Paul La Plante

Assistant Professor-in-Residence, Department of Computer Science
Faculty Researcher, Nevada Center for Astrophysics
Science Outreach Coordinator, Public Communication Initiative
Expertise: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Cosmology, Machine learning, Data science
Languages: English, Spanish


Paul La Plante researches astrophysics and cosmology, seeking the answers hidden at the origin of the universe. Two of his most prominent topics of study include Cosmic Dawn and Reionization, which is the era in the universe's history when the first stars and galaxies formed nearly 13 billion years ago.

La Plante has published many articles on simulations and theoretical studies of the early universe, and is a member of two major telescope collaborations: the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA), a radio telescope in South Africa, and the Simons Observatory, a microwave telescope in Chile.

His current work looks at improving methods for simulating the early universe, as well as better understanding the measurements from these telescopes. He is also interested in developing new machine learning techniques and applications for astrophysics and cosmology research.

In addition to research, he teaches data science courses in UNLV's Department of Computer Science and the Data Analytics program. La Plante also acts as the science outreach coordinator for the Public Communication Initiative at UNLV.


  • Ph.D., Physics, Carnegie Mellon University
  • B.S., Physics and Spanish, Loyola University Maryland

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Paul La Plante In The News

All stories start somewhere – even the incomprehensibly vast expanse above us has a beginning. Scientists have long studied the cosmos, searching for answers to the “how’s” and “why’s” of life, and that effort continues to this day.

Articles Featuring Paul La Plante

image from the James Webb telescope
People | June 16, 2023

From de facto time machines to the story behind your TV static, UNLV cosmologist and computer scientist Paul La Plante shares four facts you probably didn’t know about the universe.