Andrés Alejandro Plazas Malagón
Andrés A. Plazas Malagón obtained his degree in physics at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. He subsequently moved to the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) to obtain a doctoral degree in physics and astronomy. At Penn, he received the Zaccheus Daniel Foundation for Astronomical Science award. He also became part of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) project, working on weak gravitational lensing and testing the detectors of the Dark Energy Camera used by DES at the Department of Energy Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Fermilab. He continued his work on weak lensing as a research associate at Brookhaven National Laboratory, where he became part of the Dark Energy Science Collaboration of the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). For his work in characterizing systematic errors in weak gravitational lensing, he received in 2016 the Fundación Alejandro Ángel Escobar national prize in Natural and Exact Sciences, considered as the highest scientific recognition in his native Colombia.
He joined the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2015 as a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar, working on understanding systematic errors in weak lensing from the infrared detectors that will be used by the wide-field imager of NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. Dr. Plazas Malagón also has worked as a Research Scientist at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, as part of the Cosmoquest project for community science. Subsequently, he worked at Princeton University as an Associate Research Scholar in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences as part of the Data Management Team of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory.
He currently works as Rubin Operations Scientist in the Data Management and Community Engamenet Teams, as part of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (SLAC/Stanford University).
He is also a Visiting Scientist at the Department of Physics of Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Plazas Malagón is the founder of the Astronomy on Tap satellite branches in St. Louis and Trenton (NJ), the creator and co-host of the astronomy podcast in Spanish "Visión Cósmica", the original proposer and co-organizer of the first-ever Tower Grove Park Astronomy Festival in St. Louis, and frequently participates in science Education and Public Outreach events in Spanish and English as a NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador volunteer.