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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:  Searching for pulsation signals on low-mass stars with TESS
Discipline:  Astronomy
Mentor:  Gregg Hallinan, Professor, (PMA),
AO Contact:  Rocio Kiman,
Background:  Asteroseismology is one of the most powerful tools we have to study the interior and fundamental properties of stars. This technique measures the oscillations of a star by measuring periodic changes of brightness in the star’s light-curve. With the Kepler and K2 missions this field has seen important progress, especially in the study of oscillations in solar-like stars and red-giants, which was not possible from the ground. Oscillations have not been yet detected at the lowest-mass end of the main sequence, although they were predicted several years ago. Now, similar --- or even greater --- progress in asteroseismology is happening due to the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), with its unique combination of red sensitivity and short observing cadence, which makes it ideally suited to photometric detection of low-mass star, or M dwarf, oscillations. If detected, M dwarf oscillations would provide an independent way to estimate mass, radius and effective temperature, which could help fix the existing discrepancies between observations and models.
Description:  For this project the student will analyze light-curves from TESS looking for pulsation signals on low-mass stars. The student can choose between two methods to analyze the TESS data. In the first method, the student will use an existing python code to extract light-curves and analyze the signal for a sample of M dwarfs with 20 second cadence data, requested specially for this project. In the second method the student will develop an unsupervised clustering learning algorithm to classify light curves from the TESS database and distinguish possible pulsation signals from rotators and eclipsing binaries.
Student Requirements:  The project requires some programming skills using python.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

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

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