Launchpad is a week-long
astronomy workshop for published sci-fi authors - you can think of it as an
astrocamp for writers! :) This year I have the honor to serve as one of the
instructors for the first time. The files for some of the topics I am
covering (as well as the syllabus)can be downloaded below.
Data Mining in Large Astronomical Surveys term paper: Searching for
NEOs in SDSS Stripe 82.
Near-Earth objects (NEOs) can pose a significant threat to life on Earth,
depending upon their probability of impact, size, and how long ahead of a
potential impact they are discovered. Mining SDSS data provides a nice
opportunity for us to expand the number of NEOs identified without requiring
additional equipment or time on existing telescopes. Herein I propose a
method of mining SDSS DR8 coadd data and time
dependent SDSS Stripe 82 data to discover fast-moving asteroids. This method
results in the identification of an upper limit of 233 candidate NEOs within
Stripe 82 posessing velocities in the range 0:5 < v < 2:5 deg/day.
Exoplanets term paper: Waterworlds:
Structures / Properties and Discoveries of Ocean Planets.
In recent years a number of surveys, including the MEarth project (located in Arizona and run out of Cambridge, MA), and the COROT and Kepler space missions, have
been dedicated to the discovery of extrasolar planets through transits. The properties
(including structure and composition) and formation histories of many of the newly
discovered exoplanets remains an open question. Driven by the search for an Earth-like
planet, we have discovered a class of super-Earths or sub-Neptunes which may not fall
into either of the traditional categories of terrestrial or gas giant planets, but instead
form a new category of ocean planets. In this review paper, I outline the history of this
eld by looking at major theoretical breakthroughs and outlining recent discoveries of
candidate ocean planets.
My research advisor is Dr. Tim Slater, of the CAPER
This summer I am beginning work towards my thesis, on developing a new style
of clicker questions for astronomy classes.
Originally a native of New York City, I have spent time in rural
western New York state, assorted parts of Pennsylvania, Tucson AZ, and
most recently hail from Boston MA.
In my free time during the school year (hah!) I play casual video games
and I play with my pet bird. In my free time during the
summer I obsessively play RPGs and strategy games, and read sci-fi/fantasy
until the wee hours of the morning.