Kamran Sahami

Kamran Sahami, Ph.D., is a full professor in the Department of Physics at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is also an affiliate research associate at University of Colorado, Boulder.

Sahami joined the Physics Department at MSU Denver in 2004 after 3 years as a research scientist at CU Boulder working primarily on research projects funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation. In 2005, he received a three-year, $500,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, along with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, to explore astronomy education in virtual immersive environments. The research and subsequent NSF grants in 2008 and 2009 lead to several publications, most notably the identification of gender-specific learning modalities in classrooms immersive environments.

His research interests include non-linear systems, electro-optics and physics and astronomy education. He is the co-author of the published research titled “Learning about the scale of the solar system using digital planetarium visualizations” in the American Journal of Physics in 2017 and “Using a Digital Planetarium for Teaching Seasons to Undergraduates” in the Journal of Astronomy & Earth Sciences Education in 015.

Sahami received his doctorate in astrophysical, planetary and atmospheric sciences in 2001 and a master’s in astrophysics in 1993 from University of Colorado Boulder and a master’s in physics and two bachelor’s in physics and mathematics from San Diego State University in 1993 and 1990 respectively.

Dave Gingerich

Dave Gingerich, M.S., is an affiliate professor in the Department of Aviation and Aerospace Management at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Gingerich has been employed with Lockheed Martin since 1980 where he developed simulation software used to test the power and attitude control subsystems for two large, earth-orbiting spacecraft; developed spacecraft bus and instrument flight software for numerous planetary exploration missions and payloads, such as the Descent Imager, the Cassini-Huygens Probe and the Mars Observer Gamma Ray Spectrometer. In the early 1990s Gingerich was a member of the flight software development team for the marvelously successful and still flying Mars Global Surveyor.

In 1997, he started developing the payload and science flight software for the Stardust and Genesis missions and was asked to join the LMA Mission Operations team. In 2002, Gingerich implemented a change to the Stardust Navigation Camera flight software and was presented a Technical Excellence award for it from Lockheed Martin in 2003. He is also the recipient of several NASA Group Achievement awards.

Gingerich received a master’s in space operations management from Webster University in 2004, a master’s in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University in 1980 and a bachelor’s in mathematics in 1979 from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.

Grant Denn

Grant Denn, Ph.D., is a professor and chair in the Department of Physics at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

He was trained as an astrophysicist but has been teaching full time at MSU Denver since 2004, while also teaching some undergraduate physics classes at University of Colorado Denver. He also worked as a teaching and research fellow at Sweet Briar College. Additionally, Denn has conducted research on active galactic nuclei, astronomy education, asteroid detection through radar astronomy, hydrogen content in galaxies. His most recent project is Astronomy Learning in Immersive Virtual Environments.

Denn received his doctorate in astrophysics from University of Iowa and a bachelor’s from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.