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AST News

AST Graduate Students perform well at graduate symposium

April 8, 2016

Graduate Research Symposium offers students a chance to share their findings 

AST graduate students presented 12 talks at the RIT Graduate Research and Creativity Symposium.  AST Students: Jake Lange, Brennan Ireland, Harry Zhang and Alexander Rasskazov  participated in the panel discussion on Gravitational Waves. 

Zach Silberman won the best oral presentation award
Andrew Lipnicky was the runner up for the oral presentation award
Kevin Cooke won the honorable mention



RIT on TV: RIT Alumna Valerie Rapson encourages women in STEM - on WNYT

September, 2015
Valerie Rapson a PhD graduate of the AST Program at RIT now leads outreach efforts at the Dudley Observatory in Schenectady, NY.
Her goal is to provide hands-on experience for students - especially female and minority students - in the hope that more will be engaged and pursue education and careers in the sciences. 

AST Faculty Joel Kastner and his former AST PhD student Rudy Montez paper selected as High Impact

August 2015
Of the 15 papers selected as high impact research publications in the focus areas of the forthcoming International Astronomical Union General Assembly, two were led by members or graduates of AST.
One by Joel Kastner and his former AST PhD student Rudy Montez (2010):
J. H. Kastner, R. Montez Jr., B. Balick et al. 2012 ,The Astronomical Journal 144 58
The other by AST PhD graduate Fabio Antonini (2011, advised by David Merritt):
Fabio Antonini, 2013, ApJ 763 62

RIT AST Faculty and Physics undergraduate student present at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil

April 1, 2015

Physics sophomore Luke Shadler accompanied Dr. Andy Robinson to spend a week visiting the Astrophysicsresearch group at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil, during April. Dr. Robinson and recent AST Ph.D. graduate Dr. Davide Lena are working with Dr. Thaisa Storchi-Bergmann and her group at UFRGS on a joint project to map gas flows around supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei, using observations made with the Gemini North and South Telescopes on Mauna Kea Hawaii, and Cerro Pachon, Chile, respectively. Luke began been working with Dr. Robinson  during his freshman year, using a sophisticated computer program to model the structure and velocity field of the gas flows for comparison with the observations. His work expertise with this program so impressed Dr. Storchi-Bergmann that he was personally invited to UFRGS, to provide hands-on training for her graduate students in the use of this software. 

2015 AST Ph.D. graduate finds evidence for a newborn planet around a nearby, young star

January, 2016
This work was directly motivated by Valerie’s Ph.D. dissertation project, in which she obtained very similar Gemini Planet Imager results for another nearby, young star (V4046 Sgr).
Observations from the Gemini Planet Imager confirm the presence of a gap in the dusty disk surrounding the nearby star TW Hydrae. Click for a full view! [Adapted from Rapson et al. 2015]

AST Faculty & Student participate in Evan Dawson's Monthly Science Roundtable

Feb. 1, 2016

RIT's Senior Lecturer Brian Koberlein, Professor Michael Richmond, and Ph.D. student Kevin Cooke join radio host Evan Dawson's Monthly Science Roundtable for adiscussion about a possible Planet Nine beyond the orbit of Pluto. The evidence for the claim as well as possible problems with the evidence are examined as they take questions from the audience about the claim and planetary science.

RIT scientists have long reached for the stars

April 11, 2016

Four AST program faculty and their research team contributed to LIGO’s breakthrough discovery, which detected signals emitted from a black-hole collision 1.3 billion light years away. RIT’s LIGO team is preparing for the first-ever black-hole census when LIGO begins its second operational run this summer. Full Article

From Left: Carlos Lousto, Richard O'Shaughnessy, Manuela Campanelli & John Whelan.