What is your position or role in the DESI project?
I am active in the Lyman-alpha Working Group and I am the chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Previously I served as Instrument Scientist during much of DESI’s construction and commissioning.
Where were you born?
I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Where do you live now?
I presently live in Columbus, Ohio.
What do you do as part of DESI?
I work with students and postdocs in the Lyman-alpha Working Group to improve our cosmological measurements. This includes cataloging Broad Absorption Line Quasars, developing machine learning methods to predict the quasar continuum, and identifying ways to decrease systematic errors in measurements of one- and three-dimensional correlations. I also work to find ways to make the collaboration better for all members and think about the design of the next major spectroscopic survey after DESI.
What is the most interesting or exciting thing about your job?
I love conducting research and the thrill of new discoveries. I also really enjoy mentoring more junior scientists.
Any advice for an aspiring scientist?
Look for opportunities to get involved in science no matter where you are in your education. While there is an incredible amount to learn to be a successful scientist, you do not need to know a lot to already start to contribute, and to experience what science is like. This is also a great way to meet other people excited about the same things you are, and that can make science even more fun. Lastly, while mentors are important, you are the most reliable advocate for yourself. Be bold and do not wait for opportunities to come to you.
What do you do for fun?
I enjoy activities with my family, including attending my kids’ activities, playing games, climbing, and travel. I also like to play classical piano music, read history books, and exercise.