2016 - present
PhD Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology
Advisor: Mansi M. Kasliwal
Thesis: Transients as probes of the formation and fates of compact objects in binary systems
2016 - 2018
M. S. Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology
2012 - 2016
B. Sc. Physics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. Thesis: "Probing microstructure emission in pulsars with the GMRT". Advisors: Yashwant Gupta (NCRA) and Prateek Sharma (IISc)

Awards and Fellowships

  • 2019: Neugebauer scholar, Caltech Physics, Math and Astronomy Division.
  • 2017: Institute gold medal from the Indian Institute of Science.
  • 2017: Distinguished Student Travel award from the Forum on International Physics, American Physical Society.
  • 2016: Best Poster Award at the Annual meeting of the Astronomical Society of India held at Srinagar, India.
  • 2015: DAAD-WISE Fellow of the German Academic Exchange Service.
  • 2012-2016: Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) fellowship from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

Teaching and Mentoring

  • Summer 2020: SURF project mentor for Thomas Waters (UW) on 'An all-sky catalog of infrared variables from Palomar Gattini-IR'.
  • Summer 2019: SURF project co-mentor (with Matthew Hankins and Mansi Kasliwal) for Columbia sophomore Manasi Sharma on  'Deep learning based real-bogus classification for the Palomar Gattini-IR survey'.
  • 2018 - 2020: Module instructor GROWTH Astronomy Schools at IIT Bombday (2018), SDSU (2019) and virtual (2020). Completely designed and led Jupyter notebook-based teaching modules for
  • Optical / Near-infrared Image reduction [Link]
  • Ultraviolet, optical and near-infrared photometry [Link]
  • Summer 2018: SURF project co-mentor (with Mansi Kasliwal) for Caltech sophomore Sharne Sun on 'Software infrastructure for Gattini-IR'.
  • Spring 2018: Teaching assistant for graduate level astronomy course
    Ay 125: High Energy Astrophysics.
  • Fall 2017: Teaching assistant for graduate level astronomy course Ay 122a: Astronomical measurements and instrumentation.


  • 2020: Reviewer for the Liverpool Telescope TAC.
  • 2019 - present: Reviewer for the Astrophysical Journal Letters, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Astrophysics and Space Science.
  • 2017 - present: Graduate representative for Caltech Astronomy Colloquium committee and Caltech Astronomy Rooftop Observatory


74 publications: 10 first-author, 4 significant contributions, 60 co-author

In addition to these, I am heavily involved with discovery and rapid follow-up of transients, and have more than 200 un-refereed publications reporting observations via Astronomer's Telegrams, Gamma-ray Coordinates Network circulars and Transient Name Server reports.

List with first or second author first:

