University of California, San Diego
Columbia University, New York, NY
Graduate Department of Physics Columbia College
M.S. Physics, 2006
B.A. Astrophysics; conc: Psychology, 2002
Graduate researcher: UCSD Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences; Columbia University
Department of Astronomy (March 2011 – Present)
Thesis focuses on the AM CVn class of cataclysmic variable stars: interacting binary white dwarf systems
with orbital periods shorter than one hour. Analysis of photometric light curves involves computing
power spectra based on the discrete fourier transform of the data.
Observer: Kitt Peak Observatory, Arizona (Feb 2002 – Present)
Time series CCD photometry of cataclysmic binaries and gamma-ray bursts, using 1.3-meter and 2.4-
meter optical telescopes. Data reduction with UNIX and Image Reduction and Analysis Facility (IRAF),
training graduate students, independent study of gamma-ray bursts and high-energy astrophysics.
Graduate Student Researcher: UCSD Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences (Jul 2005 –Aug 2006.)
Studied galaxy formation at high redshift with Dr. Arthur Wolf. Analyzed optical data to infer star-
formation rates in Damped Lyman Alpha systems: clouds of neutral hydrogen, with may be progenitors to
modern spirals. Data analysis with Interactive Data Language (IDL), C programming, independent study
of gas kinematics, thermodynamics, and Lambda-Cold-Dark-Matter (LCDM) Cosmology.
Studied x-ray data from binary systems with Dr. John Tomsick. Compared systems believed to contain
neutron stars with those believed to contain black holes, to identify differences in energy emission. Aim:
to test theory that a black hole does not have a radiating surface. Chandra X-ray analysis with IRAF.
Study of high-energy astrophysics.
Undergraduate Researcher: Columbia Astrophysics Labs (Oct 2099 - Nov 2002)
Searched for stellar radio emitters using FIRST, SDSS, and Tycho2 surveys, with follow-up observations
at MDM. Tools: C, IRAF, IDL, Astronomical Image Processing System (AIPS.) Study of stellar
structure and radiative processes.
Observer: Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory; La Serena, Chile (Oct 2001)
Learned CCD photometry on the 0.9-meter optical telescope.
THEATRE and SCIENCE EVENT PRODUCTION
Co-founder; co-artistic director: Reality Aside Theatre, Inc. (Jul 2007 – Present)
Produce comedic and science-themed plays for general audiences in midtown Manhattan, and tour the
educational science show “Spin ½” throughout New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Reality
Aside is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Production, playwriting, and performance history available upon request.
Presenter: American Museum of Natural History: Hayden Planetarium (‟06 – 2008)
Delivered planetarium lectures on astronomy, working with the Digital Universe: a 3D map
comprised of satellite photos and data sets; helped plan topics for future talks.
Program Assistant: Science & the Arts (City University of NY) (Sep 2006 – Jun 2007)
Helped stage and plan events that connect art and science. Designed and wrote advertisements,
coordinated with visiting performers, analyzed audience feedback. Program website:
Writer, Researcher: Columbia College (2003 – 2004)
Developed an online textbook for a Columbia undergraduate science course, “Frontiers of
Science”, which Columbia established as a core requirement in Fall 2004 [Helfand et al, 2004.] Edited
and proofread text, wrote supplementary tutorials, designed web illustrations, helped prepare course
content. Full text: http://www.fos-online.org/habitsofmind/index.html
Science Writer: The Princeton Review (2006 – 2007)
Wrote science passages and questions for Princeton Review SAT Test Preparation materials.
Observer, Instructor: Public Observing Nights, Columbia University (2099-2002)
Ran Columbia‟s telescopes during public observing nights. Taught public about objects observable from
New York, and about observational astronomy in general.
Adjunct Professor: Lehman College, City University of New York (Jan 2011 – Present)
Teach astronomy lectures and labs to undergraduate liberal arts and graduate students. Material includes:
historic overview, everyday astronomy, the Solar System, and stellar evolution.
Adjunct Professor: The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York (Jan ‟10-
Teach astronomy and physics to undergraduate art majors: history, everyday astronomy, stellar evolution,
cosmology, Newtonian mechanics, special relativity, and topics in modern physics.
Tutor: The Study Shack (Sep 2007 – Present)
Tutor students aged 7-18, privately, on homework help and basic study skills.
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Tutor: UC San Diego Physics Department (Sep 2004 – Aug 2006)
Led undergraduate physics recitation sessions: mechanics and astronomy, wrote homeworks,
administered exams, graded. Tutored undergraduates through department tutoring service.
Volunteer teacher: African Israelites Community Orphanage, Ghana, West Africa (Jun 2002)
Taught young children English and math. Lived with family of orphanage‟s founder.
Complete teaching history available upon request.
VOLUNTEERING & MEMBERSHIPS
Volunteer: Weill Cornell Medical Center: Neurology and Neurosurgery, New York (Jun 2009 – Present)
Volunteer: World Science Festival, New York (Jun 2009)
Member: National Association of Science Writers (2006 – Present)
Member: Science Writers in New York (2006 – Present)
Member: Student Physics Society (2002-2006)
National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention (2006-7)
Golden Key International Honour Society (2002 – Present)
Columbia University Dean‟s List (2098-2002)
Hoffman-Beller Named Scholarship for women in science and engineering (2099-2002)
Seagram Fellowship for high performance in science and engineering (2098-2099)
The Grand Tour, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) , New York; Dec 2008
From the Big Bang to Now, in 55 Minutes, AMNH; Nov 2007
Why the Universe Looks the Way it Does, AMNH,; Dec 2007
The FIRST Unbiased Search for Radio Stars, Columbia University Astrofest, Sep 2001