Advising, Workshops, Meetings
As a postdoc I've advised several students, all of whom also taught me a lot along the way.
At Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena this summer (2018), I am working with undergraduate Stephanie Striegel of San Jose State University on analyzing some high-cadence radial velocity observations taken with Magellan/PFS. The PFS team took these observations last year to help determine ``the best'' observing strategy in terms of exposure time and observation grouping, to achieve the best RV precision and increase our ability to detect planets. We have a guess at the answer, but no such empirical study has been done before on RV observations (this paper by Dumusque et al. was our inspiration, but uses ``synthetic'' RV measurements). As we also guessed, high-cadence observations tend to reveal planets, so Stephanie will also be writing up a new planet detection or two this summer. Look out for her graduate school applications this winter!
Additionally this summer, I am working with Erin Flowers, a graduate student at Princeton University. Carnegie Observatories has a great partnership with Princeton where graduate students can spend the summer doing research with someone at Carnegie. Erin is working on a project that has been on my list for years -- analyzing our iodine-free ``template'' spectra from PFS to derive stellar parameters, radii, and perhaps more detailed abundances. Look out for Erin at the Sagan Summer Workshop in July!
From left to right, Erin, me, and Stephanie during our trip to Mt. Wilson with Upward Bound high school students in July 2018. This photo was taken on the catwalk of the 100'' Telescope, where Edwin Hubble made some of the most influential discoveries in astronomy.
Over the summer of 2017 at Carnegie Observatories, I worked with Bryce Van Ross, an undergradute student from Pasadena City College, now at Cal State LA. You can see his end-of-summer research talk, summarizing his work on Gaussian process regression of stellar activity indicators measured from RV spectra, here. A few weeks after the summer program ended, Bryce was the only undergraduate to give a talk at ExSoCal! Bryce presented his research at the 2018 Winter AAS meeting, and is interning at NASA Ames in the summer of 2018.
From left to right, Bryce, me, Jeff Rich, and Cal State East Bay undergraduate student Aracely Cobos (another of our undergraduate interns over the summer in 2017), after Bryce and Aracely presented at the CAMPARE Symposium in August.
During all of 2017 I worked with Rachel Johnson, a post-baccalaureate from the University of Toledo, whom I met while she was interning at NASA Ames. Rachel recently accepted a graduate admissions offer in the Physics and Astronomy at the University of Denver, and her work appears in our paper about the effects of stellar companions on the exoplanet radius distribution here.
While at Carnegie DTM, in the spring of 2015 I worked with Ryan Hubbard from Howard University worked with me for a semester, after which he was accepted as a rising sophomore to the University of Wisconsin-Madison REU program. Now Ryan is a graduate student at in the University of Michigan Applied Physics program, so cool! In the fall of 2015 and spring of 2016 I worked with University of Maryland undergraduate Junellie Gonzalez Quiles in a year-long project (check her out below, preparing our experiment for the piston cylinder, and here!), after which she was accepted to the Cornell REU program to work on exoplanet atmospheres with Lisa Kaltenegger! Look out for Junellie's published work soon.
I helped organize the !mpostor Syndrome workshop at the Winter 2015 AAS Meeting, and have since given a version of the workshop at Carnegie DTM and various other institutions.
Applying to graduate school in astronomy can be scary and confusing, at least it was for me. I put together a presentation of information and tips about this process, as well as some great resources created by many others, here. I also suggest reading Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein's posts here, here, and here.
One of the best experiences of my professional life was attending the Inclusive Astronomy meeting in June 2015 at Vanderbilt University. You can check out my Storify for more information and some of the discussions that occured at the meeting. I also keep a list of resources related to equity, inclusion, and diversity here.