While much of my professional background has revolved around computers and network security, my personal inspiration spans a broader range of science fiction, including the idea of a future with interstellar-scale human civilizations. One of the most common prerequisites for such a future is that of wide-scale asteroid mining and asteroid-based construction. Thus, given the opportunity, I now study binary members of asteroid families in the Solar System’s main belt as a graduate student here at the Institute for Astronomy.

I am also a software developer for Robo-AO at the UH 2.2 meter telescope. Conveniently, we expect this platform to be ideal for direct imaging main belt binary asteroids.


Ph.D. Topic

Topic: Mass Distributions of Binary Asteroids in Main Belt Families
Committee: Christoph Baranec(Chair), Bobby Bus, Rob Jedicke, Nader Haghighipour, Paul G. Lucey


  • (Co-Author) Large Adaptive Optics Survey for Substellar Objects around Young, Nearby, Low-mass Stars with Robo-AO, https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/ac0445
  • (Co-Author) An Adaptive Optics Census of Companions to Northern Stars Within 25 pc with Robo-AO, https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/ac53fc
  • Searching for Binary Asteroids in Pan-STARRS1 Archival Images, https://arxiv.org/abs/2206.10085 (accepted to PSJ)


Summer 2022 ISEE/Akamai Mentor Workshop

Spring 2018 (TA) ASTR 301 Observational Projects
Spring 2018 (TA) ASTR 110L Survey of Astronomy Lab
Fall 2017 (TA) ASTR 300 Observational Astronomy
Fall 2017 (TA) ASTR 300L Observational Astronomy Lab

Private Sector (2012-2014):
Introduction to Basic Malware Analysis
Introduction to Computer Programming


GenCyber 2016
Po’oihe Cyber Security Exercise IV CTF challenges
Po’oihe Cyber Security Exercise III Red Team

James Ou

Graduate Research Assistant
  • Dynamics of Main Belt Binary Asteroids
  • Robo-AO
IfA Hawaii island, 132