On January 11, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) announced that the 2024 Helen B. Warner Prize for observational or theoretical research by a young astronomer was won by Carl Rodriguez. Currently an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Prof. Rodriguez completed his PhD in 2016 from Northwestern University, working with CIERA Prof. Fred Rasio on the evolution of star clusters and the formation of binary black holes.
Rodriguez won the Helen B. Warner Prize for fundamental advances on the astrophysical origin of gravitational-wave sources. Rodriguez discerned how repeat mergers of black holes and stars in dense clusters would lead to the existence of massive black holes, a prediction later verified by gravitational-wave detectors. His work has opened new directions in research into gravitational-wave sources and their connection to the formation of both star clusters and galaxies.