Fellows

Recently, a great team of researchers joined the DIRAC Institute. We would like to welcome James Davenport, Bryce Bolin, Zack Golkhou, and Gwendolyn Eadie. Sarah Greenwood will join us in January 2018.

Fellow
Bryce is an Asteroid Institute Associate. The main focus of his academic studies has been the dynamical processes that affect small body populations in the solar system and how these Read More
Bryce BolinFellow

Bryce is an Asteroid Institute Associate. The main focus of his
academic studies has been the dynamical processes that affect small
body populations in the solar system and how these dynamical processes
affect the population that we see. He uses observational and numerical
modeling approaches on topics such as the evolution of asteroid
families older than two billion years, the collisional history of Main
Belt Asteroids and Near Earth Asteroids, the strength of the Yarkovsky
effect on asteroids’ orbits, asteroids’ thermal and rotational
properties and the photometric characterization of asteroids and
comets.

Fellow
My research falls in the category of astrostatistics, an interdisciplinary field of astronomy and statistics. On the astronomy side, I am interested in properties of the Milky Way Galaxy such as Read More
Gwendolyn EadieFellow

My research falls in the category of astrostatistics, an interdisciplinary field of astronomy and statistics. On the astronomy side, I am interested in properties of the Milky Way Galaxy such as its mass, amount of dark matter, stellar populations, globular cluster population, and central nuclear star cluster. On the statistics side, I am interested in Bayesian hierarchical modelling, Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques, and in general, implementing and developing modern statistical methods to and for astronomical problems.

Fellow
My background in experimental astrophysics has taught me that the best approach to making a major breakthrough is to develop new instruments and invent new technologies that open up possibilities Read More
Ian SullivanFellow

My background in experimental astrophysics has taught me that the best approach to making a major breakthrough is to develop new instruments and invent new technologies that open up possibilities for research. As a Research Scientist at the University of Washington, I have taken that philosophy to the field of radio astronomy, where I have led the development of a new end-to-end imaging algorithm for radio telescopes called Fast Holographic Deconvolution (FHD). With FHD, we have designed an imaging and deconvolution pipeline to detect the first stars and galaxies to ever form in the universe through the power spectrum of the faint diffuse radio background, but it has also opened up exciting new research opportunities to study the nearby universe, from the diffuse structure of the Milky Way to nebulae and surveys of radio galaxies.

As a PhD student at Caltech, I approached the problem of detecting the earliest stars from a different angle. While the detectable signal at radio wavelengths is emission from neutral Hydrogen outside the pockets where the first stars formed, the ultraviolet-peaked radiation from those first stars will have been redshifted to the near-infrared today and should be detectable in the power spectrum of the infrared background. To this aim, we designed and built the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment (CIBER), a suite of two wide-field infrared cameras and two spectrometers on board a NASA sounding rocket. As the senior graduate student, I was actively involved in every aspect of the project, from initial design and fabrication, through calibration and preparation for flight, to writing the full pipeline for analysis of flight data from the imagers. During that time, I worked with deep survey data from the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to refine the analysis techniques, and published results that challenged the reported detection of a signal from the first stars in the infrared background from those data.

Fellow
James Davenport is currently a NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow, working on stellar magnetic activity using time domain surveys such as Kepler and TESS. He received his PhD in Read More
James DavenportFellow

James Davenport is currently a NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow, working on stellar magnetic activity using time domain surveys such as Kepler and TESS. He received his PhD in astronomy in 2015 from the University of Washington, and will be joining DIRAC full-time as a Research Scientist to study stellar ages and variability in large scale surveys. Check his work here.

Fellow
I am a research scientist at the University of Washington, working in the Data Management/Alerts Pipeline team of the LSST. I completed my doctorate in June 2010 at Drexel University, in Read More
John ParejkoFellow

I am a research scientist at the University of Washington, working in the Data Management/Alerts Pipeline team of the LSST. I completed my doctorate in June 2010 at Drexel University, in Philadelphia, PA. I use large galaxy surveys to study galaxy evolution and the history and fate of the Universe. The picture above is of me filling the liquid nitrogen dewer of the Goldcam spectrometer on the 2.1m telescope at Kitt Peakduring my first PI observing run.

As with most things I do, there’s a lot of color around here, but not much substance.

Fellow
I am a software engineer affiliated with the LSST project’s data management group. I work to help ensure that LSST will be able to quickly and reliably process its own Read More
Krzysztof FindeisenFellow

I am a software engineer affiliated with the LSST project’s data management group. I work to help ensure that LSST will be able to quickly and reliably process its own flood of data. I’ve previously worked on other large surveys, particularly Gaia and the Palomar Transient Factory.

Fellow
I’m currently working with the LSST’s data management group on the alert production pipeline.  In graduate school I studied galaxy evolution and formation through studies of faint gas and stars Read More
Maria PattersonFellow

I’m currently working with the LSST’s data management group on the alert production pipeline.  In graduate school I studied galaxy evolution and formation through studies of faint gas and stars in galaxy outskirts from deep optical and radio data. My dissertation focused on characterizing star formation in galaxy outer disks and the role of accretion of gas and faint companions in galaxy evolution. As a postdoc, I worked on data intensive analysis pipelines in the cloud before returning to astronomy to work on the LSST transient alert stream.

Fellow
I currently work with the LSST Data Management team as a Project Science Analyst. My main research focus is supernovae, especially those of Type Ia. I completed a Bachelors of Read More
Melissa GrahamFellow

I currently work with the LSST Data Management team as a Project Science Analyst. My main research focus is supernovae, especially those of Type Ia.

I completed a Bachelors of Science with Honours and a Specialization in Astrophysics at Queen’s University in Kingston ON Canada, with a Junior year abroad at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Astrophysics at the University of Victoria in Victoria BC Canada. After a joint postdoctoral fellowship at UC Santa Barbara and the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (www.LCOGT.net) I moved to a senior postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley and then joined the the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope team at the University of Washington as a research staff scientist in 2016.

Fellow
V. Zach Golkhou is a Moore-Sloan and WRF Fellow at the University of Washington. He studies the origin of high-energy astrophysical transients, particularly Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs), and using such transients as Read More
V. Zach GolkhouFellow
V. Zach Golkhou is a Moore-Sloan and WRF Fellow at the University of Washington. He studies the origin of high-energy astrophysical transients, particularly Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs), and using such transients as astrophysical probes. He is also an experimentalist focusing on robotic telescopes, data mining, and novel technologies for transient detection and follow-up.
 
His Ph.D. research has been on the application of advanced computational and statistical techniques to optimally extract knowledge to astronomical data with a focus on transient phenomena such as GRBs and Supernovae. He has studied astrophysical explosions across the electromagnetic spectrum and beyond: constraining the sizes of GRB progenitors through gamma-ray analyses, studying the early Universe with optical/NIR GRB afterglow follow-up campaigns, searching for SN in extreme star-forming galaxies, hunting for the elusive electromagnetic counterparts of advanced LIGO Gravity Wave sources.