Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz

Astrophyscist, stellar mortician
Looking not at the heavens but at computer models, Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz studies some of the most powerful explosions since the birth of the universe.

Why you should listen

Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz is eager to understand our origins and, in some cases, is simply wild about things that go bang in the night sky. He works with computer models to understand the cataclysmic death of stars and recently led efforts to uncover the origin of the heaviest, most neutron-rich elements in the universe, like gold and uranium. Ramirez-Ruiz tests out his theories with complex computer simulations that defy the boundaries of human experience and the assumptions we make about the universe.

Ramirez-Ruiz was born in Mexico, studied physics at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and pursued his PhD at Cambridge  University. He was the John Bahcall Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton before joining the faculty at UCSC, where he is a professor of astrophysics and astronomy. He has received awards from the American Physical Society, the American Astronomical Society, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Mexcian Academy of Sciences and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and he is the Niels Bohr Professor at the University of Copenhagen, funded by the  Danish National Research Foundation. Ramirez-Ruiz is the inaugural holder of the Vera Rubin Presidential Chair for Diversity in Astronomy, which was in part funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz’s TED talk