Edmund Bertschinger

Professor of Physics
Research in theoretical astrophysics, physics education, and in equity, diversity, and inclusion in the physical sciences and engineering.
Research Areas

Research Interests

Theoretical astrophysics: gravitation; cosmology; and numerical methods. Physics education research. Mixed methods investigation of mentorship and cultural change in STEM.

Biographic Sketch

Ed Bertschinger (he/him) is a professor of physics and affiliated faculty in the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies at MIT. On the faculty since 1986; he has served as Astrophysics Division Head; Physics Department Head; and MIT’s inaugural Institute Community and Equity Officer. Ed works actively to advance equity; diversity; and inclusion at MIT and through professional societies including the American Physical Society; American Astronomical Society; American Institute of Physics; and American Association for the Advancement of Science.

More info:

Ed Bertschinger, an American theoretical astrophysicist and cosmologist and professor of physics at MIT, tells us about his research and the various assortment of objects he brings and uses when he travels and does his research.
Courtesy of Inside a Scientist’s Suitcase/NSF | YouTube

Awards & Honors

  • 2022 // Excellence in Physics Education Award (to the TEAM-UP Task Force) (APS) "For groundbreaking analysis revealing sources of persistent underrepresentation of African-Americans in physics and astronomy; recommendation of data-driven, systemic strategies to increase the number of African-American physics bachelor’s degree recipients; and ways to catalyze cultural change."
  • 2021 // Everett Moore Baker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (MIT) "for his course “Science Activism: Gender, Race, and Power"."
  • 2019 // Innovation Fund grant from the American Physical Society for his project, “APS-IDEA: APS Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Alliance.”
  • 2015 // Committed to Caring Award, MIT Office of the Dean for Graduate Education
  • 2015 // American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow
  • 2013 // Outstanding Advocacy Award, MIT Council for the Advancement of Black Students
  • 2013 // Outstanding Freshman Advisor Award, MIT
  • 2013-18 // Institute Community and Equity Officer, MIT
  • 2012 // Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award (MIT)
  • 2012 // Luis Walter Alvarez Award for the Advancement of Latinos in Science, SACNAS-SHPE-MAES STEM Consortium
  • 2007 // Guggenheim Fellowship
  • 2002 // Buechner Teaching Prize in Physics, MIT Physics
  • 1996 // American Physical Society Fellow (Nominated by DAP) "For his outstanding contributions to theoretical cosmology, especially in the understanding of structure formation in the universe."
  • 1992 // Helen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy, American Astronomical Society
  • 1988 // Sloan Research Fellowship

Key Publications

  • E. Bertschinger; “Self-similar secondary infall and accretion in an Einstein-de Sitter universe;” ApJS 58; 39 (1985)

  • C.P. Ma and E. Bertschinger; “Cosmological Perturbation Theory in the Synchronous and Conformal Newtonian Gauges;” ApJ 455; 7 (1995)

  • E. Bertschinger and P. Zukin; “Distinguishing modified gravity from dark energy;” Phys Rev D 78; 024015 (2008)

  • D. M. Hernandez and E. Bertschinger; “Symplectic integration for the collisional gravitational N-body problem;” MNRAS 452; 1934 (2015)

  • B. Beckford et al.; “The Time is Now: Systemic Changes to Increase African Americans with Bachelor’s Degrees in Physics and Astronomy;” American Institute of Physics (2020)