Professor Alex Filippenko, Ph.D.

Professor Alex Filippenko
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • California Institute of Technology
Perhaps the next time you go out to the countryside, you will ponder the magnificence of the Universe and its contents—and the fact that, through careful experiments, observations, and thought, humans are coming to a good understanding of what makes it all tick.

Dr. Alex Filippenko is Professor of Astronomy and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his B.A. in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his Ph.D. in Astronomy from the California Institute of Technology.

Dr. Filippenko's research accomplishments, documented in more than 500 scientific publications and 600 abstracts and astronomical circulars, are among the most highly cited in the world. Science magazine credited two international teams of astronomers (on which he was the only coauthor contributing to both teams) with the top "Science Breakthrough of 1998" for research on exploding stars (supernovae), which shows that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, propelled by mysterious "dark energy." Professor Filippenko received a share of the 2007 Gruber Cosmology Prize for this discovery, work that went on to receive the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. Professor Filippenko also leads the world's most successful robotic search for exploding stars.

Dr. Filippenko was elected in 2009 to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors accorded to a U.S. scientist. He has also been recognized with several major awards, including the 2010 Richard H. Emmons Award for excellence in the teaching of college-level introductory astronomy for non-science majors from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the 2007 Richtmyer Memorial Award of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the 1997 Robert M. Petrie Prize of the Canadian Astronomical Society, and the 1992 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize of the American Astronomical Society. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2001 and a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar in 2002.

In 2006, he was honored nationally as the "Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities Professor of the Year" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

At UC Berkeley, Dr. Filippenko's teaching awards include the Donald S. Noyce Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in the Physical Sciences and the Distinguished Teaching Award. He was also voted the Best Professor on Campus nine times in student polls.

Dr. Filippenko is coauthor of The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium, now in its 4th edition (2013), and winner of the 2001 Texty Excellence Award for best new textbook in the physical sciences. He has played a prominent role in numerous television documentaries, including about 40 episodes spanning six seasons of The Universe on The History Channel.

Testimonials

"Alex Filippenko sets the standard of what great teaching is all about. May we all be willing to learn with the same level of enthusiasm he shows us in these lectures."

 

"Professor Filippenko is a master of this information, and his enthusiasm is contagious! Highly recommended!!"

 

"Professor Alex Filippenko delivers the lectures with passion, honesty and he uses helpful visual aids in understanding complex theories. By the end of the course, he is a close friend."

43 Courses and Sets

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43 Courses and Sets

  1. (Set) How the Earth Works; Biology: The Science of Life; & Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition  Set

    (Set) How the Earth Works; Biology: The Science of Life; & Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $1,719.85 Starting at $1,719.85 $2,019.85 $1,719.85$2,019.85
  2. (Set) Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe & Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition  Set

    (Set) Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe & Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $849.90 Starting at $849.90 $999.90 $849.90$999.90
    Get closer than ever before to some of the most awe-inspiring images and concepts in our universe with this richly illustrated two-course set. First, in Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe, get an overview of some of the greatest sights captured by this iconic space telescope. Then, in Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition, survey the main concepts,...
  3. (Set) Black Holes Explained & Superstring Theory: The DNA of Reality  Set

    (Set) Black Holes Explained & Superstring Theory: The DNA of Reality

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $454.90 Starting at $454.90 $454.90 $454.90$454.90
    Black holes and string theory—two mind-boggling scientific concepts that are finally made clear with this two-course set. In Black Holes Explained, you'll discover the secrets of photon spheres, event horizons, Einstein rings, and other concepts involved in the study of black holes. And in Superstring Theory: The DNA of Reality, you'll look over the shoulder of a prominent theorist at work—one who has a...
  4. (Set) Skywatching: Seeing and Understanding Cosmic Wonders & Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe  Set

