One of the most enjoyable aspects of being a scientist for me is the opportunity to mentor younger scientists, whether supervising summer research students or helping beginning grad students negotiate the first few years of their Ph.D. program. I look forward to this list continuing to grow! At Princeton I have helped to organize the Undergraduate Summer Research Program in the astrophysics department, where each summer we pair up undergraduate students with faculty or postdoc mentors and help guide them through the process of doing research. I have also mentored a number of students individually:
- Alexandra Pleus (Princeton, senior thesis 2014-15): Simulating exoplanet transit spectroscopy.
- Roberta Raileanu (Princeton, junior thesis, spring 2015): Investigating stellar rotation periods with Kepler data.
- Maggie Thompson (Princeton, USRP program, junior thesis, fall 2014): Investigating stellar binarity among Kepler objects of interest.
- Juliette Becker (Caltech; SURF program and beyond, 2012): Part of the research Juliette has worked on is a serendipitous binarity survey of rapidly-rotating B stars that have been observed by the California Planet Search program as calibration stars over the last decade and more. Juliette is now in graduate school studying astronomy at the University of Michigan.
- Ganesh Ravichandran (HS student; independent research, summer 2012, summer 2013): Ganesh spent the summer at Caltech and I have guided him as he learned Python and developed a GUI interface to identify point sources in astronomical images in support of Kepler follow-up observations. Ganesh is now an undergrad at Columbia studying physics.
- Keith Hawkins (Ohio University; Caltech MURF program, summer 2011): I co-mentored Keith along with John Johnson as he worked on identifying spectral indices to measure stellar characteristics from low-resolution optical spectra. He received the Beth Brown Memorial Prize for his presentation of this research at the 2011 National Society of Black Physicists conference. Keith is currently a Marshall Scholar pursuing his Ph.D. at Cambridge.
- Sandra Feng (Caltech; independent research, summer 2011): I mentored Sandra as she learned Python and developed software to automatically calculate contrast curves.
Caltech Astronomy Dept. Mentees
Each entering Caltech grad student is paired up with a senior grad student as a peer mentor. During my time at Caltech I co-mentored (along with my wife Vera
) the following students:
- Melodie Kao (entering class of 2011)
- Io Kleiser (entering class of 2012)