  • K. De, M. M. Kasliwal, M. J. Hankins et al. 'A population of heavily reddened, optically missed classical novae from Palomar Gattini-IR: Constraints on the Galactic nova rate', 2021, arXiv: 2101.04045, Accepted for publication in ApJ. [ADS]
  • L. A. Hillenbrand, K. De, M. Hankins et al. 'Outbursting Young Stellar Object PGIR 20dci in the Perseus Arm', 2021, arXiv: 2021.04203, Accepted for publication in AJ. [ADS]
  • K. De, C. Fremling, A. Gal-Yam et al. 'The peculiar Ca-rich SN 2019ehk: Evidence for a Type IIb core-collapse supernova from a stripped low mass progenitor', 2021, ApJL, 907, 1. [ADS]
  • K. De, M. C. B. Ashley, I. Andreoni et al. 'Constraining the X-ray - Infrared spectral index of second timescale flares from SGR1935+2154 with Palomar Gattini-IR', 2020, ApJL, 901, 1. [ADS]
  • Y. Yao, K. De, M. M. Kasliwal et al., 'SN2019dge: A helium-rich ultra-stripped envelope supernova', 2020, ApJ, 900, 1. [ADS]
  • K. De, M. M. Kasliwal, A. Tzanidakis et al. 'The Zwicky Transient Facility Census of the Local Universe I: Systematic search for Calcium rich gap transients reveal three related spectroscopic sub-classes', 2020, ApJ, 905, 58. [ADS]
  • K. De, M. Hankins, M. M. Kasliwal et al. 'Palomar Gattini-IR: Survey Overview, Data Processing System, On-sky performance and First Results', 2020, PASP, Vol. 132, Issue 1008. [ADS]
  • K. De, M. M. Kasliwal, A. Polin et al., 'ZTF 18aaqeasu (SN 2018byg): A massive Helium shell double detonation on a sub-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarf', 2019, ApJL, Volume 873, Issue 2. [ADS]
  • K. De, M. M. Kasliwal, E. O. Ofek et al., 'A hot and fast ultra-stripped supernova that likely formed a compact neutron star binary', 2018, Science, Vol. 362, Issue 6411. [ADS]
  • K. De, M. M. Kasliwal, T. M. Cantwell et al., 'iPTF 16hgs: A double-peaked Ca-rich gap transient in a metal poor, star forming dwarf galaxy', 2018, ApJ, Volume 866, Issue 1. [ADS]
  • G. Ponti, K. De, T. Munoz-Darias et al., 'The puzzling orbital period evolution of the LMXB AX J1745.6-2901', 2017, MNRAS, Volume 464, Issue 1. [ADS]
  • K. De, Y. Gupta & P. Sharma, 'Detection of polarized quasi-periodic microstructure emission in millisecond pulsars', 2016, ApJL, Volume 833, Issue 1. [ADS]
  • K. De & Y. Gupta, 'A real-time coherent dedispersion pipeline for the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope', 2016, Exp. Astron., Volume 41, Pp. 67. [ADS]
  • R. M. Lau et al., 'Revealing Efficient Dust-Formation at Low Metallicity in Extragalactic Carbon-Rich Wolf-Rayet Binaries', 2020, arXiv:2011.09732. [ADS]
  • A. Horesh et al., 'A Non-equipartition Shock Wave Traveling in a Dense Circumstellar Environment around SN 2020oi', 2020, ApJ, 903, 2.[ADS]
  • M. Brightman et al., 'A luminous X-ray transient in SDSS J143359.16+400636.0: a likely tidal disruption event', 2020, arXiv:2010.12587. [ADS]
  • N. L. Strotjohann et al., 'Bright, months-long stellar outbursts announce the explosion of interaction-powered supernovae', 2020, arXiv:2010.11196. [ADS]
  • H. K. Vedhantam et al., 'Direct radio discovery of a cold brown dwarf', 2020, ApJL, 903, 2. [ADS]
  • S. Anand et al., 'Optical follow-up of the neutron star-black hole mergers S200105ae and S200115j', 2020, Nature Astronomy. [ADS]
  • L. Tartaglia et al., 'SN 2018ijp: the explosion of a stripped-envelope star within a dense H-rich shell?', 2020, arXiv: 2009.03331. [ADS]
