placeholder image
  • Contact Info
Publications in VIVO

Rast, Mark Peter



Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • My research interests include astrophysical fluid dynamics with emphasis on convective dynamics and scale selection, turbulence, the excitation of the solar/stellar p-modes, and the origin of solar/stellar irradiance variations. Investigations range from studying highly simplified turbulent analogs based on point vortex motions to realistic simulations of radiative magnetohydrodynamics, spectral synthesis, and spectropolarimetric inversions. Served as instrument scientist for the Precision Solar Photometric Telescope (PSPT) at Mauna Loa Solar Observatory (MLSO) over its period of operation from 1999 to 2015, and led the Critical Science Plan effort for the National Solar Observatory's (NSO's) 4m solar telescope, the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST). Recent work, focuses on contact statistics in random walks and turbulent flows, and epidemiological modeling.


selected publications


courses taught

  • ASTR 1040 - Accelerated Introductory Astronomy 2
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Fall 2019 / Spring 2023 / Spring 2024
    Covers principles of modern astronomy summarizing our present knowledge about the Sun, stars, birth and death of stars, neutron stars, black holes, galaxies, quasars, and the organization and origins of the universe. May require nighttime observing sessions at Sommers-Bausch Observatory. Required in ASTR major/minor. Includes a recitation. Taught at a higher intellectual level including a significant amount of quantitative analysis. Same as ASTR 1020 and ASTR 1200.
  • ASTR 3760 - Solar and Space Physics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2022
    Explores the physical processes linking the Sun and planets, emphasizing solar radiative and particulate variability and the response of planetary atmospheres and magnetospheres. Topics include the solar dynamo, solar wind, coronal mass ejections, cosmic ray modulation, magnetospheres, aurora, the space environment, and climate variability. Recommended prerequisite: PHYS 3310. Elective for APS major and minor.
  • ASTR 3800 - Introduction to Scientific Data Analysis and Computing
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021
    Introduces scientific data analysis from a practical perspective. Covers statistical analysis, model fitting, error analysis, theoretical compliance and image analysis with examples from space-based and ground-based astronomy. Elective for APS major. Opened to qualified non-majors with instructor consent.
  • ASTR 5120 - Radiative and Dynamical Processes
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022 / Fall 2023
    An introduction to radiative and dynamical processes aimed at graduate students in astrophysics, space physics and planetary science. Covers transport phenomena, the macroscopic treatment of radiation fields, magnetohydrodynamics and dynamical processes associated with planetary orbits and N-body systems.
  • ASTR 5540 - Mathematical Methods
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Presents an applied mathematics course designed to provide the necessary analytical and numerical background for courses in astrophysics, plasma physics, fluid dynamics, electromagnetism, and radiation transfer. Topics include integration techniques, linear and nonlinear differential equations, WKB and Fourier transform methods, adiabatic invariants, partial differential equations, integral equations, and integrodifferential equations. Draws illustrative examples from the areas of physics listed above. Same as ATOC 5540.
  • ASTR 7500 - Special Topics in Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Acquaints students with current research in astrophysical and planetary sciences. Topics vary each semester. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours.


International Activities

Other Profiles