University of Arizona Steward Observatory Postdoc to take the stage at TED2018, joining newest class of 20 young innovators from four continents
Astrophysicist Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil has been selected as a TED Fellow, joining a class of 20 change-makers from around the world who will deliver a talk on the TED stage this April in Vancouver. She studies the structure and dynamic of galaxies – including a rare double ringed elliptical galaxy she discovered – to help us understand how they form and evolve.
Her research covers the most peculiar objects in Universe: nearby dwarf galaxies, galactic rings and peculiar ringed galaxies, supermassive black holes, and intermediate-mass black holes. Recently, her research in galaxy structure has led to a discovery of an extremely rare galaxy. This work has provided a first description of a double ringed elliptical galaxy, and received extensive media coverage both in the US and abroad. In August 2017, she joined the Astronomy Department and Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona as a postdoctoral research associate.
As a female immigrant astronomer and first generation in her family to attend college, she has long been committed to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education. “I grew up listening to my father’s stories about how he was successful in elementary school. Unfortunately, he dropped out of school after the fifth grade to take care of his parents. My father’s experience motivated me to do whatever it takes to live my dream.” Burçin said. “As a Muslim woman in science, I have long been in a war against stereotypes and I dream to be an inspiring role model who shows everyone that science can be both enjoyable and reachable for anyone, especially for women and ‘minorities’. I am incredibly grateful. This recognition will help to spread the idea of that anyone could be anything, regardless of any of the social identifiers (gender, religion, race, etc.)”
Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program has 453 Fellows from 96 countries, whose talks have collectively been viewed more than 178 million times. In its nine-year history, the TED Fellows program has created a powerful, far-reaching network – made up of scientists, doctors, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, inventors, journalists and beyond -- leading to many meaningful and unexpected collaborations. “We are proud that our 2018 Fellows comprise a truly global, cross-disciplinary group of individuals, each of whom has already had extraordinary impact in their fields. They are boldly using technology, the arts, science, advocacy and beyond to address some the most pressing topics of our day – including campus sexual assault, refugee health, a free and independent press, and climate change,” said TED Fellows Deputy Director Shoham Arad. “We believe deeply in the power of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary collaboration to surface original solutions to seemingly intractable problems, and we look forward to seeing what this remarkable group is able to build as a result of joining the Fellows program.”
About the TED Fellows program
The TED Fellows program brings together young innovators from around the world and across disciplines, who display both outstanding achievement and exemplary character, to raise international awareness of their work and maximize their impact. The program offers Fellows full participation in a TED or TEDGlobal Conference, a two-day pre-conference of workshops and activities, a Fellows Retreat, ongoing professional coaching and mentoring, dedicated PR coaching and active participation in the TED community, including the global TED Fellows network. Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program now includes 453 Fellows from 96 countries, and was named one of the top 10 Fellowships of 2016 and 2017 by ProFellow.com.
Complete list of all new 2018 TED Fellows and TED Senior Fellows: ted.com/fellows
Playlist: Top 10 talks by TED Fellows