The People of

Kate Follette

Stanford University


Kate Follette is a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University's Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology. Kate uses big telescopes in Hawaii and Chile equipped with a technology called adaptive optics that de-twinkles stars. This allows her to take very high resolution pictures of young stars and to search for baby planets in the process of forming around them. This is equivalent to trying to take a picture of a firefly while it's flying next to a lighthouse, but she likes a good challenge. Detecting a planet via this "direct imaging" method allows Kate and her colleagues to characterize it, including its atmospheric properties. Kate also conducts educational research on how to effectively incorporate real world mathematics into introductory science courses for nonmajors. She communicates science, formally and informally, whenever anyone will listen to her.