Hello, there!

I'm an Assistant Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department and Deputy Director of the Galactic Center Group at UCLA. My research interest is in understanding the formation of the nuclei of galaxies, the physics and astrophysics of supermassive black holes. I also study machine learning applications in astronomy as part of the UCLA Astrophysics Data Lab.


Tuan Do
430 Portola Plaza, Box 951547
Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1547

Email : tdo [at] astro.ucla.edu
Email : tuando [at] g.ucla.edu
Office Phone: 310-206-0208

My blog: www.followthesheep.com for possibly useful information to astronomers.

Twitter: @quantumpenguin

Research Interests

My research interest is in understanding the formation of the nuclei of galaxies - I'm currently studying the composition and star formation history of the Milky Way nuclear star cluster and how these stars interact with the supermassive black hole at the Galactic center. I also use the orbits of these stars to test Einstein's General Theory of Relativity around our supermassive black hole. I'm also interested in the dynamics of nearby Milky Way dwarf galaxies and how we can use them to study cosmology. I am primarily an observer, using both space-based telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope, and adaptive optics on ground-based telescopes like the Keck Telescopes and Gemini to obtain precise photometry and kinematics. I have also been working on a data simulator and science cases for the Infrared Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) for the future Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). I also lead the UCLA Astrophysics Data Lab studying machine learning in astrophysics.

For more information about my research:

Galactic Center » Nearby Galaxies » TMT » Machine Learning »


Fall 2021 - Astro 180 - Astrophysics Lab

Winter 2022 - Physics 180M - Machine Learning for Physical Sciences Lab

Short Bio

I got my undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astrophysics at UC Berkeley in 2004 and my PhD at UCLA in 2010. I was a TMT postdoctoral fellow at UC Irvine until 2012, when I joined the Dunlap Institute as a Dunlap Fellow until 2014. I returned to UCLA in 2015 as a research scientist and joined the Physics and Astronomy Department faculty in 2020.

For more information, please see my CV.

CV / Publications

View CV » Publications List » Download Thesis »

Advising and Mentoring

Grad Students

  • Rory Bentley
  • Zhuo Chen (co-advising with Andrea Ghez)
  • Evan Jones
  • Rebecca Lewis
  • Kelly Kosmo O'Neil (co-advising with Andrea Ghez)
  • Grant Weldon


  • Matt Hosek
  • Devin Chu
  • Bernie Boscoe (now a Visiting Assistant Professor at Occidental College)


  • Alex Chen (graduated)
  • Ethan Cohran (graduated)
  • Nissia Indradjaja
  • Zooey Nguyen
  • Yujie Wan (graduated)