Faculty in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics are theorists, observers, and experimentalists engaged in forefront research from cosmology and astroparticle physics to exoplanet science. Graduate students in Astronomy and Astrophysics begin research while completing Core courses through enrolling in ASTR 37100 Pre-Candidacy Research. The course fosters opportunities to explore a wide range of research areas, broaden astrophysical understanding, and engage with faculty on short-term projects that students present as part of their Candidacy Exams. Frequently these projects lead to published papers; however, students may pursue a thesis topic in a different area than their pre-candidacy research.
Phil works on the large scale structure of the universe and the connection between dark matter haloes and the galaxies embedded inside of them. His approach to these problems focuses on building our understanding of the detailed structure and dynamics of dark matter haloes. In the past he worked on halo boundaries and assembly bias, and is currently working on a strict statistical redefinition of the "Planes of Satellites" problem. He also has a strong interest in high performance computing with a focus on numerical convergence and data compression algorithms.
Gourav (preferred gender pronouns: he/him/his) is part of the South Pole Telescope Clusters collaboration. He studies the formation and evolution of galaxies in massive galaxy clusters via multi-wavelength probes and works toward understanding the physics of galaxies in the high redshift universe using strong gravitational lensing. Gourav is an author and education researcher with Astrobites, a collaboration of graduate students who write accessible bite-sized versions of astrophysical arXiv literature, and co-founder of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Journal Club, a grassroots safe space for early career research scientists to facilitate peer education and reform against marginalization and discrimination faced by members in the astrophysics community.