Jennifer Carter

Graduate Student
Knuth Information Physics Lab
Department of Physics
University at Albany
Albany NY - 12222
Email: jlcarter@albany.edu
LinkedIn: My LinkedIn
Merit: Merit Page

Research Interests

My main research interests lie in astrophysics. Currently, I use Bayesian Data Analysis techniques to characterize and detect exoplanets. In particular, I am working on improving the reflected light model used in Exonest. The changes will more accurately represent the nature of the phase curve of the exoplanet by taking into account the finite angular size of the host star. For extremely close-in exoplanets the angular size of the the host star results in the creation of a penumbral. Any point within the penumbral zone of the exoplanet does not see the entirety of the apparent disk of the host star; it is in twilight. This zone can even extend significantly beyond the poles of the exoplanet, i.e. the polar angle delimiting the penumbral zone from the night side of the exoplanet is negative. Including the penumbral zone of an exoplanet in the Exonest model for reflected light will allow for a more accurate determination of the nature of the planetary emissions in photometric light curves. This will allow for better determination of the albedo and temperature of exoplanets.

Education

Ph.D. Physics, expected graduation date December 2017, University at Albany (SUNY)

M.S. Physics, 2016, University at Albany (SUNY)

B.S. Physics, minor in Astrophysics, 2011, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Talks

Conferences:

April 2016 - "EXONEST: A Bayesian Algorithm for Exoplanet Characterization", New York Women in Computing Conference

Departmental:

May 2015 - "Characterization and Detection of Exoplanets", Department of Physics, University at Albany (SUNY)

November 2013 - "An Overview of Planet Detection Methods", Department of Physics, University at Albany (SUNY)

September 2011 - "SDSS Data Mining: The Search for Unusual Blue Stars", Department of Physics, University at Albany (SUNY)

Spring 2011 - "SDSS Data Mining: The Search for Unusual Blue Stars", Department of Physics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

November 2010 - "Density Profiles and Shapes of Galaxy Mass CDM", Department of Physics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

April 2010, - "Growth and Composition of Intermolecular Dust", Department of Physics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Posters

July 2016 - "Reflected Light of Extremely Close-In Exoplanets", Sagan Summer Workshop, NexSci, Caltech

Awards

2016 Student Teacher of the Year (University at Albany)

2014 Ford Foundation IFW Women in Science Fellowship

2014 Teaching Assistant Excellence in Service (University at Albany)

Teaching Development Activities

Workshops

1/17 - Teaching with Cases - Two hour workshop discussing the use of case studies in the classroom to achieve learning goals.

12/16 - Teaching for Critical Thinking - A one and half hour workshop focused on critical thinking instruction using a four-part framework. Use of and need of motivation to encourage critical thinking was also discussed

9/16 - Make Your Lectures More Interactive - A one and a half hour workshop that focuses on engaging students during lecture. Ways of incorporating active learning into a wide range of lecture sizes were discussed.

8/16 - Graduate Teaching Symposium - A day long workshop that focuses on teaching new graduate teachers about student learning, effective teaching and navigating the life of a graduate student.

Courses

Fall 2016 - Seminar in College Teaching - An eight session seminar course in which students learn about how students learn and how to plan a course. Topics covered include levels of learning, types of assessment, how to use assessment to enhance student learning and how to bring this all together into an effective course plan.

Conference Attendance

7/16 - Sagan Summer Workshop: Is there a Planet in my Data? California Institute of Technology, NASA Exoplanet Science Institute A five day workshop in which scientists from around the world discussed the field of exoplanet research. The theme for for 2016 was data analysis. Participants also engaged in a hands on session in which they worked in small groups to study and presented their findings in a five minute talk. In addition, I presented a two minute POP talk and had a poster in the poster session.

4/16 - New York Celebration of Women in Computing Conference - Lake George, NY A two day conference in which women in computing shared their research and strategies of navigating the professional computing world. Various workshops and panels took place covering a wide range of topics, including an introduction to Git, diversity in the workplace and first-timer talks. A poster session displaying student research was ongoing throughout the conference. I presented a five minute first-timer talk to get input on presenting exoplanet research to a computing audience.

7/14 - Sagan Summer Workshop: Imaging Planets and Disks California Institute of Technology, NASA Exoplanet Science Institute A five day workshop in which scientists from around the world discussed the field of exoplanet research. The theme for 2014 was direct imaging of exoplanets and stellar disks. Participants also engaged in a hands on session in which they worked in small groups to study and presented their findings in a five minute talk.