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CIERA REU students present at 243rd meeting of the AAS

Students from CIERA’s summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program presented their research projects from summer 2023 at the 243rd American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting. The conference was held January 7-11 with the High Energy Astrophysics and Historical Astronomy Divisions in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Directed by CIERA Professor Aaron Geller, the REU program focuses on helping students build interdisciplinary connections through research. Students learn computer programming, develop skills in science communication, take educational field trips, learn about career opportunities and collaborate with faculty on research projects. The previous year’s REU students presented their projects at the 241st AAS meeting in Seattle.

The winter meeting of the AAS is the largest gathering of American astronomers each year and includes many opportunities for networking. “Attending AAS meetings is so important for early career scientists like our REU students,” said Prof Geller. “It’s a chance for them to see the breadth and depth of current astronomy research, meet new colleagues and potential future employers, and connect with the broader astronomical community.  Our students gave amazing poster presentations and made the most out of their meeting.”

The students presented the following posters:

Sebastian Banaszak

University of Wisconsin – Madison (Astronomy, Physics, Actuarial Science), Senior
Caitlin Witt & Adam Miller
Quasars with Periodic Variability: Bayesian Search for Supermassive Black Holes





Bell third from right

Mars Bell

Illinois Institute of Technology (Astronomy), Junior
Advisor: Charlie Kilpatrick & Wen-fai Fong
Project: Type II Supernovae and Their Binary Companion Stars




Woodkensia Charles

Haverford College (Physics), Senior
Advisor: André de Gouvêa
Project: Time-Invariance Violation of Neutrino Oscillations





Elizabeth Cogan

Illinois Institute of Technology (Astronomy), Senior
Advisor: Elvira Mulyukova
Project: Habitable, Stable Climates with Different Tectonic Regimes





Vishnu Gade

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Physics), Sophomore
Advisor: Vishal Baibhav & Vicky Kalogera
Project: Efficiently Exploring Rare Binaries with Adaptive Importance Sampling





Gonzales on far left

Owen Gonzales

Welseyan University (Astronomy, Physics), Senior
Advisor: Claude-André Faucher-Giguère
Project: Building and Characterizing a Comprehensive Library of High-z Star Formation Histories




Guerrero on left

Juan (Luna) Guerrero

Vassar College (Astronomy), Senior
Advisors: Jason Wang
Project: Worlds Apart: Characterizing the Orbit of Sub-Stellar Object GQ Lup B






Dean Kousiounelos

Lake Forest College (Physics, Studio Art), Junior
Advisors: Seth Gossage & Vicky Kalogera
Project: Data Visualization Aids in Understanding the Stellar Evolution of Binary Stars





Anurathi Madasi

Loyola University Chicago (Physics, Math), Junior
Aaron Geller & Anna Childs
Project: Searching for Tidal Tails in the Open Cluster M35





Amelia Marengo

Illinois Institute of Technology (Astronomy, Physics), Junior
Advisor: Aaron Geller & Anna Childs
Project: Exotic Stars in N-Body Models





Jacob Schimp

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Physics), Senior
Advisor: Alvin Bayliss
Project: Nonlinear Crowding Effects in Cyclically Competing Ecological Communities





Justyce Watson

Lewis University (Physics), Senior
Advisor: Aaron Geller & Anna Childs
Project: Ages of Normal and Blue Lurker Stars in Open Cluster M67