  • J. Sollerman et al., 'Two stripped envelope supernovae with circumstellar interaction -- but only one really shows it', 2020, arXiv: 2009.04154.[ADS]
  • W. H. Ip et al., 'A kilometer-scale asteroid inside Venus's orbit', 2020, arXiv: 2009.04125. [ADS]
  • D. Perley et al., 'The Zwicky Transient Facility Bright Transient Survey. II. A Public Statistical Sample for Exploring Supernova Demographics', 2020, arXiv: 2009.01242.[ADS]
  • R. Bruch et al., 'A large fraction of hydrogen-rich supernova progenitors experience elevated mass loss shortly prior to explosion', 2020, arXiv: 2008.09986. [ADS]
  • S. Schulze et al., 'The Palomar Transient Factory Core-Collapse Supernova Host-Galaxy Sample. I. Host-Galaxy Distribution Functions and Environment-Dependence of CCSNe', 2020, arXiv: 2008.05988. [ADS]
  • B. T. Bolin et al., 'Characterization of Temporarily-Captured Minimoon 2020 CD$_3$ by Keck Time-resolved Spectrophotometry', 2020, arXiv: 2008.05384. [ADS]
  • E. C. Kool et al., 'SN 2020bqj: a Type Ibn supernova with a long lasting peak plateau', 2020, arXiv: 2008.04056. [ADS]
  • I. Andreoni et al., 'Constraining the Kilonova Rate with Zwicky Transient Facility Searches Independent of Gravitational Wave and Short Gamma-ray Burst Triggers', 2020, arXiv: 2008.00008. [ADS]
  • Paterson, K., Fong, W., Nugent, A. et al., 'Discovery of the optical afterglow and host galaxy of short GRB181123B at z=1.754 : Implications for Delay Time Distributions', 2020, arXiv: 2007.03715. [ADS]
  • Susobhanan, A., Maan, Y., Joshi, B. C. et al., 'pinta: The uGMRT Data Processing Pipeline for the Indian Pulsar Timing Array', 2020, arXiv: 2007.02930. [ADS]
  • Yan, L., Perley, D., Schulze, S. et al., 'Discovery of a Sample of Helium-rich Superluminous Supernovae by Zwicky Transient Facility', 2020, arXiv: 2006.13758. [ADS]
  • Kasliwal, M. M., Anand, S., Ahumada, T. et al., 'Kilonova Luminosity Function Constraints based on Zwicky Transient Facility Searches for 13 Neutron Star Mergers', 2020, arXiv: 2006.11306. [ADS]
  • Ho, A. Y. Q., Perley, D. A., Beniamini, P. et al., 'ZTF20aajnksq (AT2020blt): A Fast Optical Transient at z?2.9 With No Detected Gamma-Ray Burst Counterpart',2020, arXiv:2006.10761. [ADS]
  • Miller, A. A., Magee, M. R., Polin A. et al., 'The Spectacular Ultraviolet Flash From the Type Ia Supernova 2019yvq', 2020, arXiv: 2005.05972. [ADS]
  • Ho, A. Y. Q., Kulkarni, S. R., Perley, D. A. et al., 'SN 2020bvc: a Broad-lined Type Ic Supernova with a Double-peaked Optical Light Curve and a Luminous X-ray and Radio Counterpart', 2020, arXiv: 2004.10406. [ADS]
  • Johansson, J., Goobar, A., Price, S. H. et al., 'Spectroscopy of the first resolved strongly lensed Type Ia supernova iPTF16geu', 2020, arXiv:2004.10164. [ADS]
  • Ho, A. Y. Q., Perley, D. A., Kulkarni, S. R. et al., 'The Koala: A Fast Blue Optical Transient with Luminous Radio Emission from a Starburst Dwarf Galaxy at z=0.27', 2020, arXiv:2003.01222. [ADS]
  • Andreoni, I., Goldstein, D. A., Kasliwal, M. M. et al., 'GROWTH on S190814bv: Deep Synoptic Limits on the Optical/Near-infrared Counterpart to a Neutron Star?Black Hole Merger', 2020, ApJ, Volume 890, Issue 2. [ADS]
  • Soumagnac, M. T., Ofek. E. O., Liang, J. et al. 'Early Ultra-Violet observations of type IIn supernovae constrain the asphericity of their circumstellar material', 2020, arXiv:2001.05518. [ADS]
