What is your position or role in the DESI project?
I am a PhD student working in the galaxy clustering group, where I work on generating high-fidelity mocks for DESI QSOs and studying their halo occupation distribution. I also take shifts as a Support Observer for DESI.
Where were you born?
I was born in New Delhi, India, but I have my roots in the South Indian state of Kerala, one of the most beautiful places in the whole world.
Where do you live now?
After my undergraduate studies in India, I moved to Texas, USA, to pursue my PhD at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
What do you do as part of DESI?
I work on probing the cosmic expansion of our Universe by studying how the large-scale structures are clustered. In DESI, I work on QSOs to generate high-fidelity mocks using the subhalo abundance matching (SHAM) technique, with the help of UCHUU simulations. I study two-point correlation statistics of this clustering and also find their halo occupation distribution (HOD). Twice a semester, I also take shifts as a Support Observer for DESI where I am in charge of afternoon calibrations and data quality assessment.
What is the most interesting or exciting thing about your job?
I have always wanted to study why the Universe is the way it is. Despite being just a speck of dust in the vastness of this universe, Astrophysics helps us to study the grandest events to ever have happened.
Any advice for an aspiring scientist?
Don’t give up on your dreams, and be ready to accept failures along with success. Curiosity, Commitment, and Patience are your best friends in research life. Take lots of notes, and When in doubt—always follow your notes.
What do you do for fun?
I enjoy playing table tennis, tennis, and cricket. I also enjoy watching them in my free time. I am a huge Potterhead and Lord of the Rings fan, so you can discuss anything from the Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings world if you meet me. I also occasionally write poetry.
If you weren’t a scientist, what would be your dream job?
If not a scientist, I would have been a poet or a cricketer.
What excites/interests you most about DESI?
This job of being a beginner-level researcher with DESI provides me with an opportunity to realize my dreams of understanding the cosmos. The best part is the chance to collaborate with the greatest minds out there in this field. I get to interact with experts in theory, computation, and instrumentation. I get to learn new and interesting discoveries after attending each group meeting.