Student: Joseph Hand

Joseph - 2024 Goldwater Scholarship Nominee

Joseph is a physics and astronomy major.

Joseph Hand, from Overland Park, is the son of Edward Hand and Sarah Hand and a graduate of Hand Family Homeschool. Hand is majoring in astronomy & physics and plans to pursue a doctorate to become a professor in computational astrophysics, developing models of processes such as planetary formation to determine how these processes may work in nature. He currently conducts research in the ExoLab, run by Ian Crossfield, KU associate professor of physics & astronomy, developing HARPSpec to study stars and their chemical compositions using a software called The Cannon. Hand also participated in a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program through the University of California-Berkeley and is continuing his work there creating a software tool called ALIAS to identify potential signs of intelligent life in infrared spectra from APOGEE. He is the KU SPS Magazine editor for the KU Society of Physics Students Chapter, a physics and astronomy public outreach volunteer, an undergraduate teaching assistant for College Physics II, a KU astronomy seminar presenter and was one of the physics & astronomy department’s undergraduate representatives at assembly meetings. Hand is a Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Pi Phi inductee for academic excellence and a KU Chancellor’s Merit Scholarship recipient.

More information about Joseph!

  • A fun fact about him is he was homeschooled for almost all his early education, and his first time in a classroom was at a community college when he was 16.
  • His favorite memory at KU is last spring walking to his dorm after finishing up homework. Around 5AM it started snowing, and the campus was covered in snow and only his footprints were shown on the lawn.
  • His favorite study spot is the west stacks at Watson Library at night.
  • This semester he’s looking forward to finally getting his new laptop that he ordered last year.