    (Set) Skywatching: Seeing and Understanding Cosmic Wonders & Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $369.90 Starting at $369.90 $419.90 $369.90$419.90
    Get an unparalleled view of the sky above your head as well as deep space with this visually rich set. In Skywatching: Seeing and Understanding Cosmic Wonders, get a stunning tour of the sky's most dazzling displays, most of which you can see without binoculars. And in Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe, partake in a visual feast of landmark images taken by the Hubble Space...
  5. (Set) The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries & Black Holes Explained  Set

    (Set) The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries & Black Holes Explained

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $299.90 Starting at $299.90 $299.90 $299.90$299.90
  6. (Set) Skywatching: Seeing and Understanding Cosmic Wonders & Our Night Sky  Set

    (Set) Skywatching: Seeing and Understanding Cosmic Wonders & Our Night Sky

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $369.90 Starting at $369.90 $419.90 $369.90$419.90
    Open your eyes to the countless wonders lying just above your head with this richly illustrated two-course set on what to look for in the sky at all times of the day and night. First, embark on a stunning tour of dazzling displays such as clouds, sunsets, meteors, and solar eclipses with Skywatching: Seeing and Understanding Cosmic Wonders. Then, discover everything you ever needed to know about the science,...
  7. (Set) Four Great Courses, One Amazingly Low Price!!! Set

    (Set) Four Great Courses, One Amazingly Low Price!!!

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $799.80 Starting at $799.80 $799.80 $799.80$799.80
    Not sure which Great Course you want to order? Then order them all! For a limited time only, you can get Optimizing Brain Fitness; Black Holes Explained; Museum Masterpieces: The Lourve; and The Origins of Ancient Civilization in a single four-course set for one amazingly low price! This special offer is the perfect way to sample some of the fascinating subjects, engaging professors, and profound insights you can...
  8. (Set) Dark Matter, Dark Energy: The Dark Side of the Universe & Black Holes Explained  Set

    (Set) Dark Matter, Dark Energy: The Dark Side of the Universe & Black Holes Explained

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $454.90 Starting at $454.90 $454.90 $454.90$454.90
    Explore two of the most fascinating and mysterious aspects of the cosmos with this two-course set. Dark Matter, Dark Energy: The Dark Side of the Universe takes you deep inside the invisible components of dark matter and dark energy—concepts that have brought us to the brink of knowing what the universe is made of. Black Holes Explained finally makes this awe-inspiring cosmological subject graspable through an...
  9. (Set) The Science Of The Next 100 Years  Set

    (Set) The Science Of The Next 100 Years

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $1,929.60 Starting at $1,929.60 $1,929.60 $1,929.60$1,929.60
    Science, more than any other field of human study, is home to lightning-fast changes with the power to instantly revolutionize our understanding of the universe. So what are the scientific ideas that will occupy headlines and news stories for the next 100 years? What effects will they have on the way you think about—and live in—the world around you? The courses featured in this special section are your...
  10. (Set) Cosmology & Understanding the Universe, 2nd Edition  Set

    (Set) Cosmology & Understanding the Universe, 2nd Edition

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $999.90 Starting at $999.90 $1,174.90 $999.90$1,174.90
    Investigate the wealth of wonders in two scientific fields that have provided us with startling new ideas about our universe. With the aid of more than 1,000 vivid illustrations, Cosmology: The History and Nature of Our Universe reveals the latest insights behind mysteries including dark matter, cosmic inflation, and the birth of galaxies. Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition is an...
  11. (Set) Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition & Meteorology  Set

    (Set) Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition & Meteorology

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $894.90 Starting at $894.90 $1,054.90 $894.90$1,054.90
    Open your eyes to the many wonders of the stars above your head and the weather all around you with these two dynamic courses. Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition allows you to experience a full-year introductory college course on astronomy, delivered by a leading participant in some of the field's groundbreaking discoveries. And Meteorology: An Introduction to the Wonders of the...
  12. (Set) Understanding the Universe & Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution  Set