  • van Velzen, S., Gezari, S., Hammerstein, E. et al. 'Seventeen Tidal Disruption Events from the First Half of ZTF Survey Observations: Entering a New Era of Population Studies', 2020, arXiv:2001.01409. [ADS]
  • Ho, A. Y. Q., Corsi, A., Cenko, B. S. et al., 'The Broad-lined Ic Supernova ZTF18aaqjovh (SN 2018bvw): An Optically-discovered Engine-driven Supernova Candidate with Luminous Radio Emission', 2019, arXiv:1912.10354. [ADS]
  • Dobie, D., Stewart, A., Murphy, T. et al., 'An ASKAP Search for a Radio Counterpart to the First High-significance Neutron Star?Black Hole Merger LIGO/Virgo S190814bv', 2019, ApJ, Volume 887, Issue 1. [ADS]
  • Ho, A. Y. Q., Goldstein, D. A., Schulze, S. et al. 'Evidence for Late-stage Eruptive Mass Loss in the Progenitor to SN2018gep, a Broad-lined Ic Supernova: Pre-explosion Emission and a Rapidly Rising Luminous Transient', 2019, ApJ, Volume 887, Issue 2. [ADS]
  • Tinyanont, S., Lau, R. M., Kasliwal, M. M. et al., 'Supernova 2014C: Ongoing Interaction with Extended Circumstellar Material with Silicate Dust', 2019, ApJ, Volume 887, Issue 1. [ADS]
  • Yao, Y., Miller, A. A., Kulkarni, S. R. et al., 'ZTF Early Observations of Type Ia Supernovae. I. Properties of the 2018 Sample', 2019, ApJ, Volume 886, Issue 2. [ADS]
  • J. E. Jencson, M. M. Kasliwal, S. M. Adams et al., 'The SPIRITS sample of Luminous Infrared Transients: Uncovering Hidden Supernovae and Dusty Stellar Outbursts in Nearby Galaxies', 2019, ApJ, Volume 886, Issue 1. [ADS]
  • McBrien, O. R., Smartt, S. J., Chen, T. W. et al., 'SN2018kzr: A Rapidly Declining Transient from the Destruction of a White Dwarf', 2019, ApJL, Volume 885, Issue 1. [ADS]
  • Coughlin, M. W., Ahumada, T., Anand, S. et al., 'GROWTH on S190425z: Searching Thousands of Square Degrees to Identify an Optical or Infrared Counterpart to a Binary Neutron Star Merger with the Zwicky Transient Facility and Palomar Gattini-IR' 2019, ApJ, Volume 885, Issue 1. [ADS]
  • Bolin, B. T.; Lisse, C. M.; Kasliwal, M. M. et al., 'Characterization of the Nucleus, Morphology and Activity of Interstellar Comet 2I/Borisov by Optical and Near-Infrared GROWTH, Apache Point, IRTF, ZTF and Keck Observations', 2019, arXiv:1910.14004. [ADS]
  • Fremling, U. C., Miller, A. A., Sharma, Y. et al., 'The Zwicky Transient Facility Bright Transient Survey I: Spectroscopic Classification and the Redshift Completeness of Local Galaxy Catalogs', 2019, arXiv:1910.12973. [ADS]
  • Karamehmetoglu, E., Fransson, C., Sollerman, J. et al., 'The luminous and rapidly evolving SN 2018bcc: Clues toward the origin of Type Ibn SNe from the Zwicky Transient Facility', 2019, arXiv:1910.06016. [ADS]
  • Lunnan, R., Yan, L., Perley, D. A. et al., 'Four (Super)Luminous Supernovae From the First Months of the ZTF Survey', 2019, arXiv:1910.02968. [ADS]
  • Frederick, S. Gezari, S., Graham, M. J. et al., 'A New Class of Changing-look LINERs', 2019, ApJ, Volume 883, Issue 1. [ADS]
  • Goldstein, D. A., Andreoni, I., Nugent, P. E. et al., 'GROWTH on S190426c: Real-time Search for a Counterpart to the Probable Neutron Star-Black Hole Merger using an Automated Difference Imaging Pipeline for DECam', 2019, ApJL, Volume 881, Issue 1. [ADS]
  • Jencson, J. E., Adams, S. A., Bond, H. E. et al., 'Discovery of an Intermediate-luminosity Red Transient in M51 and Its Likely Dust-obscured, Infrared-variable Progenitor', 2019, ApJL, Volume 880, Issue 2, [ADS]
