Alexander L. Rudolph    Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Cal Poly Pomona






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Position Experience Grants Teaching Activities
Education Publications Colloquia College Service
Research Interests Conference Presentations Affiliations  

Position  (return to top)

Professor of Physics

Physics Department
California State Polytechnic University
3801 West Temple Avenue
Pomona, CA, 91768

Voice: (909) 869-4180
FAX: (909) 869-5090

Education  (return to top)

1988, M.S., Ph.D. in Physics, University of Chicago
Thesis title: "Interferometric Observations of Galactic Star-Forming region
Advisors: Patrick Palmer, Univ. of Chicago; William J. Welch, UC, Berkeley
1982, B.A. in Physics, Haverford College
Graduated magna cum laude, with Honors
Elected Phi Beta Kappa in the Junior year

Research Interests   (return to top)

I study a number of interrelated problems in astronomy including:

  • How do stars and planets form from the clouds in the interstellar medium
  • What is the structure of the Milky Way (our home galaxy) as traced by these star-forming regions?
  • How does the outer part of our Galaxy differ from the inner part?
  • How do forming stars change their surroundings as they go through the formation process?
  • How frequently do forming stars have low-mass brown dwarf companions?

I study these problems observationally at many wavelengths, primarily radio and infrared, using telescopes from around the world. Among the telescopes I have used are:

I also do research in astronomy and physics education, in particular, how interactive learning techniques can improve student understanding and retention of complex concepts.

We have recently completed a nationwide study being conducted in collaboration with the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) at the University of Arizona, which studied pre/post-class conceptual gains in introductory astronomy classes using the Light and Spectrocopy Concept Inventory (LSCI), developed by Bardar et al. (2005). These results were recently published in the American Journal of Physics (see below).

Professional Experience  (return to top)

2005-present: Associate Professor of Physics
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California
2004-2005: Science and Math Teacher
Waverly High School, Pasadena, California
2003-2004: Director, Executive Management Program
Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management
Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California
2001-2003: Associate
McKinsey & Company, Los Angeles, California
1994-2001: Assistant Professor of Physics
Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, California
1992-94: National Research Council Fellow
NASA/Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California
1989-1991: Faculty Research Associate
Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
1985-1988: Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, California

Publications  (return to top)

A National Study Assessing the Teaching and Learning of Introductory Astronomy. Part I. The Effect of Interactive Instruction
Prather, E.E. , Rudolph, A.L., Brissenden, G., & Schlingman, W.M., Am. J. Phys., 77 (4) , 320 (2009) .pdf
A Distance-Limited Imaging Survey of Substellar Companions to Solar Neighborhood Stars
Carson, J.C., Hiner*, K.D., Villar*, G.G., Blaschak*, M.G., Rudolph, A.L., & Stapelfeldt, K.R., Astron. J., 137, 218 (2009) .pdf
(*undergraduate author)
Abundance Gradients in the Galaxy
Rudolph, A.L., Fich, M., Bell*, G.R., Norsen*, T., Simpson, J.P., Haas, M.R., & Erickson, E.F., Astrophys. J. Suppl., 162, 346 (2006) .pdf (*undergraduate author)
Testing Models of Low-Excitation Photodissociation Regions With Far-Infrared Observations of Several Reflection Nebulae
Young Owl, R.C., Meixner, M.M., Fong, D., Haas, M.R., Rudolph, A.L., & Tielens, A.G.G.M., Astrophys. J., 578, 885 (2002) .pdf
High-resolution Observations of CO and CS in Outer Galaxy Molecular Clouds
Brand, J., Wouterloot, J.G.A., Rudolph, A.L., & deGeus, E.J., Astron. & Astroph., 377, 643 (2001)
A Molecular Line Study of the HH 7-11 Outflow
Rudolph, A.L., Bachiller, R., Rieu, N.Q., Trung, D.V., Palmer, P., & Welch, W.J., Astrophys. J., 558, 204 (2001) .pdf
A Multi-Transition HCO+ Study in NGC 2264G
Girart, J.M., Estalella, Ho, P.T.P., & Rudolph, A.L., Astrophys. J., 539, 763 (2000) .pdf
The  HCO+ Molecular Outflow in NGC 2071
Girart, J.M., Ho, P.T.P., Rudolph, A.L., Estalella, R., Wilner, D.J., & Chernin, L.M., Astrophys. J., 522, 921 (1999)
ISO Detection of CO+ toward the Protostar IRAS 16293–2422
Ceccarelli, C.., Caux, E., Wolfire, M., Rudolph, A.L., Nisini, B., Saraceno, P., & White, G.J., Astron. & Astroph., 331, L17 (1998)
Far-Infrared Abundance Measurements in the Outer Galaxy
Rudolph, A.L., Simpson, J.P., Haas, M.R., Erickson, E.F., & Fich, M., Astrophys. J., 489, 94 (1997)
OI (63-micron) Determinations of Mass-Loss Rates in Young Stellar Objects
Ceccarelli, C., Haas, M.R., Hollenbach, D.J., & Rudolph, A.L., Astrophys. J., 476, 771 (1997)
Far-Outer Galaxy HII Regions
Rudolph, A.L., Brand, J., de Geus, E.J., & Wouterloot, J.G.A., Astrophys. J., 458, 653 (1996)
Interferometric Observations of Three Giant Molecular Clouds in M31
Wilson, C.D. & Rudolph, A.L., Astrophys. J., 406, 477 (1993)
High-Velocity Formaldehyde Absorption Within 30" of the Galactic Center
Pauls, T., Johnston, K.J., Wilson, T.L., Marr, J.M., & Rudolph, A., Astrophys. J., 403, L13 (1993)
Fine-Scale Structure in the –185 km/s Absorption by HCO+ in the Galactic Center
Marr, J.M., Rudolph, A., Pauls, T.A., Wright, M.C.H., & Backer, D.C., Astrophys. J., 400, L19 (1992)
High Velocity HCO+ Emission from L1551 IRS 5–Evidence for Wind-Cloud Interactions
Rudolph, A., Astrophys. J., 397, L111 (1992)
Evidence for a Wind-blown Cavity in HH34?
Rudolph, A. & Welch, W.J., Astrophys. J., 395, 488 (1992)
Venus Imaged with the Hat Creek Interferometer in the J = 1 –> 0 CO Line
de Pater, I., F. Schloerb, F.P., & Rudolph, A., Icarus, 90, 282 (1991)
Dynamical Collapse of the W51  Star-forming Region
Rudolph, A., Welch, W.J., Palmer, P.  & Dubrulle, B., Astrophys. J., 363, 528 (1990)
HH Objects as Shocked Ambient Cloudlets—High Resolution Radio Observations of HH 7–11 Rudolph, A., & Welch, W.J., Astrophys. J., 326, L31 (1988)

