Alissa Bans is a postdoctoral astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. She received her PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Chicago in 2013, and before that studied both astrophysics and mathematics as an undergraduate at University of Minnesota. She uses math and computational methods to study how solar systems form and evolve. In addition to astronomy research, part of her role at the Adler is engaging the public through education and outreach. She enjoys writing, singing, and playing music, and also doting on her two pet birds.