Dr. Janet Hanula Akyüz Mattei
Born: January 2, 1943, Bodrum, Turkey.
Died: March 22, 2004, Boston, Massachusetts.
Baruh Akyüz - father (deceased)
Bulisa (Notrika Ishbir) Akyüz - mother (Izmir, Turkey)
Brothers: Yusef Akyüz (Sudbury, MA), Hayim Akyüz (Izmir, Turkey)
Sisters: Kadem ?enkal (Istanbul, Turkey), Beki Notrika (Tel Aviv, Israel)
B.A., General Science, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, 1965; M.S., Astronomy, Ege University, Turkey, 1970; M.S., Astronomy, University of Virginia, 1972; Ph.D., Astronomy, Ege University, Turkey, 1982.
Director (1973-2004), American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), a non-profit, scientific and educational organization founded in 1911, whose main purpose is the collection and dissemination of observations and analyses of variable stars, and coordination of professional and amateur astronomer involvement towards this effort.
Dr. Janet A. Mattei was an internationally recognized astronomer specializing in the field of variable stars, particularly eruptive (cataclysmic) and pulsating (long period) variables. As the Director of the AAVSO, she was responsible for the quality control of over 450,000 observations per year, submitted by observers--mostly amateur astronomers--worldwide. She coordinated over 600 observing programs between amateur and professional astronomers using large, ground-based telescopes in well-known observatories and space satellites. She provided observations from the AAVSO International Database for over 600 projects for multi-wavelength data correlation. She was keenly interested in education and she provided guidance in setting up over 200 observing programs in schools and for student science projects. She was the principal investigator of two NASA-funded IDEA grants for the AAVSO education program: "Partnership in Astronomy" and co-director of AAVSO's major education project: Hands-On Astrophysics: Variable Stars in Math, Science, and Computer Education, funded by the National Science Foundation. She played a key role in amateur astronomers being given observing time on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and served in the working group to choose the amateur astronomers who would observe with HST from 1986 to 1995. Dr. Mattei published over 180 papers on variable stars and related topics, mostly in refereed journals, and abstracted in Astronomy and Astrophysics Abstracts.
Honors and awards:
Wien International Scholarship, Brandeis University, 1962-1965; Centennial Medal for Leadership in Variable Stars, Societe Astronomique de France, 1987; George Van Biesbroeck Award for Leadership of the AAVSO and service to astronomy, American Astronomical Society, 1993; Leslie Peltier Award for Leadership of the AAVSO and contributions to variable star astronomy, Astronomical League, 1993; first Giovanni Battista Lacchini Award for collaboration with amateur astronomers, Unione Astrofili Italiani, 1995; Jackson-Gwilte medal of the Royal Astronomical Society for Leadership of the AAVSO and Contributions to Variable Star Research, U.K., 1995; honorary membership, Astronomical Society of Southern Africa, 2002.
International Astronomical Union (IAU); American Astronomical Society; Astronomical Society of the Pacific; American Association of Variable Star Observers; Maria Mitchell Association.
International Astronomical Union (IAU): Commission 27: Variable Stars, 1979-2004; Organizing Committee, 1991-1997; Commission 42: Close Binary Stars, 1979-2004; Commission 6: Astronomical Telegrams, 2000-2004. American Astronomical Society: Annenberg Award Committee, 1994-1997. Astronomical Society of the Pacific: Board of Directors, 1994-2000; Awards Committee 1994-1999. NASA Astrophysics Division Science Operations Management Operations Working Group, 1988-1991. Hubble Space Telescope Amateur Astronomers Working Group, 1985-1995. "An Education Initiative in Astronomy" Workshop, instituted by the National Science Academy and sponsored by NASA, 1990, Invited Participant.