational simulations to explore these research questions.
Hoffman enjoys exploring the connections between science and art, music, history, storytelling, and all the other ways that humans experience their relationship with the world. In her interwoven roles as a researcher, educator, mentor, and science communicator, she seeks to strengthen these connections and build social ecosystems that support all community members in creative and meaningful engagement with scientific ideas.
Dr. Hoffman also works to expand opportunities and remove barriers to participation in physics and astronomy for people from minoritized groups. Most recently, she co-directs DU SciTech, a summer STEM camp for middle-school girls of color, and partners with the DU's Society of Physics Students and the Denver Astronomical Society to bring astronomy experiences to a broad audience in Denver.
During her residency, Dr. Hoffman conducted a sunset mapping project out at Hopi Point, provided a week of moon walks for hundreds of visitors, presented her research to a crowd of 200 in Grand Canyon Visitor Center Theater, presented a digital talk about night skies to over 400 Grand Canyon Conservancy members and followers, provided a talk about careers in astronomy to the 6th-8th graders at Grand Canyon School, and wrapped up with two nights of constellation talks and telescope viewing down at Phantom Ranch to packed amphitheaters, among many other amazing accomplishments.
Minute Out In It describing Dr. Hoffman's sunset mapping project at Hopi Point.