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Gillen B

- Research Program Mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy


astronomy, physics, galaxies

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.

Investigating the Radii of Star Clusters

Most stars are born in star clusters, which are groups of hundreds to millions of stars. As part of my research, I measured the radii of 6000 clusters seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. This database of cluster radii is publicly available, with plenty of questions left to answer. In this project, you'll learn why star clusters are interesting, learn how to analyze data using Python, then combine the two to get new insights about star clusters. The final product of this project would likely be a scientific paper or essay, but there are a lot of ways to present this information.

Investigating Galaxy Populations

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey has data for tens of millions of galaxies. There's a nearly unlimited number of questions to be answered with this data, so you can pick something you're interested in! This could include how galaxies grow over time, how the black holes at the center of galaxies effects galaxies, or how galaxies form stars. Then you'll learn how to work with large astronomy data sets using Python to answer the question you've laid out. This would likely result in an essay or scientific publication.

Coding skills

Python, C++, LaTeX

Interested in working with expert mentors like Gillen?

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