Intro

Welcome to my home page! Feel free to click around! The photo in the background is of the Mayall 4-meter telescope on Kitt Peak as seen from the MDM observatory. The 2.1-meter telescope and the WIYN 3.5-meter telescopes can be seen in the background.

The photo above was taken in Resurrection Bay, Alaska, with the Kenai Mountains in the background. Resurrection Bay has tides which vary around 13 feet. This photo was also taken near the solstice, when the sky never gets dark.

You can find my research here!

Research

For a quick rundown, see my CV

My current research focuses on studying the nature of rapid rotators in the Kepler field. The Kepler satellite observed a region of the sky 13.5 degrees off of the galactic plane. Based on prevous studies between age and the vertical scale height, it's believed that all the stars in the field should be older than 500 million years. Magnetic braking in single-star angular momentum evolution models predict a lack of rapid rotators which isn't seen in the Kepler rotation data. I am interested in whether this population of observed rapid rotators are not single stars, but are tidally-synchronized binaries, where the rotation period is forced to equal the orbital period.

I'm interested in tidally-synchronized binaries because they are a precursor population to other exotic types of objects. The tightest of tidally-synchronized binaries can merge over their lifetimes, forming blue stragglers. If they do not interact on the main sequence, they will certainly interact when one evolves onto the giant branch, potentially forming cataclysmic variables or even Type Ia supernovae!

NGC 1316 Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

My previous research involved studying circumstellar and diffuse dust as well as stellar populations in early-type galaxies. A summary of the main results are a strong inference supporting the detection of circumstellar dust in the mid-infrared SED, a confirmation that the mass-to-light ratio trends observed by ATLAS3D in the optical are also present in the mid-infrared, and evidence that anomalous PAH ratios are due to processing of small grains by shocks rather than global changes in PAH grain properties. If any of these seem interesting to you, feel free to read the original paper!

About Me

I originally hail from sunny (and light polluted) Southern California. It was during my childhood in Los Angeles where I developed a great appreciation for science and the scientific method. While I maintained a broad interest in all sciences, I grew particularly passionate about astronomy because it had applications to many other branches of science.

After graduating high school, I attended college at Caltech, where I majored in astronomy and worked during the summers on identifying and characterizing Cataclysmic Variables discovered in the Palomar Transient Factory. This early work with the CV Zoo formed the basis of my current research interests in understanding the various phenomena caused by binary interactions

I am currently a graduate student at The Ohio State University. While at Ohio State, I also became highly active in the Armenian Students Association, an organization serving as a community for those with ties or interests in Armenian Culture, serving as president and treasurer for two years each. It's also during my time at Ohio State that I grew interested in increasing diversity in astronomy and became aware of massive disparaties in access to science education.

Contact

To get in e-mail contact with me, my address is

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