Who are you and where are you from?
I’m Chris Laws, Senior Lecturer in Astronomy, and I’m originally from Chicopee Falls, Massachussetts.
How did you become interested in Astronomy?
I’ve been interested in astronomy, science fiction, and thinking about outer space since childhood.
If you’re an astronomer (grad/post-doc/faculty), what do you study?
I primarily study stars that vary over time in interesting ways — because they are pulsing in size, sending out massive flares, or have planets or other stars orbiting around them. I also study the physics of time itself in some detail.
What’s the coolest thing (not literal) in the Universe?
It’s all so weird, it’s hard to pick any one thing… That any of us are getting to experience it — and that there is so much to experience — is probably the coolest and most mysterious thing to me!
What’s the coolest thing outside of your field?
Good food and good wine with family and friends — no doubt about it.
What is your favorite non-astronomy hobby?
Growing exotic chili peppers and smoking meats — and eating the super spicy BBQ those hobbies make!
Is there anything else you’d like the public to know about you?
I spend most of my professional time teaching and mentoring undergraduate students at UW — and it’s the best job I can even imagine having (except for roguishly handsome and good hearted spaceship pilot, but Han Solo has that taken).