Associate Professor of Physics and Engineering
I have been involved with LSST since I joined the Dark Energy Science Collaboration as a postdoc at Purdue in 2015. I have been involved with several projects in the DESC, including tests of the image simulator PhoSim in preparation for DESC Data Challenge 1 and efforts to include lensed host galaxies of quasars and supernovae in Data Challenge 2. I am now working on a project to test how well-simulated kilonovae can be found by injecting them into DC2 images. I am also involved with the Strong Lensing Science Collaboration and am a member of the Solar System Science Collaboration. I am very interested in multimessenger astronomy and work with the Dark Energy Survey Gravitational Wave collaboration to spectroscopically confirm optical counterparts of neutron star mergers found by LIGO.
As a mentor, I can bring several unique perspectives as an educator, as a professor at a small college, and as a researcher interested in cross-curricular studies. I began my career as a high school teacher in an urban high school in Milwaukee. I continue to maintain Illinois teacher licensure; I also regularly participate in outreach and created the Saturday Morning Astrophysics at Purdue program. I am an Associate Professor at Benedictine University, a small, minority-serving institution near Chicago. In that role, I have the opportunity to mentor a number of undergraduate student researchers, including many who are not physics or astronomy majors. I also regularly collaborate on cross-curricular projects. I work with a professor of philosophy to introduce philosophy to astronomy classes and astronomy to philosophy classes, and I study the propagation of misinformation in science and how to mitigate misinformation with effective education.