Gordon Richards

Science Collaboration(s): 
Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN)
Informatics and Statistics (ISSC)

Drexel has been an institutional member of LSSTC since 2009 and I have been very actively engaged in the AGN Science Collaboration -- organizing the telecons since January 2019 and acting as co-chair since summer 2021. I am interested in understanding the physics of accretion disks and what LSST can do to help understand the diversity of AGN properties and the physics that drives those differences. This ideally requires spectroscopy, but first LSST has to identify the objects photometrically, and doing so may enable this physics without spectroscopy (with good enough photometric redshifts and variability metrics). My group's work on writing cadence notes, analyzing opSims (and providing a platform for doing so), setting up an LSST AGN Data Challenge, and testing new tools for AGN variability analysis and AGN selection -- would enable effective science mentorship for an LSST Catalyst Fellow. Furthermore, existing networks with local, national, and international LSST scientists would help grow the fellow's network.