Conference Presentations   (return to top)

Carson, J., Hiner*, K., Stapelfeldt, K., & Rudolph, A.L., A Palomar Adaptive Optics Coronagraphic Survey of TPF-C Candidate Targets, presented at Palomar Observatory Science Conference, Pasadena, California, September 2006

Brand, J., Wouterloot, J.G.A., Rudolph, A.L., & de Geus, E.J., A Steeper Stellar Mass Spectrum in the Outer Galaxy?, presented at Galactic Star Formation Across the Stellar Mass Spectrum, La Serena, Chile, March 2002

Rudolph, A.L., Brudvik*, J., & Gibson*, D., Extinction Map of the Rho Oph Cloud Core from Near-Infrared Star Counts and the Near-Infrared Color Excess (NICE) Method, presented at the 4th Tetons Summer Conference: Galactic Structure, Stars, and the Interstellar Medium, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, May 28-June 1, 2000

Barsony, M., Brudvik*, J., Gibson*, D., Rudolph, A.L., Lada, E.A., & Kenyon, S.J., Near-Infrared Extinction Map of the Rho Oph Cloud Core, presented at SOFIA and Star Formation Workshop,     Santa Cruz, California, July 12-17, 1999

Rudolph, A.L., Bell*, G.R., Norsen*, T., Fich, M., Simpson, J.P., Haas, M.R., & Erickson, E.F., Abundance Gradients in the Galaxy, presented at SOFIA and Star Formation Workshop, Santa Cruz, California, July 12-17, 1999

Fich, M., Rudolph, A., Simpson, J.P., Haas, M.R., & Erickson, E.F., 1998, Far-Infrared Abundance Measurements in the Outer Galaxy, presented at Abundance Profiles: Diagnostic Tools for Galaxy History, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada

Gibson*, D., Rudolph, A., & Barsony, M., 1997, Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Core Extinction Map, 1997, BAAS, 29(5), 1220

Rudolph, A., Ceccarelli, C., Caux, E., Wolfire, M., Nisini, B., Saraceno, P., & White, G.J., 1997, ISO Detection of CO+ Toward the Protostar IRAS 16293-2422, 1997, BAAS,  29(5), 1404

Grants  (return to top)

Principal Investigator

  • Acquisition of the CLaremont-Riverside InfraRed CAMera (CLRIRCAM) for the Pomona College 1.0-m Telescope, NSF Advanced Technology and Instrumentation Program, 1997-2000, $228.0K
  • Abundance Determinations in the Far Outer Galaxy: Infrared Observations of HII Regions,   European Space Agency Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) Award, 1997-2000, $22.9K
  • A Study of Galactic Structure and Evolution, National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, 1996-2001, $391.5K
  • A Modern Astronomical Imaging Laboratory, Mellon Foundation Award, 1996-1997, $64.2K
  • Abundances and Molecular Cloud Structure in the Outer Galaxy, NASA Airborne Astronomy Program, 1995-1997, $60.0K
  • Outer Galaxy HII Regions: Abundance Variations in the Galaxy, NASA Airborne Astronomy Program, 1993-1994, $45.2K

