Jason Steffen

Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Expertise: Astronomy, Exoplanets, Cosmology, Dark matter and energy, Gravitation, General physics


Jason Steffen works in the field of exoplanets — planets that orbit distant stars. He has been a member of the science team for NASA's Kepler mission.  He continues to analyze data from that mission to understand the properties of planets and planetary systems. He also worked on projects related to dark matter, dark energy, and gravity.

Steffen is originally from Utah and attended graduate school in Seattle. Before coming to UNLV, he was the Lindheimer Fellow at Northwestern University and the Brinson Fellow at Fermilab outside of Chicago.

In addition to his work in astrophysics, he is known for the Steffen Method, a procedure to efficiently board passengers on an airplane.


  • Ph.D. in Physics, University of Washington, Seattle
  • B.S. in Physics and Mathematic, Weber State University

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Jason Steffen In The News

Shaving mere minutes off flight times might seem trivial on paper, but it can result in huge savings for airlines.
More than 800 airport hospitality workers walked off the job this morning, demanding better wages. It’s all happening on one of the busiest and most stressful travel days of the year. Millions of people will pass through LAX this Thanksgiving weekend.
One of the major US airlines is changing its boarding process to make it faster. But it could be even faster
NBC Washington
Nothing drives away the holiday spirit -- and drives up blood pressure -- quite like a crowd of people trying to board an airplane, stow their carry-ons, and slide past each other to their middle seats before their flight takes off. A new boarding method that United Airlines rolled out last month has people thinking about all that lost time in new, excruciating detail. And while United claims their new boarding method will ease frustrations, a physics professor in Las Vegas says he has an even more efficient way.

Articles Featuring Jason Steffen

A plane lowers its landing gear.
Research | December 4, 2023

We checked in with UNLV astrophysicist Jason Steffen about his zippy method for boarding an aircraft and what kind of differences it can make.

The Las Vegas skyline (Josh Hawkins, UNLV).
Campus News | December 4, 2023

A collection of news stories highlighting UNLV’s dedication to community and research.

Spooky season at UNLV (Becca Schwartz\UNLV).
Campus News | November 1, 2023

A chilling collection of news stories focused on research, expert insights, and academic achievement.