Named in honour of Derek Charles Richardson (b. 1968-02-01 in Vancouver, British Columbia), an expert on computational techniques who has made major contributions to the study of rubble piles, particularly their tidal distortion and their collisions. Richardson uses the n-body problem to investigate how asteroids interact, and how comets, planetary rings and planets form. The focus of his work involves combining gravity and collisional dynamics. Richardson did his undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia and received a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom in 1993. Richardson spent three years as a post-doctoral fellow at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, then three more years as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle, followed by another year there as a research assistant professor. In 2000, Richardson accepted a position as assistant professor at the University of Maryland at College Park.
The name was suggested by M. F. A'Hearn and P. Michel.
Reference: MPC 46107