Kendrick Smith

Kendrick Smith's picture

Area of Research:
Phone: x7571


University of Waterloo

PhD students who wish to be supervised by Perimeter Institute faculty normally apply through the PSI program. To apply directly to a PhD program, students should submit an application to the Physics and Astronomy Department at the University of Waterloo.

Students interested in pursuing an MSc degree should apply to Perimeter Institute's PSI program.

Research Interests

I am a "data-oriented" cosmologist: my work is a mixture of theoretical physics,
phenomenology, computational physics, statistics, and data analysis. I have been
a member of several large experiments: the WMAP and Planck cosmic microwave background
(CMB) satellites, the CAPMAP and QUIET CMB experiments, and recently the HSC survey,
a new experiment to observe distant galaxies using a new camera on the 8-meter Subaru
telescope. Outside the these experiments, my best-known work is on CMB data analysis
and phenomenology, including a classification of observable signals from self-interactions
of the inflaton, and the first detection of gravitational lensing in the CMB.
Recently, I have been interested in problems in cosmological large-scale structure,
for example simulating initial conditions for N-body simulations with quantum mechanically
generated initial conditions, in interacting models of inflation such as DBI inflation.

Positions Held

  • 2012-2013: Spitzer Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University and Faculty, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (joint affiliation)
  • 2009-2012: Spitzer Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University
  • 2007-2009: STFC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cambridge
  • 2002-2007: PhD student, University of Chicago


  • 2012: I was co-awarded (with the rest of the WMAP Science Team) the Gruber Cosmology Prize, an international prize given once per year to an individual or team ``whose groundbreaking work provides new models that inspire and enable fundamental shifts in knowledge and culture''.
  • 2009: Spitzer Postdoctoral Fellowship at Princeton University, awarded once per year to ``a top theoretical postdoctoral astronomer''.
  • 2007: STFC (UK Science and Technology Facilities Council) Postdoctoral Fellowship, awarded to twelve recent PhDs (across all scientific fields) to pursue postdoctoral research in the UK.
  • 2006: Bloomenthal Fellowship, awarded once per year to ``the best graduate student in theoretical physics with advanced residency status'' at the University of Chicago.
  • 2002: McCormick Doctoral Fellowship, awarded to ``the highest rated applicants to the Ph.D. program of the Department of Physics'' at the University of Chicago.

Recent Publications

  • L. Boyle, K. M. Smith, C. Dvorkin, N. Turok, ``On testing and extending the inflationary consistency relation for tensor modes'', arXiv: 1408.3129 [astro-ph].
  • S. Ferraro, K. M. Smith, ``Using Large Scale Structure to Test Multifield Inflation'', arXiv: 1408.3126
  • S. R. Behbahani, M. Mirbabayi, L. Senatore, K. M. Smith, ``New natural shapes of non-Gaussianity from high-derivative interactions and their optimal limits from WMAP 9-year data'', arXiv: 1407.7042 [astro-ph].
  • L. Boyle, J. Y. Khoo, K. M. Smith, ``Symmetric Satellite Swarms and Choreographic Crystals'', arXiv: 1407.5876


  • August 2014: ``Primordial non-Gaussianity in the CMB and large-scale structure'', invited seminar, University of British Columbia
  • June 2014: ``Non-Gaussianity post Planck and BICEP2'', invited plenary talk, conference at Brookhaven
  • January 2014: ``Simulating non-Gaussian initial conditions'', invited conference talk, Princeton
  • December 2013: ``Semiclassical integration with MCMC'', invited seminar, University of Toronto
  • September 2013: ``Primordial non-Gaussianity in the CMB and large-scale structure'', invited conference talk, KIPAC-10 conference at Stanford.
  • August 2013: ``Primordial non-Gaussianity in the CMB and large-scale structure'', invited plenary talk, conference in Leiden.