Charles Bailyn is the Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University. He received his undergraduate degree from Yale and did graduate work at Cambridge University and Harvard University, receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1987. His Ph.D. thesis on X-ray emitting binary stars received the Trumpler award for best North American Ph.D. thesis in astronomy. After three years as a member of Harvard's Society of Fellows, he returned to Yale as a faculty member in 1990, and has been there ever since. He is the author of over one hundred refereed research papers, focusing primarily on the observational study of black holes and related sources of X-rays, and on the study of dense star clusters and the consequences of collisions between stars. Professor Bailyn has carried out research with a wide variety of ground and space-based telescopes, and currently serves as the Principal Scientist of the Small and Moderate Aperture Research Telescope System (SMARTS) which operates four telescopes in Chile.
In addition to his research work, Professor Bailyn has developed innovative teaching methods in science courses for non-scientists, and has recently led a re-examination of all of Yale's courses of this kind. In 2004 he was awarded the Dylan Hixon Prize, Yale's highest honor for teaching excellence in the natural sciences.