Co-Principal Investigator

  • Development of Remote Observing Capabilities in the Undergraduate Astronomy Curriculum, NSF CCLI Program (with Bryan Penprase, Pomona College), 2000-2002, $70.0K
  • Acquisition of a Photometrics 1024x1024 CCD array camera, Harvey Mudd College, Pomona College, and JPL funding (with Bryan Penprase, Pomona College), 1998, $47.7K

Colloquia  (return to top)

A National Study on the Effect of Interactive Learning in the Astro 101 Classroom
Haverford College Distinguished Visitors Colloquium, 27 March 2009.
Interactive Learning and “Clickers”
Haverford College Distinguished Visitors Faculty Workshop , 26 March 2009.
A National Study on the Effect of Interactive Learning in the Astro 101 Classroom
Univ. of Pennsyvania Astronomy Seminar, 25 March 2009.
A National Study on the Effect of Interactive Learning in the Astro 101 Classroom
Cal Poly SLO Physics Colloquium, 25 February 2009.
A National Study on the Effect of Interactive Learning in the Astro 101 Classroom
UCSD Physics & Astronomy Colloquium, 18 February 2009.
A National Study on the Effect of Interactive Learning in the Astro 101 Classroom
UCLA Astronomy Seminar, 10 February 2009.
Interactive Learning and “Clickers”: Preliminary Results
Cal Poly Pomona Physics Department, 19 May 2006.
Creation of the Elements
Cal Poly Pomona Physics Department, 22 February 2005.

Professional Affiliations  (return to top)

American Astronomical Society

Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Southern California Section American Association of Physics Teachers

Teaching Activities   (return to top)

Cal Poly Pomona

Courses Taught: Physics 131-133 (General Physics for Scientists and Engineers), Physics 131L-133L (Introductory Physics Lab), Physics 303/H (The Universe in Ten Weeks), Physics 424/H (Astrophysics), Science 210 (Physics Concepts and Activities)

Student Projects:

2005-06, Kyle Hiner, Brown Dwarf Stellar Companions (with Joe Carson, JPL)

2006-07, Gregorio Villar & Michael Blaschak, Brown Dwarf Stellar Companions (with Joe Carson, JPL)

Harvey Mudd College

Courses Taught: Physics 23 (Mechanics), Physics 24 (Relativity and Mechanics), Physics 28 (Freshman Physics Lab), Physics 51 (Electromagnetic Theory & Optics), Physics 53 (Electricity & Optics Lab), Physics 151 (Electromagnetic Fields), Physics 188 (Origins and Evolution of Life in the Universe), Astronomy 62 (Introduction to Astrophysics), Astronomy 101 (Observational Astronomy), Astronomy 120 (Star Formation and the Interstellar Medium)

Senior Theses and Student Research: Supervised 17 research students in astronomy, including 11 senior theses (10 from Harvey Mudd, 1 from Pomona College). One senior thesis won the 1998 Apker Award for outstanding undergraduate physics thesis in the country

Summer Research Students: Supervised 10 summer research students, funded by a National Science Foundation CAREER grant

Clinic Projects: Supervised 2 interdisciplinary student teams as part of Harvey Mudd's clinic program, in association with Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Origins Program and Center for Life Detection



College Service   (return to top)

Cal Poly Pomona

Physics Department Committees
Budget and Planning Committee: 2005-present

Seminar Committee: 2005-present

Physics Department Single Subject Advisor: 2006–present

Physics Club Committee: 2007-2008 (Chair)

Outreach Committee: 2006-2007

Curriculum Committee: 2005-2006

College of Science Committees
Math & Science Education Group: 2005–present

Single Subject Advisors Committee: 2006–present

University Committees
Search Committee for Associate Vice President, Undergraduate Affairs: 2005–2006

I&IT, Teaching, Learning, & Technology Committee: 2008-present

Harvey Mudd College

Bruce J. Nelson Distinguished Speakers Series: Organizer 1999

Committee on Scholarly Standing: 1998-1999

Student Experience Task Force: 1997-1998

Bates Aeronautics Scholarship Selection Committee: 1996-1998

Computing Committee: 1996-1997

Writing Center Committee: 1995-1996


©2011 by Alexander L. Rudolph

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The space for this page is provided by Cal Poly Pomona and is subject to its policies. Nevertheless, the opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent official policy of the University. I take full responsibility for the information presented and will appreciate being informed of errors or inaccuracies.

Last modified on 14 September, 2011