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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2017 can be found here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

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.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

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Project:  Constraining fundamental physics with Weak Lensing, Galaxy Clustering and Cosmic Microwave Background data
Disciplines:  Astronomy/Astrophysics, Computer Science
Mentor:  Tim Eifler, (JPL),
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  Ongoing and future ground- and space-based galaxy redshift surveys (DES, HSC, PFS, DESI, LSST, Euclid, WFIRST) will provide high quality data sets that allow us to constrain the standard model of cosmology, in particular the phenomenon of dark energy, at unprecedented accuracy. Beyond dark energy the richness of these data sets allows us to infer details on structure formation, the evolution of galaxies in their environment, the impact of neutrino physics, primordial non-Gaussianity of the density field, inflation, etc.
The tightest constraints on these phenomena will come from comparing and combining data from these galaxy redshift surveys (which probe the late time, low redshift Universe) to data from the Cosmic Microwave Background, in particular the Planck experiment (which probes the early time, high redshift Universe). Recent analyses indicate some tension between Planck and the low redshift data sets, and it is one of the most interesting near-term cosmology questions whether new data will increase or resolve this tension.
Description:  At JPL we are developing a corresponding analysis framework and plan to compare the public Planck data to data from the ongoing Dark Energy Survey (, which is the most recent and powerful galaxy redshift survey. During the 3 months the summer student can participate in this endeavour thereby gaining insight into the exciting world of analyzing deep space observations. Together with staff scientists and postdocs at JPL we offer a range of possible projects depending on skill and interest. The projects range from 1) post-processing of numerical simulations and 2) contributing software modules (in C and python) to the analysis framework to 3) work on early weak lensing and galaxy clustering data from the Dark Energy Survey.
Student Requirements:  Curiosity, interest in cosmology, coding skills in C or python
Location / Safety:  Project building and/or room locations: . Student will need special safety training: No.
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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