I am an Associate Research Scholar in the Astrophysics department at Princeton University, studying the diversity of exoplanetary systems, and how to use all different sorts of observational data to inform our understanding of how planetary systems form and evolve.  I completed my Ph.D. from Caltech in 2013, as John Johnson's first graduate student.

One of the focuses of my research has been to develop a procedure to determine the probability that a transiting planet candidate is indeed a real planet (rather than an astrophysical false positive), and applying this to candidates discovered by the Kepler mission.  Results from an early version of these calculations suggested that the overall Kepler false positive probability is low, a discovery that has since been independently confirmed by several different groups.  The knowledge of this low false positive rate enables confidence in statistical studies using Kepler catalogs that assume transit candidates are bona fide planets.

In addition to my research, teaching, and mentoring, I am also an active musician and have various other interests.  You can also see the code I'm playing around with on github.


Contact
tdm@astro.princeton.edu
Office: 007 Peyton Hall