Steven Dorsher


I am a transman/nonbinary person; gay; and significantly disabled by seizures, fatigue, and migraines and I am a former computational astronomer and physicist (15-20 yr, 3 MS’s). I currently work as a math, physics, and astronomy tutor due to disability.//


I have earned 3 MSc’s in pursuit of PhD’s over 15 years of research in astronomy and physics, then continued doing research beyond independently.

I have been a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration during the time of the detections that earned it the Nobel prize, as well as before. Though my contribution was not great enough to earn me authorship on that discovery, I was previously an author on many collaboration papers by virtue of my contribution to the LSC. Within LIGO and General Relativity, I worked on Numerical Relativity simulations of Extreme Mass Ratio black hole binary orbits. I also helped prototype a LIGO gravitational wave event and environmental noise database. Before that, I computed and simulated gravity gradient noise due to seismic waves for future gravitational wave detectors. I also developed statistics for, implemented, and tested a prototype gravitational wave search for line-like patterns on spectrograms.

I have also made significant contributions to 9 publications, theses, or preprints specifically. In the longest ago but possibly most important, I computed the first exoplanet statistics. In others, I helped address survey techniques using gravitational lensing to measure cosmology, invented and modeled an algorithm for fractional calculus, and contributed to the NOvA neutrino detector technical design report (on Avalanching Photodiode breakdown voltage). Since leaving my last PhD program, I have simulated Newtonian gravity three body orbits for an exoplanet about a binary star.

My career has been strongly influenced by family and long-term partners, whether due to crises or priority choices made out of love. My seizures have literally ended my PhD program once and strongly influenced it a second time. However, 15+ years research and 3 MS’s is a success.

I currently work as a part time remote tutor due to disability (PNES seizures, fatigue, and migraines), but I hope someday my health will improve and at that time I can be a data scientist perhaps.

I have been an educator for more than 8 years and truly do believe in the importance. When not tutoring, I found myself spending time answering students questions on large social media forums on a voluntary basis— because I love science and believe they should too. Now I love to listen and read about physics and astronomy in my free time. I am taking a self-paced data science certificate course, as well.