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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:  Modeling Compact Objects in Dense Stellar Clusters
Disciplines:  Astronomy, Astrophysics
Mentor:  Kyle Kremer, NASA Einstein Fellow, (PMA),, Phone: 9372698602
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  Over the past few years, the groundbreaking detections of gravitational wave signals from merging binary black holes and neutron stars by LIGO/Virgo have opened a new window to the cosmos. One key question regarding these gravitational wave sources concerns the nature of their origin. Dynamical formation in dense stellar environments like globular clusters has emerged as an important formation channel, corroborated by recent numerical simulations and observational indications suggesting that globular clusters contain dynamically significant populations of stellar-mass black holes throughout their lifetimes. Globular clusters are dense systems that are ideal laboratories to study both gravitational dynamics and the formation of exotic stellar sources including binary black hole mergers, as well as millisecond pulsars, tidal disruption events, stellar collisions, and X-ray binaries.
Description:  For this project, the student will use state-of-the-art N-body simulations to study the dynamics of dense stellar clusters with a particular focus on black holes and gravitational waves. With this general theme in mind, the specific focus of the project will be open ended and can be tailored to fit the student’s particular interests in consultation with the project mentor. The work will be primarily computational in nature. Experience coding in python is ideal. This SURF research project will be hosted at Carnegie Observatories, which is located roughly a mile north of Caltech campus. Carnegie hosts undergraduate research summer students from a variety of colleges and universities across Southern California. In addition to research, Carnegie summer interns (including those from the SURF program) participate in a wide variety of professional development activities, including a coding bootcamp at the beginning of the summer, scientific communication workshops throughout the program, and seminars on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in science. Upon successful completion of the program, all students will also be given the opportunity to attend the American Astronomical Society meeting and present their research the following January. More information about the Carnegie Summer program can be found at
Student Requirements:  Position available to Caltech students only. Research will be conducted at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena as part of the Carnegie Astrophysics Summer Student Internship (CASSI) program which runs from June 17th - Aug 23rd. Students must be present for the full duration of the program.
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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