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About Linda French

Dr. Linda French received her A.B. in astronomy from Indiana University and a Ph. D. in planetary astronomy from Cornell University. Her scientific research, funded by the National Science Foundation, concerns the study of the shapes and surfaces of asteroids and comets. She is a frequent guest observer at Lowell Observatory in Arizona and at Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in Chile, and is often accompanied by students on these research trips.
During her sabbatical in 2009-2010, Dr. French was a Visiting Professor of Physics at the University of York, England where she investigated the life of York astronomer John Goodricke (1764-1786). She has given lectures on Goodricke and his mentor Edward Pigott in York, Boston, and Toronto, and at major observatories in the United States and Chile.


Present Chair, Department of Physics, Illinois Wesleyan University
Present Professor of Physics, Illinois Wesleyan University

Curriculum Vitae

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Honors and Awards

  • Elected to Committee of Historical Astronomy Division, American Astronomical Society, 2012
  • Herbert C. Pollack Award for Research in History of Astronomy, Dudley Observatory, 2010
  • Gaposchkin Grant for Meritorious Research, American Astronomical Society Small Research Grant Program, 1992
  • Asteroid "3506 French" named after Linda M. French in honor of research and educational achievements, 1988


  • Gateway Colloquium: Search for Life in the Universe
  • Fundamental Astronomy
  • Conceptions of the Cosmos
  • Introduction to Astrophysics
  • Techniques of Observational Astrophysics

Contact Information

Center for Natural Sciences
Illinois Wesleyan University

Articles (6)

Other (1)

Faculty Advisor of Undergraduate Research (1)