Mustapha Ishak-Boushaki

Professor - Physics
SCI 3.257K
Personal Research Webpage
Tags: Physics cosmology astrophysics general relativity

Professional Preparation

Research Associate - Cosmology
Princeton University - 2005
Ph.D. - Cosmology
Queen's University at Kingston, Canada - 2002
B.S. - Physics
University of Montreal - 1998
B.A.Sc - Computer Science
University at Quebec of Montreal - 1994

Research Areas

Research Interests
  • Origin/cause of the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe: Cosmological Constant, Dark Energy, Extensions to General Relativity.
  • Testing gravity (General Relativity) at cosmological scales 
  • Testing Dark Energy versus Modified Gravity at Cosmological Scales.
  • Gravitational Lensing and applications to cosmology; Intrinsic Alignments of Galaxies.
  • Constraining cosmological parameters and cosmological models using probes such as gravitational lensing, the cosmic microwave background (CMB), and supernova searches. 
  • Inhomogeneous Cosmological Models and Averaging Problem in Cosmology 
  • Selected topics in General Relativity and Exact Solutions to Einstein's Equations 
  • Projects at the intersection of modern cosmology and General Relativity
  • Junction conditions for matching spacetimes and constructing wormholes and thin-shells 
  • Computer algebra (symbolic computing) and application to cosmology and General Relativity 


First detection of the GI-type of intrinsic alignments of galaxies using the self-calibration   method in a photometric galaxy survey.  Eske M. Pedersen, Ji Yao, Mustapha Ishak, Pengjie Zhang. Astrophysical Journal Letters 899 L5 (2020). arXiv:1911.01614   2020 - publications
Separating the Intrinsic Alignment Signal and the Lensing Signal using Self-Calibration in Photo-z Surveys with KiDS450 and KV450 Data. Ji Yao, Eske M. Pedersen, Mustapha Ishak, Pengjie Zhang, Anish Agashe, Haojie Xu, Huanyuan Shan.  Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomy Society 495 (2020) 3900. arXiv:1911.01582 2020 - publications
Cosmological discordances III: more on measure properties, Large-Scale-Structure constraints, the Hubble constant and Planck.  Cristhian Garcia-Quintero, Mustapha Ishak, Logan Fox, Weikang Lin.  Physical Review D 100 (2019) 123538. arXiv:1910.01608.  2019 - Publication
ISiTGR: Testing deviations from GR at cosmological scales including dynamical dark energy, massive neutrinos, functional or binned parametrizations, and spatial curvature.  Cristhian Garcia-Quintero, Mustapha Ishak, Logan Fox, Jason Dossett. Physical Review D 100 (2019) 103530. arXiv:1908.00290  2019 - Publication
Core Cosmology Library: Precision Cosmological Predictions for LSST.  Nora Elisa Chisari et al. Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 241, 1 (2019) 2-40. arXiv:1812.05995 2019 - Publication
Testing General Relativity at Cosmological Scales, Mustapha Ishak.Invited review article in Living Reviews in Relativity 22, 1-204. (2019) 2019 - Publication
Self-calibration method for II and GI types of intrinsic alignments, Ji Yao, Mustapha Ishak, Michael Troxel.  Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 483, 1, 276 (2018). 2018 - Publication
Cosmological discordances: a new measure, marginalization effects, and application to geometry vs growth current data sets, Weikang Lin, Mustapha Ishak. Physical Review D 96, 023532 (2017). 2017 - Publication
Cosmological discordances. II. Hubble constant, Planck and large-scale structure data sets, Weikang Lin, Mustapha Ishak. Physical Review D 96, 083532 (2017).  2017 - Publication
Effects of Self-Calibration of Intrinsic Alignment on Cosmological Parameter Constraints from Future Cosmic Shear Surveys, Ji Yao, Mustapha Ishak, Weikang Lin, M. A. Troxel. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 1710, 056 (2017).  2017 - Publication


The University of Texas at Dallas [2015–Present]
Associate Professor
The University of Texas at Dallas [2011–2015]
Assistant Professor
The University of Texas at Dallas [2005–2011]
Research Associate
Princeton University [2003–2005]
Princeton University [2003–2004]
Teaching Assistant
Queen's University [1998–2000]
Research Assistant
Queen's University [1998–2002]


