ABOUT ME

Hi there!  I'm a 5th-year graduate student at Harvard University.  I'm a Ph.D candidate in Astronomy and a Master of Science candidate in Computational Science and Engineering.  I'll be graduating this upcoming spring (2021).

For my research, I focus on surveying and modeling chemistry in protoplanetary disks.  Protoplanetary disks are disks of dust and gas orbiting young stars out in space.  Planets form from the dust and gas in these disks... so, by studying this chemistry, we can learn more about the chemistry of planet formation.

I'm also very interested in, and have been involved with, astronomy/science-related outreach.  I'm particularly passionate about making the astronomy and general science communities more equitable, accessible, and approachable for underrepresented minorities who want to join these fields.

Fun Fact: I write science-fiction novels as a hobby!  Stay tuned ~ I'm hoping to one day publish my latest work(s) for the whole world to read.

 

MY FULL CV

 

Click the button to the right to acquire a copy of my academic CV.  Scroll down this page to read highlights from my academic career.

EDUCATION AND INTERESTS

Undergraduate

Degrees

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

Graduation: May 2016

 

Bachelor of Arts in:

Astrophysical Sciences

Certificates of Proficiency in:

Applications of Computing

Robotics and Intelligent Systems

Graduate

Degrees

HARVARD UNIVERSITY

Expected Graduation: Spring 2021

Ph.D Candidate in:

Astronomy

Master of Science Candidate in:

Computational Science and Engneering

Research

Interests

Astronomy: Protoplanetary disks, planet formation, astrochemistry 

Computer Science: Programming, applications, software development

Artificial Intelligence: Utility, logic and decision-making, intelligent design

Outreach: Informal and beyond-the-classroom education, science communication

 

Relevant Graduate Coursework

in Astrophysics

  • Radiative Astrophysics

  • Stellar Astrophysics

  • Noise & Data Analysis

  • Interstellar Medium & Star Formation

  • Radio Astronomy

Relevant Graduate Coursework

in Computer Science

  • Advanced Machine Learning

  • Advanced Optimization

  • Systems Development (i.e., Software Development in Python)

  • Computing Foundations (Parallelization)

  • Advanced Scientific Computing: Numerical Methods

Technical

Skills

Coding Languages: Python, Java, MatLAB, R

Tools: LaTeX, GitHub, CASA

Linguistic Languages: English (fluent); Japanese (intermediate)

I'm always willing to learn new tools!

GRADUATE RESEARCH EXPERIENCES

Abstract Horizon

An ALMA Survey

of H2CO in Protoplanetary Disks

Published in ApJ!

I conducted a survey of the precursor molecule formaldehyde (H2CO) emission toward a sample of 15 protoplanetary disks.  To carry out this project, I developed and exercised a variety of observational and statistical skills, from data reduction, to statistically summarizing the data, to calculating chemical benchmarks across the sample. 

Abstract Horizon

An ALMA Survey

of Chemistry in

Low-Mass M-Star Disks

Submitted to ApJ!

I conducted a survey of carbon monoxide (CO) isotopologues and a suite of small organic molecules toward protoplanetary disks around low-mass M-stars.  For this project, I greatly expanded upon the toolset I built for my previous H2CO-specific survey of more massive protoplanetary disks.  I was even able to use techniques I'd picked up from my computer science classes to fit models to the hyperfine emission.

Abstract Horizon

Dynamically Estimated Stellar Masses of

Low-Mass M-Star Disks

Submitted to ApJ!

I dynamically measured the stellar masses of a small sample of protoplanetary disks around low-mass M-stars, and I evaluated the performance of stellar evolutionary models assuming different stellar physics in this low-mass regime.  After this project, I now have an even greater, healthier respect of the true power of the Markov Chain Monte Carlo method (i.e., the beloved MCMC algorithm).

Abstract Horizon

A Fiducial Astrochemical Low-Mass M-Star Disk Model

Research in Progress!

I'm currently working on building, exploring, and analyzing astrochemical disk models around low-mass M-stars.

Stay tuned!

 

GRADUATE SOFTWARE EXPERIENCES

Sand Texture

Python Auto-Differentiation

Software Package

As part of a graduate course I took on Python software development in the fall of 2018, I worked with a team of three other people to plan, write, develop, and test a full Python software package.  Applications of the package included automatic differentiation, forward and backward propagation, and gradient descent with standard loss functions.

Sand Texture

Python Optimization

and Redesign of RadLITE

As part of a summer 2019 internship at the Space Telescope Science Institute, I worked on designing and implementing a new object-oriented, multi-processing, Python interface ("pyradlite") for RADLite, a ray-tracing code written in IDL.  Some of my implementations included a simpler and expanded user interface, a flexible framework for adding new attributes and/or inheriting new classes, and decreasing the runtime for activating the underlying ray-tracing algorithm.

Sand Texture

Interpolation as an

Asset to Ray-Tracing

During the spring of 2020, I conducted an independent semester-long research project for my Master of Science in Computational Science and Engineering.  I explored and evaluated methods of interpolation and computational geometry as ways to speed up standard ray-tracing (without sacrificing too much accuracy in the final image product).

 

GRADUATE OUTREACH EXPERIENCES

Water Ripple

Mentoring for Underrepresented and Underserved Minorities in S.T.E.M. Fields.

In the summers of 2017 and 2018, I served as an academic mentor, peer mentor, and general student resource for the Banneker and Aztlán Institute, a summer research and social justice program for black and brown astronomy undergraduates.  In the summer of 2020, I remotely served as a general resource for the Banneker Institute, and also as an academic mentor for the Summer Honors Undergraduate Research Program (SHURP), a summer research program for underrepresented minority students in biological and biomedical fields.

I understand from personal experience how important it is to have mentors and advocates that share aspects of your identity.  I hope that I can continue to serve within the support networks of students of color even after graduation.

Water Ripple

Informal Astronomy

Education and

Science Communication.

I served as a writer for astrobites during my first two years of graduate school, and I've volunteered for local astronomy events such as "Cambridge Explores the Universe" since starting my graduate student career.  Most recently, I served on the organizing committee for ComSciCon 2020, a science communication conference built for grad students by grad students.

In my (humble) opinion, astrophysics is one of the most engaging and accessible fields of science.  After all, almost any subfield of astrophysics is gauranteed to come with grandiose goals for humanity (e.g., life in space) and beautiful visuals (e.g., "pretty pictures").  I feel that it's our duty as astrophysicists to communicate this science to the public, so that everyone, not just people in academia, can share in our amazing discoveries.

Water Ripple

Promoting Equity and Inclusion

in Astronomy at Harvard

(and beyond).

For the spring semesters of 2019 and 2020, I served on the organizing committee for the annual spring Equity and Inclusion Journal Club (EIJC) at the Center for Astrophysics (CfA) at Harvard University.  EIJC was started very recently (the spring of 2018), but has already had a huge impact on the CfA community.  EIJC has been monumental for raising awareness for, discussing, and defining concrete actions towards many issues related to equity and inclusion, including building accessibility, the problematic model minority framework, and the lack of black and brown faculty and senior scientists in institutions across the nation (and globe).

 

 

CONTACT ME!

Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

60 Garden Street

Cambridge, MA 02138​​

Would you like to chat?  Then please reach out using the contact form to the right!

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