Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil

Vlogger, Astrophysicist

As a child growing up in Turkey, Dr. Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil, Ph.D., admired the stars in the night sky. Now, as an astrophysicist, she has the tools to reach these stars. Her lifelong passion for science was born when she had to prepare an assignment in middle school on an interesting person. She chose Einstein, and immediately dove into reading about physics and became obsessed with understanding the cosmos. She got into the best college for physics education in Turkey with full scholarship. She is the first generation in her family to do so. After college, she came to the United States for her graduate studies. In 2017, her team announced an exciting discovery- an extremely rare galaxy, which is now commonly referred to as Burçin’s Galaxy. She is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Arizona and a 2018 TED Fellow. She spends most of her time searching for the smallest galaxies, and uses data collected from premier telescopes worldwide to help unravel the mysteries of the universe. As an immigrant Muslim hijabi woman scientist, Burçin has been a target of many social stereotypes. This has made her more passionate about promoting diversity in science and being a mentor to young people. Science is so much fun, and it should be reachable for anyone.

Videos from Burçin: