Tiffany Nichols

Legacy Survey of Space and Time Discovery Alliance (LSST-DA) Catalyst Fellow; Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellow
115 Dickinson Hall

Tiffany Nichols focuses on the intersection of the history of physics and astrophysics, environmental history, science and technology studies, and legal history. Nichols holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and JD from the University of Virginia and an AM and PhD in History of Science from Harvard University. She also has extensive practice experience in intellectual property litigation and related areas of law. Nichols is currently a LSST-DA Catalyst Fellow and a Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Departments of History and Astrophysical Sciences.

Current Project

Nichols is writing a book based on her dissertation providing the history of how physicists understand noise and disturbances originating from the natural and built environment and its effects on highly precise and sensitive instruments, such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).

Selected Publications

“Hidden in Plain Sight: Discerning Signal from Noise in the Expanded Laboratory Environment,” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, 54, no. 3 (2024): 335-364.

“Patenting Automation of Race and Ethnicity Classifications: Protecting Neutral Technology or Disparate Treatment by Proxy?” In Abstractions and Embodiments: Histories of Computing and Society, edited by Janet Abbate and Stephanie Dick. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2022. (Open access version provided by the MIT Case Studies in Social and Ethical Responsibilities of Computing).

Area of Interest
History of Physics and Astrophysics
Intellectual Property