Photos by Julianna Coleman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Text by Elizabeth Cychosz, email@example.com
Mysteries of the universe were revealed to those who chose to listen this past Saturday, Jan. 26. The Society of Physics Students hosted its annual Undergraduate Research Conference on this day in Walter 145.
Four undergraduates competed for a recognition prize by presenting their research to a panel of judges and an audience of about 20 people. Each spoke about astrophysics or astrometry, an unusual occurrence for the conference, which normally features a similar number of general and astrophysics presentations.
Yashashree Jadhav, a junior astrophysics major, was announced by the judges at the end of the conference to be the winner. Her presentation – “The TAIMing of the HLA: Transformations to Allow Image Mapping” – detailed her internship experience last summer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md. She coded a program to align images from the Hubble Space Telescope of the M5 and M4 globular clusters. This way, the images could be studied without scientists needing to be mindful of shifts in perspective.
Other presentations included those by Helen Cothrel, Samantha Thrush and Keith Hawkins. Cothrel, a sophomore, presented “Neutrino Emission from Neutron Stars via the Direct Urca Process.” Thrush, also a sophomore, described her research “Light Curves and Spectra of Modeled Blazars.” Hawkins, a senior, voluntarily excluded his presentation, “Going, Going, Gone: A search for solar-type hypervelocity stars,” from the judging process, because he had won the previous two conferences.