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News and Features
06.10.09

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Phaedra

Sandy Faber

Ten Questions for Sandy Faber


What do you do for a living?
I study the evolution of the Universe and educate young people to do the same.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing that?
I might be a forensic scientist, or perhaps design artistic water fountains and water sculptures.

What do you do in your free time?
I have very little free time. Staying on top of a fast-moving scientific field and being department chair keep me nearly 100 percent occupied. In my free time, I read the Wall Street Journal, read books about the Middle East and Islam and go to movies with my husband.

What brought you to Santa Cruz?
It was the only place where my husband and I both got positions. I needed an assistant professorship at a good university, and he needed a top-flight law school. The only fit was UCSC and Stanford.

What's your favorite street?
Pleasant Street in Newton Center, Mass., where I was born. Picture older homes with shady maple trees. Truly "pleasant."

Name something you're excited about.
Applying to the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope this summer to conduct the largest imaging survey ever conducted with the telescope.

Name a pet peeve.
Prospective graduate students who visit our department but have not done their homework, do not know about our science or faculty and have no idea that they are visiting a world-class astronomy department.

What are you reading?
The Suicide Index, a memoir by my relative Joan Wickersham.

What's the most important thing you've learned in the last three years?
Flip answer: how to renovate a kitchen. More seriously: how the structure of elliptical galaxies relates to their star-formation histories (thanks to our brilliant Ph.D. graduate, Genevieve Graves).

What's your sign?
Capricorn, which fits me to a tee. I am rather rational, logical and unemotional and I have knee and joint trouble just as predicted.


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