Columbia Astronomy Welcomes New Faculty Member Jane Huang

July 17, 2023

Jane Huang, a well-known astrophysicist and expert in protoplanetary disk structures, joins the faculty of Columbia University's Astronomy Department this year. Jane led the pioneering Disk Substructures at High Angular Resolution Project (DSHARP) project, which calibrated and imaged protoplanetary disks, revealing the prevalence of complex structures and gap formations. Her groundbreaking work on that project shed light on the rapid formation of giant planets beyond a hundred astronomical units from the star. Additionally, Jane conducted extensive case studies on TW Hya and GM Aur disks, uncovering the correlation between millimeter-wavelength spectral index variations and the locations of gaps and rings. Her findings emphasized the significance of accounting for localized optical depths in accurately estimating grain sizes. As a valuable addition to Columbia University, Dr. Huang is poised to make further contributions to our understanding of planet formation. She is also interested in addressing inequities in the selection process of national fellowships. To help make the application process more transparent and equitable, Jane co-organized a virtual workshop on applying for the Hubble Fellowship fellowship, helped to compile a public database of past successful applications shared by volunteers, and created a public, crowd-sourced spreadsheet of information on speaking opportunities for early career astronomers.