Mentoring

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 the Caltech Ph.D. program.  I look forward to this list continuing to grow!

Summer students
  • 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.  I have supported her efforts by giving her a python code base to start from and by coaching her through programming challenges.
  • 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.
  • 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.  He is currently a Marshall Scholar 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.  Over the first two years of this program, I have mentored the following students:
  • Melodie Kao (entering class of 2011)
  • Io Kleiser (entering class of 2012)