Astronomy and Astrophysics

Title: Compact Object Binaries
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Matthew Benacquista

Students and teachers will work on projects related to modeling or observing binaries containing two compact objects (black holes, neutron stars, or white dwarfs). Modeling projects may include running population synthesis or dynamical evolution codes. These projects may also involve data mining the results of these codes to identify specific evolutionary channels or population characteristics. Observing projects may include image processing and searching for variability in light curves.

Title: Time Domain Astronomy and Optical Followup of Gravitational Wave Triggers
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mario Diaz

My interest is in the optical detection of electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational wave events, mainly neutron star- neutron star or neutron star-black hole collisions. Another area is the search and identification of high-energy optical transients and optical follow up of Gamma ray bursts. My group works with a telescope that UTRGV-CGWA has in the Macón mountain range in northwestern Argentina in the high plateau of the Atacama dessert and a telescope located in the Resaca de la Palma State Park which belongs to UTRGV. The group members participate in all the processes from image reduction to  applications of  Machine Learning techniques to identify and classify  transients.    More information about my research group can be obtained here: