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Amgen Scholars: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty for the Amgen Scholars program.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor. For additional tips on identifying a mentor click here.

Please remember:

  • Students pursuing Amgen must be U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or students with DACA status.
  • Students pursuing Amgen must complete the 10-week program from June 18 - August 23, 2024. Students must commit to these dates. No exceptions will be made.
  • Accepted students must live in provided Caltech housing.

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Project:  Interrogating Large Datasets: Catalog Analysis of Distant Lyman-Alpha Emitting Galaxies
Disciplines:  Astrophysics, Astronomy
Mentor:  Gregg Hallinan, Professor, (PMA),, Phone: 626-395-4726
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
AO Contact:  Delaney Dunne,
Background:  COMAP (the CO Mapping Array Project) is an experiment intending to map the spatial structure of molecular gas (the phase of interstellar gas that forms new stars) in galaxies throughout key phases in the universe’s history. Unlike traditional surveys of distant galaxies, COMAP will map the integrated emission from gas in many galaxies, instead of specifically targeting individual galaxies. It thus will allow an accurate determination of the amount of gas in the universe as a whole, without being biased towards the brightest objects. Statistical methods are used to disentangle the light from different galaxies, and to study the populations of galaxies emitting. This is a developing astrophysical technique known as Line Intensity Mapping (LIM).

Because these objects are distant and the signal is faint, LIM experiments tend to be very long-term. We project that COMAP will observe for 5 years before making an independent detection of cosmic molecular gas. In the meantime, more traditional galaxy surveys can be analyzed jointly with the COMAP data to increase signal-to-noise. These joint analyses have the additional benefit of combining studies of emission from different regions and gas components, meaning they can probe the properties of galaxies more holistically.
Description:  In this project, the student will refine the HETDEX catalog of galaxies, helping to further reduce its false-positive rate, thereby enhancing its value for joint analyses with COMAP data. They will analyze images and spectra of a large catalog of Hydrogen Lyman-alpha emitting galaxies, learning both techniques for verifying and reducing astronomical measurements and statistical methods for managing big data.
Student Requirements:  We strongly encourage python experience. Specific experience with astronomical python packages and background knowledge of galaxy formation is a bonus but not required.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    Caltech students only 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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