|Growing up during the 1970s and 1980s, Andrew Bender developed a passion for science, especially astronomy, by reading about science and science fiction, and watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos TV series as a child. Although slowed by medical complications including chronic lower back pain from an accident resulting in a spinal cord injury, Bender received his baccalaureate degree in astronomy from Vassar College in 2000, and was the first student in a wheelchair to live on campus at Vassar.
Since then, Bender has been independently studying string theory and cosmology, and has spent thousands of hours expanding and experimenting on his mental models of the universe. Simulations of these models include membrane collisions, creating new universes, and discovering ways to transfer energy directly from membrane collisions to individual “virtual” strings within each membrane.
With his hypothesis for a Membrane Theory of Gravity, he has "put the icing on the cake" of Ed Witten's M-Theory, explaining dark matter and dark energy, and how our universe began and will end.
|While at Vassar College, Bender wrote his Senior Thesis: Blue Stragglers in the Outer Regions of Globular Cluster M3, where he discovered 34 new blue straggler star candidates in the outer regions of the cluster.
He also researched and presented earlier versions of this work at several summer research programs. Originally he presented his work at Vassar College's URSI summer research program, and later he presented his work at the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium's annual symposium at Colgate University in the late '90s.
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