Short CV of Slavek M. Rucinski

April 2012


MSc, 1965, Warsaw University, Poland: "Eclipsing Binary DI Pegasi; Dr. A. Kruszewski
PhD, 1970, Warsaw University, Poland: "Proximity Effects in Close Binary Systems", Prof. S. Piotrowski
DSc (habilitation), 1974, Warsaw University, Poland: "Contact binary stars of the WUMa-type".






After obtaining a MSc in 1965 on a study of a light curve of the binary DI Peg using Dr. A. Kruszewski's data, I collaborated with Dr. K. Serkowski and worked on stellar light polarization (mostly circum-stellar). When he left country-region in 1967, I changed my interest and worked on various proximity effects in very close binary systems (illumination and reflection, distortions, mass transfer, illuminated model atmospheres) which resulted in my PhD Thesis in 1970 under Prof. S. Piotrowski.

In 1970, I took one year Post-Doctoral position in Gainesville, Florida where - after the previous Polish exposure to Algol programmed computers - I learned Fortran and wrote one of the first light-curve-synthesis programs for contact binaries. Then I returned to Poland for 4 years. During the stay in the DAO Victoria as a NRC research associate (1975/77), I learned practical aspects of the stellar spectroscopy and published several papers on chromospherically active stars. I also started using astronomical satellites (OAO-2, ANS, OAO-3).

In 1977 - 1980, I was employed as an Associate and then Assistant Professor at the Warsaw University Observatory. My first (of many) IUE satellite projects were done during the stay at the Max-Planck-Institute in Munich, Germany (1980 - 1982), and in Cambridge, UK (1982 - 1984). In the meantime, perhaps as an incentive for our return, I was nominated a professor at the Warsaw University and was granted tenure in 1982.

We immigrated to Canada in 1984, after I was hired to UBC, Vancouver to work on a large Canadian-US_Australian satellite project "Starlab". This project lost funding when we were in the process of immigration so we moved to Toronto instead. I worked at the Toronto University on contracts for a few years. When Ontario Centre of Excellence, the Institute for Space and Terrestrial Science (ISTS) was created, I moved there and worked for the next 10 years (1987 - 1997) until a rather abrupt closure of this institute. However, my time at ISTS was not lost since this is where the idea of the MOST satellite was conceived and applied for to the CSA (1997). The approval came after the closure of ISTS (!) when - in search of employment - I moved to Hawaii (CFHT). Paradoxically, MOST satellite may be considered one of few tangible achievements of ISTS.

In 1999, I took the position of astronomer and later Associate Director of the David Dunlap Observatory which I held until its closure in 2008. I actively continued in the MOST Science team.

In the spring of 2003, I was approached by the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies to design a nano-satellite for astronomy. This led to the satellite BRITE. Altogether, six satellites were build by Austria, Poland and Canada and launched in 2013 - 2014. The BRITE Constellation was designed to fill the niche of precise photometry of bright stars: their photometry is the least consistent now yet they are the easiest for spectroscopic follow up studies.



Warsaw University, 1975 - 1980, undergraduate level: Observational Astrophysics, Stellar Atmospheres, Stellar Interiors.

York University, 1988 - 1990; graduate level: Stellar Interiors.

University of Toronto, 1985 - 1987, undergraduate level, various courses

University of Toronto, 1999 - 2008, undergraduate level: Research Topics in Astronomy, Topical Astrophysics, several individual research projects, Life on other Worlds.
Graduate level: Physics of stars, Graduate Student Seminar, individual research projects (see below).


University of Toronto, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics:
Post-Doctoral Fellows: A. Udalski (1988 - 1990), W. Pych (2002 - 2004), T. Pribulla (2007 - 2008), M. Siwak (2008 - 2010), G.Whittaker (2013 - 2015).

University of Toronto, SFL-UTIAS:
MSc program: M. Chaumont (2011 - 2013), Seung-Yun (Susan) Choi (2013 - 2015)

Warsaw University Observatory
PhD Thesis defense: A. Schwarzenberg-Czerny, 1980.

York University
PhD Thesis defense, M. Blake, 2002
MSc thesis defense, Jun Shi, 1994.

Warsaw University Observatory, 1977 - 1980):
MSc Theses: J. Kaluzny, A. Udalski, E. Bohusz, J. Medza, A. Przypkowska, M. Staniucha.

University of Toronto, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics:
Undergraduate research projects: Y. Liokumovich, P. Nef, C. Capobianco
Graduate research projects: E. Harper-Clark, E. Mentuch.

University of Toronto, David Dunlap Observatory, participants of the close binary star program (other than Post-Docs): G. Conidis, C. Capobianco, J. Daszynska-Daszkiewicz, K. Kaminski, A. Majewska, W. Ogloza, B. Pilecki, P. Rogoziecki, G. Stachowski, K. Gazeas, L. Kiss, M. Vandenberg).