College of Science

CHAMP: University of Pennsylvania

Penn HERA summer students

PHOTO (above): Previous year’s summer students at Penn have worked on imaging of PAPER and HERA data and understanding of the polarization properties of these instruments.

Radio Astronomy Research at University of Pennsylvania

The radio astronomy group at the University of Pennsylvania currently consists of Prof. James Aguirre, postdoc Paul LaPlante, and graduate students Saul Kohn and Zac Martinot. The group works on electromagnetic simulations of the HERA antenna element, power spectrum and imaging analysis of HERA data, and simulations of the physics of reionization and interpretation of those in terms of observable power spectra. On the instrumentation side, we are particularly interested in the interaction of polarized emission with the antenna element, and with the effects of the ionosphere on observations.

We also develop hardware similar to that used in HERA for teaching and outreach and where students can analyze their own data.

antenna with students
Penn deploys hardware similar to that used in HERA in rooftop radio telescopes in the city. These radio telescopes are used in outreach at local high schools (pictured: Boys’ Latin Charter students) and in teaching at Penn.

Program Details

What is it?

Students will begin the summer attending a one week radio astronomy “boot camp” designed to give them some of the skills they will need to succeed in their research. They will then work for the next 9 weeks with faculty and staff at Penn on HERA-related projects.

Selected students will receive a $5000 stipend for the full 10 weeks. In addition, participants will be provided with housing and reimbursed for travel from home or campus to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Who should apply?

the lab building
The David Rittenhouse Laboratory is home to the University of Pennsylvania Department of Physics where a number of cosmological experiments are underway. The department’s cosmology students and faculty are housed in newly renovated wing with common space for collaboration and discussion.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by the beginning of the program. They must be enrolled in one of the CAMPARE participating institutions at the time of their application. Participants should not have graduated from their 4-year institution before the beginning of the summer internship. Community college students in the process of transferring to a 4-year institution are eligible to apply.

All applicants must have completed a minimum of one full year of college-level physics by the start of the program.

When and How to Apply

Applications are due February 1, 2018. To apply to the program, follow the Application Instructions. In addition, you must ask two faculty members (or others familiar with your academic or work background) to submit letters of reference using the link on the application instructions page.

Indicate their names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses in your on-line application where appropriate. It is your responsibility to confirm that these letters have been sent and failure to obtain these two letters will render your application incomplete and lead to its rejection without review.

Successful students will be notified in March. The research program runs Monday, June 11th to Friday, August 17th 2018 (10 weeks). Participants must be available during the entire 10-week period of the program.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-1636646.

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