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Prof. Chris Koen (2011)

Chris Koen was born in 1951, in Gauteng, where he also went to school. He studied at Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Johannesburg), UNISA and UCT, and  obtained PhD degrees in Astronomy and Mathematical Statistics. He taught at Fort Hare University and the University of Bophuthatswana (now the Mafikeng campus of Northwest University). He spent a year at the National Central University in Chung-Li, Taiwan, as a visiting specialist, and worked for more than a decade as a professional astronomer at the South African Astronomical Observatory. During this time he also spent a year at the University of Texas (Austin), doing research on Northern hemisphere stars. Chris has been in the Statistics Department at UWC since 2005.

He is author/co-author of about 200 publications, mostly in the fields of Astrostatistics and variable stars.
Chris is married to Erica, and is the proud father of Thea.



Variability studies of brown dwarfs

Brown dwarfs are sometimes described as “failed stars”. These objects, thought to be very numerous in the universe, have characteristics between those of stars and planets. The talk will describe some recent discoveries of brightness variations in a few of these enigmatic objects.