Michael Norman, Ph.D.


  • Distinguished Professor -  Physics, UCSD
  • Director -  Laboratory for Computational Astrophysics, UCSD


Michael L. Norman is the former Director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (2011-2021) and Distinguished Professor of Physics at UC San Diego where he currently directs the Laboratory for Computational Astrophysics. He received his B.S. from Cal Tech in 1975, and his Ph. D. from UC Davis in 1980. After holding appointments at the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories, the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, he joined the faculty at UC San Diego in 2000. His research focus is the computer simulation of astronomical phenomena using supercomputers, and the development of the numerical methods to carry them out. He is the author of over 200 papers on diverse topics including star formation, cosmic jets, and cosmological evolution. His computer visualizations have appeared in numerous educational TV shows and films, including PBS Nova and The Discovery Channel. He is the recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize and the IEEE Sidney Fernbach Award. He was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2001, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.


  • Computational astrophysics