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 zone. 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 and for better determination of related exoplanetary parameters such as albedo and temperature.
Ph.D. Physics, expected graduation date Spring 2018, University at Albany (SUNY)
M.S. Physics, 2016, University at Albany (SUNY)
B.S. Physics, minor in Astrophysics, 2011, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
April 2016 - "EXONEST: A Bayesian Algorithm for Exoplanet Characterization", New York Women in Computing Conference
April 2017 - "Photometry of Extremely Close-in Exoplanets", Department of Physics, University at Albany (SUNY)
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
November 2017 - "EXONEST: The Exoplanetary Explorer", NYSS-APS 117th Topical Symposium joint with ASNY 2017 Fall meeting, Union College
Co-author with Bertrand Carado and Kevin H. Knuth. Won 2nd place graduate student posters in NYSS-APS poster session.
July 2016 - "Reflected Light of Extremely Close-In Exoplanets", Sagan Summer Workshop, NexSci, Caltech
Co-authored with Undergraduates
April 2017 - "Nested Sampling for Exoplanet Modeling", New York Celebration of Women in Computing, Rochester, NY
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
5/17 - Team Based Learning Academy - Two day workshop focused on the development of a team based learning course.
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.
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.
4/17 - New York Celebration of Women in Computing Conference - Rochester, 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. I worked with two undergraduates to produce a poster focused on quantifying the advantages of MultiNest over standard Nested Sampling in the context of exoplanet model testing and characterization.
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.
7/14 - Sagan Summer Workshop: Imaging Planets and Disks California Institute of Technology, NASA Exoplanet Science Institute 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.
4/16 - New York Celebration of Women in Computing Conference - Lake George, NY I presented a five minute first-timer talk to get input on presenting exoplanet research to a computing audience.