Professor of Astronomy and Physics
I started out as a theorist, working on radiation processes near black holes and in jets. Over time, my interests broadened to include understanding where and how black holes form, especially the supermassive ones. Hence my interest in multi-wavelength AGN/galaxy surveys and LSST. I am a co-developer of the EAZY photometric redshift code, and I have significant experience with high-energy astrophysics missions, e.g., I was one of the US science representatives on the ASTRO-H/Hitomi mission, and I am currently on the Fermi Users Group. This experience with other wavelengths should be helpful in interpreting LSST results.
I also currently lead the re-analysis of the La Silla QUEST optical variability survey, which was a ZTF-like LSST precursor that will likely be used to prepare for LSST, e.g., by pre-identifying AGN to be put on an LSST watch list and extending their coverage time baseline. I plan to continue to be actively involved in the AGN SC and probably also the TVS SC. A fellow at Yale would be part of the strong AGN/black hole group there composed of Meg Urry, Priya Natarajan, and Charles Bailyn, and they could access Yale’s significant observing resources on facilities like Keck and Palomar as well as use its significant in-house computing power. I am very interested in understanding how to best extract information (and ideally physics) from time series data, including using machine learning, and we already have a large dataset (QUEST) we are playing with.