Martha P. Haynes

Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy

  • 530 Space Sciences Building

  • 001-(607)255-0610


A (fairly) current CV.

A native of the Boston area, Martha Haynes graduated from Wellesley College and received her graduate degrees from Indiana University. She joined the Cornell faculty in 1983 and is now the Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy. Before moving to Ithaca, she previously worked at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1989, she was awarded the Henry Draper Medal by the National Academy of Sciences for her work on mapping the three-dimensional distribution of galaxies in the local universe. Her scientific research concentrates on observational cosmology, galaxy evolution and the techniques of radio astronomy. At Cornell, she is a fellow of the Carl Becker House on West Campus and teaches an undergraduate course for non-scientists, Astro 2201 "The History of the Universe" under the Knight Institute "Writing in the Majors" program. She has also been recognized for her commitment to undergraduate advising and mentoring.

She is heavily involved in the Cornell-led CCAT project to build a novel-design fast mapping submillimeter telescope at 18,400 feet elevation in northern Chile, having served as Project Director during the concept design phase and currently as Chair of the Board of Directors of the CCAT Corporation. The telescope, dubbed CCAT-prime, will be completed in 2021.

From 2005 until 2012, we undertook the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA Survey ALFALFA, using the seven horn ALFA radio camera array on the 305-meter Arecibo telescope to conduct the first robust census of gas-bearing galaxies over 7000 square degrees of sky.

Although the legacy survey is complete, ALFALFA continues to inspire further studies of the gas-bearing local galaxy population and provides a framework for numerous works in observational cosmology.

I got to know ALFA when it first arrived in Arecibo in April 2004.
ALFALFA has served as the basis for numerous graduate student (both at Cornell and elsewhere) thesis projects and engages the amazing Undergraduate ALFALFA team.

I seem to serve on a lot of committees: I am involved in Cornell's Knight Writing Institute and teach Astronomy 2201 under the Writing in the Majors Program. Additionally, I have mentored six Cornell graduate students who have taught Astronomy 1109, a freshman writing seminar, under my supervision (although I learned a lot from watching them!).

Martha P. Haynes: <>