Mark Devlin

Mark Devlin
Standing Faculty

Reese W. Flower Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics

Research Areas: Cosmology, Astrophysics, Instrumentation

(215) 573-7521


  • 2006- Reese W. Flower Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2003-2006 Class of 1965 Term Chair, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2000-2003 Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1996-2000 Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1995-1996 Research Associate, Princeton University
  • 1994-1995 Postdoctoral Researcher, Princeton University
  • 1993-1994 Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California at Berkeley

M.S., Ph.D, University of California at Berkeley (1993)
B.A., University of Wisconsin – Madison (1988) 

Research Interests

My research focuses on experimental cosmology at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. Cosmology is the study how the Universe came into being and how it evolved into what we see today. Unlike a traditional astronomer who might study an individual star or galaxy to determine its properties, I collect data from which I make statistical inferences about the evolutionary history of the Universe. To this end, I design and build sophisticated instrumentation and telescopes which I use to observe from high-altitude balloons and the high-plateaus of Chile. 

I currently work on four major projects:

- The Simons Observatory is a major initiative funded by the Simons Foundation.  We are building new state-of-the-art telescopes and cameras which we will deploy at our site on Cerro Toco in Northern Chile.  I am the current spokesperson for this work and lead the development of the large aperture telescope and camera.  For more information see:

- The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) is an ongoing experiment utilizing a 6 meter diameter telescope located at our site on Cerro Toco in Northern Chile.  I am currently the Deputy Director of ACT.  For more information see:

- The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Telescope (BLAST) is a long running NASA high altitude balloon program.  We have studied star formation in high-redshift galaxies as well as star formation in the Milky Way and the effect of polarized dust as a foreground for current and future CMB experiments.  I have lead BLAST for the last 17 years. We anticipate our next flight in December of 2018.

- The MUSTANG is a 3 millimeter receiver developed at Penn using microwave-MUX readout of transition edge sensor (TES) detectors developed at NIST.  We operate MUSTANG on the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia.  Utilizing the 100 meter dish we obtain 9 arcsecond resolution images of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovic effect in galaxy clusters.  See


Courses Taught

Astro 001: Survey of the Universe

Physics 150: Principles I

Physics 101: General Physics

CV (file)