Kulkarni: Projects

My style of doing research is to focus on one or two areas of astronomy for a period of five to ten years and then move on. I like to work with students and postdocs. I have advised or co-advised nearly thirty students and forty postdoctoral fellows. If you are intrested in working with me it is worth looking at this list.

My current interests are primarily in the area of time domain astronomy (TDA). In my view this area has already emerged and will be a leading field in astronomy for the next decade. It realy is a frontier area (i.e. rich with discoveries to be made).

Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs)

Currently pursuing a "STARE" project at our Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) with C. Bochenek (first year student) to search (and detect!) Galactic versions of FRBs. I am working with my colleagues (V. Ravi & Gregg Hallinan, Asst. Prof) on "DSA-10" to localize FRBs with a 10-dish array (also at OVRO). Over the next few years we expect to grow this to DSA-100.

Optical & Radio Transients

I am the PI of the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). This project is widely considered to be the "stepping stone" to LSST (in the area of TDA). There are many projects that a student can get involved: supernovae, cosmic transients and stellar astronomy. Lots of opportunity for a nice combination of instrumentation, astronomy and methodology.


I end with my views and thoughts on advising. In my view, a given advisor cannot be a great advisor for any arbitrary student. This is no different than saying that two randomly chosen people can become very good friends. Each advisor has a certain style and a certain philosophy which determines their approach to problems and the choice of problems. Only students who can resonate with that style will be well suited to that advisor (and vice-versa).

I fundamentally view my students as junior colleagues and not as students. Of course, students are not as experienced as I am but I expect them to be motivated and eager to conquer the world. In short, I work well with students who are independent minded and are highly motivated. I am a direct person and place great emphasis on work done. [It is useful to complement these statements to fully understand the meaning of this paragraph].