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Richard P. Ditteon

Herman A. Moench Distinguished Professor and Professor of Physics and Optical Engineering

Dr. Richard Ditteon is the Herman A. Moench Distinguished Professor of Physics and Optical Engineering and director of the Oakley Observatory, which has locations on campus and in Australia. A Rose-Hulman alumnus, Dr. Ditteon is an expert in astronomy and geometrical optics and lens design. He is a recipient of the Board of Trustees Outstanding Scholar Award whose research activities cover asteroid astrometry and photometry, minor planet astrometry and photometry, variable star photometry, and searching for supernovae. Dr. Ditteon is co-director of the Accelerated Math Physics program, an intensive summer experience that allows outstanding incoming freshmen to complete several credits of calculus and physics in just five weeks, and has led Rose-Hulman’s Operation Catapult program, a summer program that allows high-school seniors to explore their STEM interests. 

Teaching Interests

  • Introductory physics
  • Special and general relativity
  • Theoretical mechanics
  • Astronomy and astrophysics
  • Celestial Mechanics

Research Experiences

  • Astronomy with small telescopes, particularly minor planet photometry
  • Astrometry

Select Publications & Presentations

  • Bohn, L., Hibbler, B., Stein, G. and Ditteon, R., "Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at the Oakley Southern Sky Observatory: 2014 September," Minor Planet Bulletin, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers, 42, 89, 2014
  • Hess, K. and Ditteon, R., "Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at the Oakley Southern Sky Observatory: 2015 February," Minor Planet Bulletin, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers, 43, 87, 2016
  • Michalik, D. and Ditteon, R., "Lightcurve Analysis of Asteroids Observed at the Oakley Southern Sky Observatory: 2015 November and December," Minor Planet Bulletin, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers, 43, 202, 2016
  • Black, S., Linville, D., Michalik, D., Wolf, M. and Ditteon, R., "Lightcurve Analysis of Asteroids Observed at the Oakley Southern Sky Observatory: December 2015-April 2016," in press
  • Hess, K., Bruner, D. M. and Ditteon, R., "Lightcurve Analysis of Asteroids Observed at the Oakley Southern Sky Observatory: December 2015-April 2016," submitted for publication
  • Ditteon, R., "Minor Planet Research at Rose-Hulman," Colloquium Presentation, Ball State University, 2015

Awards & Honors

  • Herman A. Moench Distinguished Professor, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 2016-Present

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, University of California at Los Angeles, Geophysics and Space Physics, 1982
  • MS, University of Illinois, Physics, 1976
  • BS, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Physics, 1974