    (Set) Understanding the Universe & Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $894.90 Starting at $894.90 $1,054.90 $894.90$1,054.90
    Take a closer look at the latest eye-opening developments in astronomy and modern physics. Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition is a nontechnical description of the current picture of our universe. Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition examines concepts of modern physics in ways that anyone can readily master.
  13. (Set) Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe & Black Holes Explained  Set

    (Set) Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe & Black Holes Explained

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $399.90 Starting at $399.90 $399.90 $399.90$399.90
    Explore new and fascinating knowledge about the universe and one of its most intriguing components, black holes, in this lavishly illustrated course set. In Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe, partake in a visual feast of landmark images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, and, in turn, learn the fundamental concepts and recent breakthroughs it has revealed in our understanding...
  14. (Set) Nature of Earth: An Introduction to Geology & Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy  Set

    (Set) Nature of Earth: An Introduction to Geology & Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $999.90 Starting at $999.90 $1,174.90 $999.90$1,174.90
  15. (Set)  Skywatching & My Favorite Universe Set

    (Set) Skywatching & My Favorite Universe

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $369.90 Starting at $369.90 $419.90 $369.90$419.90
  16. (Set) The Sciences: 7 Course Set Set

    (Set) The Sciences: 7 Course Set

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $3,384.65 Starting at $3,384.65 $3,384.65 $3,384.65$3,384.65
    Rediscover the intellectual joy and wonder that lies at the heart of science with this comprehensive seven-course set. You'll never look at a blade of grass or a star in the sky in the same way again. In Joy of Science, get a clear overview of the key principles underneath all of modern science. In Great Ideas of Classical Physics, journey step by step through the landmark concepts that help us make sense of the...
  17. (Set) Skywatching: Seeing and Understanding Cosmic Wonders & Black Holes Explained  Set

    (Set) Skywatching: Seeing and Understanding Cosmic Wonders & Black Holes Explained

    Alex Filippenko
    Starting at $419.90 Starting at $419.90 $419.90 $419.90$419.90
    Join award-winning astronomer and Professor Alex Filippenko for a journey into space in this two-course set. Get an unparalleled visual guide to nature's most mysterious and beautiful offerings with Skywatching: Seeing and Understanding Cosmic Wonders. And, in Black Holes Explained discover the secrets of photon spheres, event horizons, Einstein rings, and other concepts involved in the study of black holes.
  18. (Set) Four Great Courses, One Amazingly Low Price!!! Set

    (Set) Four Great Courses, One Amazingly Low Price!!!

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $799.80 Starting at $799.80 $799.80 $799.80$799.80
    Not sure which Great Course you want to order? Then order them all! For a limited time only, you can get The Secrets of Mental Math; Black Holes Explained; Origins of Great Ancient Civilization; and Thinking Like an Economist in a single four-course set for one amazingly low price! This special offer is the perfect way to sample some of the fascinating subjects, engaging professors, and profound insights you can...
  19. (Set) Radio Astronomy & Understanding the Universe Set

    (Set) Radio Astronomy & Understanding the Universe

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $914.90 Starting at $914.90 $1,069.90 $914.90$1,069.90
    See the universe like never before with this stunning two-course set. Start with a revealing peek into the unseen with Radio Astronomy: Observing the Invisible Universe. Then, get a non-technical description of modern astronomy, including the structure and evolution of planets, stars, galaxies, and the universe as a whole with Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition.
  20. (Set) A Visual Guide to the Universe & Skywatching Set

    (Set) A Visual Guide to the Universe & Skywatching

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $399.90 Starting at $399.90 $439.90 $399.90$439.90
    Experience a visual exploration of the universe with this set of courses. First, immerse yourself in a voyage of discovery of nature’s most mysterious and beautiful offerings with Skywatching: Seeing and Understanding Cosmic Wonders. Then, the spectacular sights of the cosmos are as easy to see as the stars above in A Visual Guide to the Universe, produced in partnership with the Smithsonian.