Zachary Richards

Graduate Student
Knuth Information Physics Lab
Department of Physics
University at Albany
Albany NY - 12222


My research interests are in the realm of Astronomy and Astrophysics. The research I am currently involved with is the detection of non-transiting extrasolar planets from the Kepler Space Telescope public archive. We look at reflected light curves to determine if there is in fact an extrasolar planet orbiting a distant star. As an extrasolar planet orbits its host star, it observes phases similar to what we observe with our moon and Venus.


B.S. Physics 2013, University at Albany

Honor Societies

  • Member, National Society for Colliegate Scholars, 2011
  • Member, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, 2012


  1. Knuth K.H., Placek B., Richards Z. 2012. "Detection and Characterization of Non-Transiting Extra-Solar Planets in Kepler Data Using Reflected Light Variations". N. Chawla and A.N. Srivastava (eds.) Proceedings of the Conference on Intelligent Data Understanding 2012.
  2. Placek B., Richards Z., Knuth K.H. 2012. "Detecting Non-Transiting Exoplanets". U. von Toussaint (ed.) Bayesian inference and Maximum Entropy Methods in Science and Engineering, Garching, Germany, July 2012, AIP Conference Proceedings, American Institute of Physics, Melville NY.

University Service

  • Telescope Operator of the University at Albany Observatory. Responsibilities include performing maintenance on the observatory and 16 inch Boller and Chivens telescope and leading observing sessions for the astronomy classes, university activities, and community activities. Feb 2012- Present
  • President and Founder of the University at Albany Astronomical Society (U.A.A.S.), which is a student run organization with a focus on astronomy and stargazing. Oct 2012- Present