School of Humanities and Sciences
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Professor of Physics
BioBruce Macintosh's research focusses on the study of extrasolar planets, in particular the study of such planets through direct imaging, and on using adaptive optics to shape the wavefronts of light for a variety of applications. Direct imaging of extrasolar planets involves blocking, suppressing, and subtracting the light of the bright parent star so that a planet hundreds of thousands of times fainter can be seen and studied in detail. Prof. Macintosh is the Principal Investigator of the Gemini Planet Imager http://planetimager.org/ ,an advanced adaptive optics planet-finder for the Gemini South telescope,. He also leads a Science Investigation Team for the coronagraph instrument on the WFIRST mission, focused on imaging and spectroscopy of extrasolar planets. He serves as Deputy Director of KIPAC.
Professor Macintosh believes strongly in making astronomy and physics more inclusive, diverse and supportive. He currently chairs the Physics Department's Equity and Inclusion Committee https://physics.stanford.edu/about/equity-and-inclusion/committee and is active in science policy including the Astronomy and Astrophysics 2020 Decadal Survey.
BioFrom Milton MA, Paul did his undergraduate work at Tufts University and his mechanical engineering graduate work (Ph.D) at Stanford under Thomas Kane.
As a young adult, Paul worked summers landscaping, farming, and construction, then worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, NASA Ames, and MSC.Software, was a consulting editor for McGraw-Hill (mechanics), and has been a consultant for the software, robotics, biotechnology, energy, automotive, and mechanical/aerospace industries.
He developed force/motion software used by more than 12 million people worldwide and translated into 11 spoken languages. These software applications include Interactive Physics, Working Model 2D/3D, MSC.visualNastran 4D (now SimWise), NIH Simbody/OpenSim, and the symbolic manipulators Autolev/MotionGenesis.
Paul currently works on Drake, open-source software developed by TRI (Toyota Research Institute) to simulate robots and autonomous vehicles. In his role as Lead TRI/Stanford Liaison for SAIL (Toyota's Center for AI Research at Stanford), he facilitates research between TRI and Stanford.
At Stanford, Paul greatly enjoys working with students and teaches mechanics (physics/engineering), controls/vibrations, and advanced dynamics & computation/simulation. He has written several books on dynamics, computation, and control (broadly adopted by universities and professionals).
He is deeply grateful to students, co-instructors (TAs), faculty, and staff.