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Rosa Díaz

One Rocket Mom



Yorktown, Virginia.


B.S. of Mathematics at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara.
Masters in Astronomy at the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM)
Ph.D. in Astrophysics at the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM)



I obtained my B.S. of Mathematics at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara. Under the education system in Mexico, this B.S is equivalent to an M.S. in Pure Mathematics in the USA. Looking ahead to a career in Astrophysics, my B.S. thesis focused on a theoretical study of the application of Fourier Transforms to astronomy under the supervision of Dr. Luis Felipe Rodríguez at the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM).


While working on this thesis, I also took physics courses required for the Ph.D. in Astrophysics' program at UNAM, from which I received my Ph.D. in Astrophysics in 1998. My thesis focused on studying Photodissociated Regions around Main Sequence Stars, working with Dr. Jose Franco López (UNAM) and Dr. Steven N. Shore (then at Indiana University in South Bend). This work demonstrated the importance that B type stars have in generating large amounts of photodissociated and ionized gas observed in star formation regions.


It also provided simple approximations to calculate the size of these regions in different cloud environments.

Work Experience

I am the deputy of the Missions Engineering and Scientific Analysis Branch, coordinating and supporting our scientific leaders who channel the decisions and priorities of different projects within the Instruments Division (INS). Most of the projects within our branch involve two or more instruments or telescopes and require careful management and close collaboration between INS scientists and the various engineering teams in other Divisions at STScI.   


In my early years at STScI, I worked for the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) Team and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) Team, analyzing data and contributing to several projects focused on the development of calibration data used by the data processing codes. I also founded and led the team that manages, maintains, and distributes this calibration data for all instruments in all the telescopes. I also founded the team that coordinates the development, maintenance, and validation of the Exposure Time Calculator for the Hubble Telescope.  

Analyzing Chart space exploration experience science
satelite calibration data JWST James Webb Space Telescope SPace Telescope Imaging Spectograph

Currently, in my role as Principal Scientist and Science Systems Support, I collaborate with several teams within INS, designing the infrastructure and scientific tests for the validation of the data processing codes for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as well as tools used in the management, planning, and processing of Hubble Telescope (HST) and JWST observations. In the area of ​​Engineering, Operations, and Technology of STScI, I participate in the design, implementation, maintenance, verification, and validation of several subsystems part of the Operations and Control System of the JWST telescope.  


 I also have the privilege of participate in several STScI's and NASA's public outreach projects. My goal is to bring the knowledge of our universe to the general public, particularly to young people in Hispanic communities and countries, and thereby promote interest in science, technology, and engineering.

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