Undergraduate Wins Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

April 5, 2012

Johnny Greco, a junior double major in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, has been named a 2012 Goldwater Scholar. This is the highest award for undergraduate researchers in science, math, or engineering. Only 282 scholarships were awarded nationwide for the 2012-2013 academic year. The Goldwater Scholarship will cover tuition, fees, room, and board up to a maximum of $7,500.

Greco conducted research as a participant in the Astronomy Department's Summer Undergraduate Research Program in 2012, and worked with Professors Paul Martini and Todd Thompson. He analyzed the mass and stellar population of the archetypical dwarf starburst galaxy M82 with data from the Large Binocular Telescope. This research has been submitted for publication in The Astrophysics Journal. There is also a short video that describes the key results.

He previously conducted research in high-energy particle physics with Professor Richard Hughes in the Physics Department. This research focused on the analysis of proton-antiproton collisions as part of the search for the Higgs boson.

Greco has previously received the Physics Smith Sophomore Award and an Undergraduate Research Scholarship from the College of Arts and Sciences. His career goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in Physics and conduct research at the intersection of astrophysics and particle physics, as well as teach at a university.