I'm an astronomer and visualization specialist working jointly at Northwestern University's Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) and IT Research Computing Services (RCS). The focus of my research is the study of gravitational dynamics, and particularly how gravitational encounters between stars influence the evolution of multiple-star systems, planetary systems, and star clusters. My tools combine detailed multi-wavelength observations (primarily optical stellar spectroscopy) with sophisticated numerical simulations. This dialogue between observations and simulations is driving a rich array of exciting and innovative research projects. I provide detailed descriptions on my Research Page, including many potential projects for students. If you have questions or are interested in joining our research team (especially students), please contact me at the information given below.
I am passionate about sharing our research and the many new discoveries throughout astronomy with my students and the public. Astronomy comprises some of the most fundamental and deepest questions we have: Are there other planets like Earth in the Universe capable of supporting life like ours? Where did the building blocks of life come from? How old is our Universe? As astronomers, it is our job to translate our results, presented in technical and detailed papers, into compelling and meaningful information that is accessible to everyone. I strive to do this both within my classroom and in public lectures, discussions and star parties.
I am also the director of our CIERA REU program. The projects are all inderdisciplinary, and centered in astronomy. We're looking forward to another great summer!
In RCS, I help researchers to more effectively analyze and visualize their data in static charts and graphs, interactive tools and websites, rendered movies, and through general scientific data exploration in a variety of software packages and coding languages. You can find some examples of this work on my visualizations page. I also regularly run workshops for Northwestern students, faculty and staff on related topics. More information about the services that our RCS team offers can be found on the RCS consultants page. If you work at Northwestern and you have questions about visualizing your data, or you have a related project that you want help with, please contact me.
Note: I regularly update my website (and particularly my visualization page). So check back often to see the new additions!