"The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous."
I am currently a sixth year graduate student pursuing a PhD in Astrophysics at the University of California Berkeley. After spending several years pursuing a career as a physics teacher and actor, I came back to graduate school to develop a deeper understanding of the intricate workings of the Universe. That joy I feel in unlocking secrets of the Universe is only made stronger by sharing that enthusiasm as a science communicator. I aim to apply the computational skills I have developed to solve practical problems that improve the lives of others.
My current research includes developing innovative image processing pipelines at scale, searching for black holes in the Milky Way and constructing a new method for finding solar system objects and possibly the mysterious Planet Nine. Details of this work and previous lines of research can be read about here. I leverage large-scale computational techniques to transform seemingly insolvable problems into useful science. I work out of the Computational Cosmology Center at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with Peter Nugent, and in the UC Berkeley Astronomy Department with Jessica Lu.
I am spending this fall as a Calibration and Validation Intern at Planet in the Payload Group! Planet has the largest collection of imaging satellites and daily imaging activities of any company in the world. This makes it a natural fit for my expertise in applying statistical methods to calibrate and validate massive datasets of optical images. In my time as an intern, I have assembled automated image processing pipelines and SQL database APIs that leverage Planet's collection of lunar images for camera calibration and validation. While the internship has been remote, the connections I've made with other Planeteers have shown me the benefits of close collaboration.
Check out my GitHub page to see projects I'm currently working on and visit my Experience Page to learn more about my internship and astronomical work!