  • S. Esterhuizen, S. W. Asmar, K. De et al., 'ExoMars Schiaparelli Direct-to-Earth Observation using GMRT', 2019, Radio Science, Volume 54, Issue 3. [ADS]
  • Graham, M. J., Kulkarni, S. R., Bellm, E. C. et al., 'The Zwicky Transient Facility: Science Objectives', 2019, PASP, Volume 131, Issue 1001. [ADS]
  • Fremling, C., Ko, H, Dugas, A. et al., 'ZTF18aalrxas: A Type IIb Supernova from a Very Extended Low-mass Progenitor', 2019, ApJL, Volume 878, Issue 1. [ADS]
  • Lau, R. M., Heida, M., Walton, D. et al., 'Uncovering Red and Dusty Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources with Spitzer', 2019, ApJ, Volume 878, Issue 1. [ADS]
  • M. W. Coughlin, T. Ahumada, S. B. Cenko et al., '2900 square degree search for the optical counterpart of the short gamma-ray burst GRB 180523B with the Zwicky Transient Facility', 2019, PASP, Vol 131, Issue 998. [ADS]
  • S. Tinyanont, M. M. Kasliwal, K. Krafton et al., 'Supernova SN 2017eaw: molecule and dust formation from infrared observations', 2019, ApJ, Volume 873, Issue 2. [ADS]
  • E. C. Bellm, S. R. Kulkarni, M. J. Graham et al., 'The Zwicky Transient Facility: System Overview, Performance and First Results', 2019, PASP, Volume 131, Issue 995, pp. 018002. [ADS]
  • K. P. Mooley, D. A. Frail, D. Dobie et al., 'A Strong Jet Signature in the Late-time Lightcurve of GW170817', 2018, ApJL, Volume 868, Issue 1, article id. L11. [ADS]
  • B. C. Joshi, P. Arumugasamy, M. Bagchi et al., 'Precision pulsar timing with the ORT and the GMRT and its applications in pulsar astrophysics', 2018, JOAA. [ADS]
  • D. A. Perley, P. A. Mazzali, L. Yan et al., 'The Fast, Luminous Ultraviolet Transient AT2018cow: Extreme Supernova, or Disruption of a Star by an Intermediate-Mass Black Hole?', 2019, MNRAS, Volume 484, Issue 1. [ADS]
  • J. E. Jencson, M. M. Kasliwal, S. M. Adams et al., 'SPIRITS 16tn in NGC 3556: A Heavily Obscured and Low-luminosity Supernova at 8.8 Mpc', 2018, ApJ, Volume 863, Issue 1, article id. 20. [ADS]
  • J. Soon, A. M. Moore, M. M. Kasliwal et al., 'Opening the dynamic infrared sky', 2018, Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 10700, id. 107004D 12 pp. [ADS]
  • K. P. Mooley et al., 'A mildly relativistic wide-angle outflow in the neutron star merger event GW170817', 2018, Nature, Volume 554, Issue 7691, pp. 207. [ADS]
  • G. Ponti, S. Bianchi, T. Munoz Darias et al., 'NuSTAR + XMM Newton monitoring of the neutron star transient AX J1745.6-2901', 2018, MNRAS, Volume 473, Issue 2, p.2304-2323. [ADS]
  • G. Hallinan, A. Corsi, K. P. Mooley et al., 'A radio counterpart to a neutron star merger', 2017, Science, Volume 358, Issue 6370, pp. 1579. [ADS]
  • M. M. Kasliwal, E. Nakar, L. P. Singer et al., 'Illuminating gravitational waves: A concordant picture of photons from a neutron star merger', 2017, Science, Volume 358, Issue 6370, Pp. 1559. [ADS]
  • B. P. Abbott, R. Abbott, T. D. Abbott et al., 'Multi-messenger observations of a binary neutron star merger', 2017, ApJL, Volume 848, Issue 2, L12. [ADS]
  • S. Reddy, S. Kudale,  U. Gokhale et al., 'A wideband digital backend for the upgraded GMRT', 2017, JAI, Volume 6, No. 1. [ADS]
  • G. Ponti, S. Bianchi, T. Munoz-Darias et al., 'High ionisation absorption in low mass X-ray binaries', 2016, Astron. Nachr., Volume 337, Pp. 512. [ADS]