Meet Ved Shah

Headshot of Ved Shah.

Ved is an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He had the opportunity to participate in the 2023 LSST-DA Summer Student Program in Tucson, AZ. Learn about his research and what made the program so valuable, in his own words.

Tell us about your research.

A Monte Carlo framework for estimating kilonova discovery rates for LVK O4, O5, and beyond. I am working in multi-messenger astrophysics – specifically using computational methods to understand kilonova detection rates and optimize search strategies for future KNe discovery. Based on my research, we find the number of discoverable kilonovae during LVK O4 to be ~1 or 2, depending on the distribution of NS masses in coalescing binaries, with a significant increase expected during LVK O5.

What did you enjoy the most about participating in the Summer Student Program this year?

I really enjoyed meeting other undergrads who are interested in solving astrophysics problems and hearing about their research. We also received great mentorship and career advice!

What interested you in astrophysics, and what are your future goals?

Because space is really, really cool! And LSST will allow us to understand it better. I hope to continue working in computational astrophysics, specifically focusing on ML and statistical methods, while pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science or astronomy. I am particularly interested in leveraging data to aid in survey and discovery science.

Why do you believe it is important for students like you to have STEM research opportunities like this?

Attending events like PCW via the LSST-DA Summer Student Program gave me new perspectives
and opened me up to research happening outside of my university. Since modern science is an
inherently collaborative endeavor, these opportunities help undergrads get involved with the wider
scientific community much earlier in their careers.