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Newsmaker: Shirley Ho

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Photo courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
The International Organization of Chinese Physicists and Astronomers named Shirley Ho, 33, of Squirrel Hill, co-winner of its 2014 Outstanding Young Researcher Award.
Thursday, July 31, 2014, 11:06 p.m.

Noteworthy: The International Organization of Chinese Physicists and Astronomers named Ho the co-winner of its 2014 Outstanding Young Researcher Award. The organization recognized Ho for her research on dark energy, which is thought to make up most of the universe though its properties are mostly unknown. She shares the prize with Harvard University's Kang-Kuen Ni.

Age: 33

Family: Husband Pascal Ripoche; daughter Lena Ripoche.

Residence: Squirrel Hill

Occupation: Assistant professor of physics at Carnegie Mellon University

Background: Ho led an international research team that produced the most accurate measurement ever of the universe's expansion. Her research into dark energy includes the study of shadows cast by hydrogen clouds in the glare of supermassive black holes, and an examination of theories that could replace some of the cosmic framework of Albert Einstein's theories.

Education: Ho earned a Ph.D. in astrophysical sciences from Princeton University in 2008, and bachelor's degrees in physics and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2004.

Quote: “Basically, either Einstein is wrong or dark energy exists.”

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