PhD student at Caltech, USA
Where was your starting point and how did you discover astronomy?
I am from West Orange, NJ. I got my B.S. in both Physics and Astronomy (senior thesis with Dr. Leo Singer) at the University of Maryland, and then did research for a semester at IUCAA (Pune, India). I joined Caltech as a PhD student in 2018 and have been here since.
I had a phenomenal high school physics teacher, “Doc”, who recognized my interest in astronomy and encouraged me to pursue the subject by providing me additional astronomy-related readings beyond the curriculum. When I joined UMD my first project was with Dr. Brad Cenko on automating the iPTF pipeline. That project opened a window to a new opportunity to apply for the GROWTH internship at National Central University in Taiwan, which at least partially paved the way for me to come to Caltech and work with ZTF.
What are you playing with in the ZTF playground?
Within the ZTF collaboration I work on supernovae from collapsing massive stars (known as broadlined Ic supernovae) as well as searches for electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave sources.
Where do you want to steer your rocket in the future?
I hope to one day become a professor, develop my own research group, and teach astronomy courses.
If you were not an astronomer, what would you be?
If I was not an astronomer, I would probably go into data science/software engineering with applications in environmental science or biology, importantly ensuring that I still had time for various creative outlets.
A book that shook your worldview?
If you’ve had a bad day at work, you will….
After a bad day at work, my best antidote is to go to weight room at the gym for some strength training.