Dr Will Meierjurgen Farr

Dr Will Meierjurgen Farr

School of Physics and Astronomy
Birmingham Fellow

Contact details

School of Physics and Astronomy
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Will M. Farr is a Birmingham Fellow in the School of Physics and Astronomy.

Will is a theoretical astrophysicist with interests in astrostatistics, the gravitational dynamics of exoplanets and dense stellar systems, gravitational waves, compact object evolution, computational astrophysics, and general relativity.  

He is an enthusiastic programming language polyglot, and has contributed software to many astronomical projects.



  • PhD in Physics, 2010
  • BS in Physics, 2003


Will was born in Oregon, in the United States.  He received his BS in Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 2003 and a PhD in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010.  From 2009 to 2011 he was a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern University, and from 2011 to 2013, he was a CIERA fellow at Northwestern’s Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics.  He came to Birmingham in 2013.  This is his first job outside the US, and he is enjoying exploring the United Kingdom.


Planetary Astronomy and Extrasolar Planets

Postgraduate supervision

  • Gravitational Wave Data Analysis
  • Secular Dynamics
  • Exoplanet Population Inference


  • Astrostatistics
  • Exoplanet Dynamics
  • Gravitational waves
  • Compact objects
  • Computational astrophysics


  • J. Veitch, V. Raymond, B. Farr, W. M. Farr, et al.  Parameter estimation for compact binaries with ground-based gravitational-wave observations using the LALInference software library. PRD, 91:042003, 2015, arXiv:1409.7215
  • Singer, L, et al.  The First Two Years of Electromagnetic Follow-up with Advanced LIGO and Virgo.  ApJ, 795:105, 2014, arXiv:1404.5623
  • S. Naoz, W. M. Farr, Y. Lithwick, F. A. Rasio, and J. Teyssandier. Hot Jupiters from secular planet-planet interactions. Nature, 473:187–189, May 2011, arXiv:1011.2501
  • F. Valsecchi, E. Glebbeek, W. M. Farr, T. Fragos, B. Willems, J. A. Orosz, J. Liu, and V. Kalogera. Formation of the black-hole binary M33 X-7 through mass exchange in a tight massive system. Nature, 468:77–79, November 2010, arXiv:1010.4809
  • W. M. Farr, N. Sravan, A. Cantrell, L. Kreidberg, C. D. Bailyn, I. Mandel, and V. Kalogera. The Mass Distribution of Stellar-mass Black Holes. ApJ, 741:103, November 2011, arXiv:1011.1459
  • S. Naoz, W. M. Farr, and F. A. Rasio. On the Formation of Hot Jupiters in Stellar Binaries. ApJL, 754:L36, August 2012, arXiv:1206.3529
  • Gerald J. Sussman and Jack Wisdom with Will M. Farr. Functional Differential Geometry. MIT Press, 2013