David Spergel is the President of the Simons Foundation. Through the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Flatiron Institute he continues his research interests, which range from the search for planets around nearby stars to measuring the shape of the universe. Using microwave background observations from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) and the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, David and his colleagues have measured the age, shape and composition of the universe. He currently cochairs the science team for the Roman Space Telescope.
David Spergel participated in the Science Talent Search as a Long Island high school student. After completing his undergraduate studies at Princeton, he studied at Oxford. He then returned to the United States to complete his PhD at Harvard where he help place the first limits on the nature of dark matter from underground experiments. After a membership at the Institute for Advanced Study, he joined the Princeton faculty in 1987. After 30 years at Princeton, he returned to NY to found the Center for Computational Astrophysics. Spergel has been the primary mentor for over 30 graduate students and over 40 postdoctoral fellows. His work has been recognized by numerous prizes include the Macarthur Fellowship, the Shaw Prize and the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.
He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Spergel is an alumnus of the 1978 Science Talent Search.