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Gibor Basri

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Information about Gibor Basri

Profile image of Gibor Basri

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Physics Professor
Astrophysicist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Forest Green
Favorite Food:
Spicy Ethnic Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Live Long And Prosper.

Birthplace

Born:
5/3/1951
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Physics Professor
Astrophysicist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Forest Green
Favorite Food:
Spicy Ethnic Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Live Long And Prosper.

Birthplace

Born:
5/3/1951
Birth Location:
New York
See how Gibor Basri is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Astrophysicist and physics professor Gibor Basri was born on May 3, 1951 to Saul and Phyllis Basri in New York City, New York. His father was Jewish and a physics professor at Colorado State University while his mother, who was Jamaican, taught dance. Basri grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado with his younger brother, David, though the family also lived in Myanmar and Sri Lanka when his father was on Fulbright fellowships. Even as a child, Basri had a telescope to look at the sky and in eighth grade wrote a report on being an astronomer. Basri attended Fort Collins High School before attending Stanford University, where he followed in his father’s footsteps, receiving his B.S. degree in physics in 1973. He then merged his interest in astronomy with his background in physics, obtaining his Ph.D. degree in astrophysics from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1979.

Basri first joined the University of California at Berkeley faculty under a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral fellowship. He received tenure in 1988 and was named a full professor in 1994. His research has focused on star formation and stellar activity. Basri is considered a pioneer and expert in brown dwarfs, best known for his work with the 10-meter Keck Telescope which helped his team confirm the existence of brown dwarfs in 1995. From 2006 to 2007, Basri served as the acting chair for the Astronomy Department at the University of California Berkeley, and in 2007, he was named Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion at Berkeley by Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau.

In 1997, Basri was awarded a Miller Research Professorship. He has written nearly 200 publications with over 7,000 citations attached to his work. In 2000, he was named a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer and in 2001, Basri became co-investigator of the Kepler mission, selected by NASA as a discovery mission to find extra solar terrestrial planets. With an interest in science and technology education, Basri received the Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence in 2006 and serves on the board of the Chabot Space and Science Center as well as the “I Have a Dream, Oakland” Foundation.

Basri lives in California with his wife, Jessica, and their son, Jacob Basri.

Basri was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 9, 2011.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gibor Basri's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gibor Basri shares his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gibor Basri talks about his mother's family background from Jamaica
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gibor Basri talks about his mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gibor Basri describes his father's family background and Jewish lineage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gibor Basri talks about his father's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gibor Basri recalls the story of how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gibor Basri recalls his move from New York to Colorado
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gibor Basri recalls growing up in Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gibor Basri details his family's voyage to Burma during childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gibor Basri recounts his elementary school experience
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gibor Basri discusses his parents' thoughts on racial identity
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gibor Basri discusses his Jewish identitiy
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gibor Basri talks about returning to Fort Collins, Colorado from Burma
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gibor Basri talks about developing an interest in astronomy as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gibor Basri recalls his father's work in physics
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gibor Basri talks about the influence of Judaism in his family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gibor Basri describes his elementary school experience in Fort Collins
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gibor Basri discusses his extracurricular interests during school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gibor Basri recalls his high school experience abroad in Tehran, Iran and Ceylon
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gibor Basri remembers his high school experience in Ceylon [later called Sri Lanka]
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gibor Basri relates the differences between he and his brother
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gibor Basri recalls meeting Arthur C. Clarke
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gibor Basri discusses science fiction films
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gibor Basri describes his high school experience in Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gibor Basri details his summer of research after high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gibor Basri recalls how race influenced his transition to college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gibor Basri recalls his decision to attend Stanford University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gibor Basri discusses space exploration versus research
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gibor Basri talks about being an astrophysicist versus an astronaut
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gibor Basri talks about his peers and faculty at Stanford University that influenced him
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gibor Basri remembers courses he took at Stanford University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gibor Basri discusses nuclear waste
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gibor Basri talks about his physics projects at Stanford University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gibor Basri explains his decision to go to graduate school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gibor Basri talks about his brother's education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gibor Basri recalls meeting his thesis advisor and his wife at the University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gibor Basri discusses his first publications during graduate school at the University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Gibor Basri talks about green flashes of the sun
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Gibor Basri talks about his dissertation work on supergiant chromospheres
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Gibor Basri recounts changing research fields to study stellar astronomy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gibor Basri talks about using the International Ultraviolet Explorer Satellite
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gibor Basri explains the difference between astrology and astronomy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gibor Basri explains how astronomers study stars
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gibor Basri explains the difference between images of stars and their reality
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gibor Basri shares the story of how he joined the physics department at University of California, Berkeley
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gibor Basri talks about the serendipity of career choices
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gibor Basri discusses the importance of connections within the astronomy world
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gibor Basri recalls the courses that he taught at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gibor Basri discusses the philosophical nature of time including time travel
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gibor Basri discusses time travel and the universe, part 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Gibor Basri talks about astronomy in cinema and popular culture
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Gibor Basri recalls how he became involved in studying brown dwarfs
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Gibor Basri details his study of very young, T-Tauri, stars
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Gibor Basri discusses "Project Astro" to encourage participation in the sciences
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Gibor Basri talks about getting external funding for research
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Gibor Basri recounts his involvement in the discovery of extra-solar planets
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Gibor Basri offers his perspective on defining a planet
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Gibor Basri discusses the debate about the definition of a planet
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Gibor Basri discusses the conflicting nature of science and culture
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Gibor Basri discusses the possibility of life on other planets
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Gibor Basri talks about his administrative positions at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Gibor Basri talks about his involvement in professional organizations
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Gibor Basri discusses his hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Gibor Basri reflects on his life's accomplishments
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Gibor Basri explains the value of the University of California, Berkeley
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Gibor Basri talks about his desire to write science fiction
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Gibor Basri describes his current family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Gibor Basri shares how he would like to be remembered