An Evening with Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, astrophysicist - MC Calendar

An Evening with Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, astrophysicist Thursday, October 07, 2021
7:00 PM


Midland College invites all to this FREE event as part of the Davidson Distinguished Lecture Series.

Tickets required for admittance to event.  Please contact the Midland College Foundation Office and submit name, mailing address and number of tickets. 

Midland College Friends of the Series and Distinguished Donors will enjoy preferred seating.  Contact staff at the Midland College Foundation, (432) 685-4556 to learn more about these opportunities.

Special thanks to the Friends of the Series, who help provide additional funding for MC's lecture and performing arts series.

All seating is limited.

About Hakeem

Street Brawls and Science Books

As a child, Hakeem Oluseyi never lived in the same state two years in a row. He moved between rough neighborhoods in the American South, like New Orleans’ 9th Ward and Houston's 3rd Ward, until finally settling in a poor community in rural Mississippi at the age of 13.

"As the new kid in the bad neighborhood, I was always immediately challenged upon arrival, which meant fighting,” Hakeem explains. “I was not interested in this, so I spent a lot of time indoors reading and watching PBS nature shows. I discovered Jacques Cousteau on TV and Albert Einstein in my reading. The effects of relativity just knocked my socks off! I did everything I could to get my head around this stuff. I thought, 'Man! Scientists are super cool!’"

Physics Enthusiast to Physicist
Hakeem’s interest in physics continued into high school, where he created a computer program that did relativity calculations. When his program won first prize in physics at the state science fair, judges told him to become a physicist. Since Hakeem didn’t really know what physicists did, he dismissed the idea and chose to enlist in the Navy. But not long after, Hakeem decided to major in physics at Tougaloo College, a small historically black college in Mississippi.

Using Physics

Four Degrees Later
Now, three degrees in physics and one in mathematics later, Hakeem is a super cool scientist himself- an astrophysicist.

Hakeem did research for the first time at a summer program at the University of Georgia. He was pleasantly surprised by the freedom and responsibility he was given and found that he fit well into the research community, even though he was one of only a few African Americans.

After finishing up with school, Hakeem worked at one of Silicon Valley's most successful companies and did research on manufacturing computer chips. This work earned him eight U.S. patents and four E.U. patents. Hakeem's inventions can be found in the computer chips you use every day.

Stargazer at Heart
Hakeem, however, longed for the big ideas of astronomy and astrophysics, and returned to astrophysics research. He worked with the 2011 Nobel Prize winning Supernova Cosmology Project, developing detectors for a planned space-based telescope that will investigate the nature of the dark energy that is accelerating the universe's expansion.

Today, he is a member of the team developing the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), which is America's top priority observatory. He has worked on developing the LSST's camera and is developing programs for analyzing the data it will collect.

Spreading the Love
In addition to astrophysics, Hakeem also has a passion for communicating science to the public.

He is a professor at the Florida Institute of Technology, and a frequent contributor to the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. He has given multiple TED talks and is regularly invited to speak at science forums all around the world. For his science outreach work, he was selected as a 2012 TED Global Fellow.


Al G. Langford Chaparral Center
3600 N. Garfield
Midland TX


Midland College Foundation
(432) 685-4526


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