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Imad P

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Yale University


Astronomy: Galaxies, Astronomy:Machine Learning, Astronomy:Data Analysis


I am a 6th year PhD student at Yale University, studying the astrophysics of galaxies in the universe. My research focuses on the challenging task of actually observing distant galaxies with the world's most massive telescopes, and in successfully extracting science from those observations so that we can learn how our universe was born, evolved, and came to be how it is now. In particular, I am interested in all the processes that bring gas -- the fuel for stars, planets, and life -- into galaxies, and those which expel them out. In my spare time, I love listening to and playing music, watching movies, and rock climbing (outdoors or at our local climbing gym). I am also a Dungeon Master for a few long-standing D&D games, which is both a creative outlet and source of great fun with my friends. I love mentoring and working with students, and am looking forward to seeing what you will accomplish!

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Predicting Galaxy Properties with Machine Learning

Taking images of galaxies is relatively straightforward, but determining a galaxy's properties from images is challenging for many reasons. Using a synthetic "galaxy image creator", we will create mock galaxies for which we know the intrinsic properties, and train a machine learning model to accurately predict those properties.

Emission Lines in Nearby Galaxies

Learn data reduction techniques and data analysis skills using a unique set of spectroscopic observations of galaxies taken with the 5m Palomar Telescope. Using these observations, we can detect emission lines in the spectra of these galaxies to learn about their star formation processes.

Coding skills

python, HTML, CSS, Fortran

Teaching experience

I have taught courses at the university level for 6 years, including TA positions, co-instructional roles, and primary instructional roles. I have also mentored both undergraduate and high school students in research projects, including through the Yale Summer Program in Astrophysics, which brings high school students to Yale for summer research internships. While I have extensive experience teaching astronomy across sub-disciplines, one of my areas of expertise is in teaching the programming skills required to be an astronomer, and I maintain a textbook and free resources for this online at www.learnastropython.com.


Work experience

Yale University (2018 - Current)
Yale Summer Program in Astrophysics (2019 - 2019)
University of California, Berkeley (2015 - 2018)
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (2016 - 2016)
Summer Research Scientist


University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
BA Bachelor of Arts (2018)
Astrophysics, Physics
Yale University
MS Master of Science
Yale University
MPhil Master of Philosophy
Yale University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate

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