Prof. Matthew Szydagis received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is now an Assistant Professor at the University at Albany studying experimental particle astrophysics, in particular direct detection of dark matter WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles), and general detector development for rare event searches.
He grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation right away with season 1 from the age of about 5, and simply fell in love with the character of Lieutenant Commander Data, realizing that science officer was the position for him. Voyager/DS9 fed his imagination in junior high and high school, and Enterprise in college. He became a physicist after being inspired by Star Trek, becoming one in order to make time travel and FTL travel a reality.