Laura Kay is Ann Whitney Olin professor and Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College, where she has taught since 1991. She received a BS degree in physics and an AB degree in feminist studies from Stanford University, and MS and PhD degrees in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of California-Santa Cruz. As a graduate student she spent 13 months at the Amundsen Scott station at the South Pole in Antarctica, and has had fellowships in Chile and Brazil. She studies active galactic nuclei using optical and X-ray telescopes. At Barnard she teaches courses on astronomy, astrobiology, women and science, and polar exploration.
Influenced by astronomy education research, 21st Century Astronomy offers a complete pedagogical and media package that facilitates learning by doing, while the new one-column design makes the Fifth Edition the most accessible introductory text available today.