Department of Energy Excellence Award for DESI (Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument) Collaboration Team - Department of Energy [2021]
President's Teaching Excellence Award - University of Texas at Dallas [2021]
Collaboration Builder Status Recognition - Legacy Survey of Space and Time – Dark Energy Science Collaboration [2020]
NSM Dean's Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award - University of Texas at Dallas [2018]
Robert S. Hyer Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Research - Texas Section, American Physics Society [2013]
NSM Dean's Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award - University of Texas at Dallas [2007]
Postdoctoral Fellowship for Excellence in Research and Leadership - Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) [2002]

Additional Information

Other recognitions and honors

  • Journal Paper voted by the Editorial Board of Classical and Quantum Gravity Journal as one of the journal's highlights of 2002. Article title: Interactive Geometric Database, Including Exact Solutions of Einstein's Field Equations, Mustapha Ishak and Kayll Lake, Classical and Quantum Gravity 19, 505 (2002). 

  • Journal paper selected by Chief Editor Gerardus 't Hooft (Nobel Laureate in Physics 1999) as one of the highlights of 2008 of the Foundation of Physics Journal. Article title: Remarks on the formulation of the cosmological constant/dark energy questions. Mustapha Ishak. Foundation of physics Journal, 37:1470-1498,2007. 

  •  Journal paper highlighted at Physical Review Letters as Editors' suggestion and selected for a synopsis in Spotlighting Exceptional Research in Physics (2013) website of the American Physical Society. "Stringent Restriction from the Growth of Large-Scale Structure on Apparent Acceleration in Inhomogeneous Cosmological Models", Mustapha Ishak, Austin Peel, and M. A. Troxel. Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 251302 (2013).

  • Invited review article in the prestigious Living Reviews in Relativity journal to cover the topic of "Testing General Relativity at Cosmological Scales." Living Reviews in Relativity 22 (2019) 1-204. arXiv:1806.10122. 

  • Opening plenary talk in 2019 for the Centennial International Conference celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 1919 famous solar-eclipse expedition and experiment that confirmed the theory of General Relativity of Einstein. The conference took place in the town of Sobral in Brazil in May 2019 (exactly 100 years after the original expedition of 2019), where, at the time, the geographical location of the town allowed the best measurement of the deflection of light by the Sun during the eclipse. A key element is that Einstein’s theory of gravity predicts a deflection of light twice the size of that predicted by Newton’s gravity, and the Sobral’s measurement confirmed exactly that! The result in 1919 was a turning point in history confirming for good the theory of General Relativity of Einstein. The event in 2019 was sponsored by the International Union of Astronomy, involved many physics and astronomy societies, and was echoed all over the world, reaching the New York Times and the Washington Post. The event was a real journey thru space and time. 


Professional societies
1. Member of the American Physical Society (1998-present)
2. Member of the American Astronomical Society (2003-present)
3. Member of American Association for the Advancement of Science (2016-present)
4. Member of the Legacy Survey of Space and Time – Dark Energy Science Collaboration (2013-present)
5. Member of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Survey (DESI) Collaboration
6. Member of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society (2006-2015)
Current graduate students:
1. Anish Agashe (graduation expected in 2022).
2. Cristhian Garcia Quintero (graduation expected in 2023).
3. Leonel Medina Varela (graduation expected in 2024)
4. Yunan Xie (graduation expected in 2025)
Graduated Ph.D. Students:
1. James Richardson (graduated in May 2008). Working in the corporate sector
2. Jacob Moldenhaeur (graduated in May 2010). Assistant Professor and Acting Chair at Physics Department, University of Dallas, TX.
3. Anthony Nwankwo (graduated in May 2011). Working in the corporate sector.
4. Jason Dossett (graduated in May 2013). Research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses, Washington, DC
5. Michael Troxel (graduated in May 2014). Assistant Professor of Physics, Duke University.
6. Austin Peel (graduated in May 2015). Postdoctoral Research Position in Astrophysics at Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.
7. Tharake Wijenayake (graduated in May 2016). Working as Senior Analyst in the corporate sector at Zack’s Investment, Chicago, IL.
8. Ji Yao (graduated in May 2018). Working as postdoctoral research fellow at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
9. Weikang Lin (graduated in August 2018). Working as postdoctoral research fellow at North Carolina State University.
10. Eske Pedersen (graduated in 2021). Working as Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University
Masters students supervised
1. Chris Allison
2. Jeffrey Scott>
3. Brian Troup 
4. Delilah Whittington
5. John Thompson
6. Lee Caps