School of Physics and Astronomy, Tate Hall, Rm 230
University of Minnesota
116 Church St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
South Pole Station, Antarctica, Jan 2009
My background is in particle astrophysics, focusing on neutrino astronomy with the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole. Since coming to UMN, I've been working on gamma ray astronomy with the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS), located at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in southern Arizona. I'm interested in the connection between gamma rays and the unknown origins of cosmic rays. I'm also working on simulations of the next-generation experiment, the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). CTA will be completed by 2018, enhancing the sensitivity over existing arrays by an order of magnitude.
In an effort to detect new blazars, I'm developing software that helps extract the largest physics impact from the existing detector. I've been focusing on new fitting techniques to improve the parametrization of the telescope images. This is particularly important for high energy signals where the shower is often not fully contained in the camera's field of view. I am also working on multivariate event selection through machine learning techniques for more efficient background rejection.
My focus for CTA simulations has been on the improvement from switching from the usual Davies-Cotton optics to the never-before-built Schwarzschild-Couder (SC) design. The double-reflector SC telescope will improve the optical point-spread function, time resolution, and allow for much more finely pixelated cameras with increased field of view. Our simulations characterize just how relevant these changes will be for the science of CTA.