Profile - Dr. Stefi Baum, Dean

Dr. Stefi Baum joined the University of Manitoba as the Dean of the Faculty of Science and Professor of Physics and Astronomy on October 1, 2014. She came to the University of Manitoba following ten years at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where she served as Professor and Director of the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science. The Carlson Center for Imaging Science is a highly interdisciplinary University Research and Education Center, dedicated to pushing the frontiers of imaging in all its forms and uses, with research programs in remote sensing, environmental monitoring, emergency response, sensor and detector development, vision and perception, astronomy, biomedical imaging, cultural heritage imaging, computational photography, display systems, and color science.     

Dr. Baum joined RIT after serving just under two years as an American Institute of Physics Science Diplomacy Fellow at the U.S. Department of State where she worked to promote agricultural science and food security in developed and developing countries. Before that she spent 13 years at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) located on the Homewood Campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. STScI is the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and the next generation space telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). While at STScI, Dr. Baum was most recently the Head of the Engineering and Software Services Division where she led up to 140 scientists, engineers, and computer scientists responsible for the development and maintenance work for the science ground systems of HST and JWST. Earlier, she led the science operations center’s development and deployment of a major astronomical instrument, the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. Prior to that, she served as systems scientist on the development of the Hubble Space Telescope archive, the first fully functional pipeline and on-line archive for astronomical data.

Dr. Baum earned a BA in physics with honors from Harvard University and a PhD in astronomy from the University of Maryland. Her personal research focuses in two areas: (i) the study of activity in galaxies and its relation to galaxy evolution and (ii) the development of image processing, statistical algorithms, and calibration techniques for brain imaging for the diagnosis of mental health and learning disabilities. Dr. Baum is active in the development of new mission concepts and has published more than 200 papers in refereed journals.  Dr. Baum is also active in education and public outreach and K-12 STEM Education and is committed to the engagement of youth and the public in science and mathematics.  Dr. Baum and her husband, Dr. Chris O’Dea, have four adult children dispersed throughout the United States. They live with their two dogs and three cats in St. Norbert, Winnipeg.  Dr. Baum is an avid gardener, hiker, cook and reader.