Risa Wechsler uses computer simulations of the entire universe to explore questions about our existence on the largest scales.

Why you should listen

Risa Wechsler is the director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology and a professor of physics at Stanford University. She is currently playing a leading role in mapping out tens of billions of galaxies over the last 13 billion years. Her research combines these maps with computer simulations of the entire universe to understand how galaxies form and to figure out the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Wechsler is a fellow of the American Physical Society as well as a former NASA Hubble fellow, and has written about and discussed science in numerous public venues, from Teen Vogue to the BBC.

Risa Wechsler’s TED talk