Alan Marscher

Professor of Astronomy College of Arts & Sciences

Professor Marscher has taught a number of Astronomy courses for non-majors, majors, and graduate students while at Boston University. Nearly every year for the past decade, Alan has taught AS109 Cosmology, an introductory course for mostly non-science majors. He has written a textbook for the course entitled From Nothing to Everything: The Story of Our Universe, the e-book version of which you can download for free. His effort while writing and updating the book has been partially supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

During most years from 1989 to 2014, Professor Marscher taught in the Core Curriculum of the College of Arts and Sciences. The course was CC 105, The Evolution of the Universe and the Earth. He was the lead architect of the course, but a number of other professors contributed substantially. For many years, including 2013 and 2014, he was the lead instructor of the course. In 2013-2014 Professor Marscher also served as an associate director of the Core program. His textbook From Nothing to Everything: The Story of Our Universe served as the text for the course in 2013 and 2014. It is being adapted for the revised Core science courses.

Professor Marscher also composes pop songs for the course and performs them in his lectures. He has recorded, and converted to MP3 format for downloading, a number of my science songs. He also performs the songs at astronomical meetings and parties, and at the annual College of Arts and Sciences/Core Curriculum Talent Review. He has composed and recorded several dozen other songs unrelated to science as well. Most of these are available at

Professor Marscher is the proud recipient of a 2014 Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching by Boston University. Earlier, in 1998, he was honored with the Gitner Award for Distinguished Teaching by the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1999, Phi Beta Kappa, Epsilon chapter of Massachusetts at Boston University bestowed him with honorary membership. In 2003, he was given the honorary title of Distinguished Member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.