Dr. R. Chris Smith is an Astronomer at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), the southern hemisphere branch of the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). His research involves studies of supernovae and the use of these explosive events to understand the evolution and fate of the universe. He is part of the team that first published the evidence for the acceleration of the expansion of the universe and the "dark energy" which may cause this acceleration. He is also involved in investigations of the remnants supernovae leave behind, trying to better understand not only the stars which exploded but also the interstellar gas in the surrounding regions.
Dr. Smith is also IT Coordinator for NOAO's southern facilities, and is the manager of NOAO's Data Products Program group in Chile. The Data Products Program is responsible for data management systems at NOAO, including high-throughput grid-capable data reduction pipelines and advanced Petabyte-scale archives supporting advanced data mining techniques. The aim of the Data Products Program is to develop end-to-end systems which take the raw data from the telescopes and generate data products of scientific interest, implementing tools and Web services for discovering, mining, and analyzing those data products, and serving the data and associated data products to the world-wide community through participation in the International Virtual Observatory.