This is the unofficial website of the NSF AAPF program, run by the fellows themselves. For official information about the fellowship, please go to the NSF program announcement.
Though not intended as such, massive spectroscopic galaxy surveys, such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), can be transformed into transient surveys, as some of the galaxies surveyed will serendipitously host a transient. As a NSF AAPF Fellow, I will upgrade my supernova detection code to be able to detect any type of transient, including new, unknown types. I will then apply it to several spectroscopic galaxy surveys (e.g., SDSS, BOSS, DESI) to discover Type Ia supernovae and tidal disruption events, and study their nature.
Based on my experience as a mentor in the American Museum of Natural History's Science Research Mentoring Program (SRMP), I will set up a similar program at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in which CfA postdocs and advanced graduate students will mentor high-school students from the Cambridge and Boston metro areas by supervising them in authentic research projects. This program will expose young adults to active scientific research. Supervising students is an important component of many scientists’ careers, yet we are seldom trained to do so. The SRMP@Harvard mentors will learn this valuable skill set, better preparing them for their future careers.