Daniel Wysocki

I am beginning my Ph.D. studies in the School of Physics & Astronomy’s Astrophysical Sciences & Technology program at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Throughout my first year, I will be working as a teaching assistant for introductory physics classes. During this time, I will be searching for a research advisor, whom I will work with for the remainder of my Ph.D. While my research topic has not yet been chosen, I have a strong interest in applying data mining and machine learning algorithms to extract patterns and new discoveries from the datasets collected by projects such as Gaia, SDSS, and the upcoming LSST. This is a rapidly growing, new area of astronomy, which I believe will become prevalent in the coming decades.

I graduated from SUNY Oswego, where I obtained my B.S. in Physics and Computer Science, with an Astronomy minor. I worked on several astronomical research projects under the advisement of Shashi Kanbur, involving various aspects of Cepheid variable stars, and am currently continuing a project on the structure of the Large Magellanic Cloud as traced by Cepheids. I also worked on an AI research project, under the advisement of Craig Graci, which utilizes hidden Markov models to represent musical melodies for song analysis and generation (semester paper).

In the summer of 2015, I interned at NASA’s JPL, where I was tasked with finding bugs in a software package which simulates the thermodynamics of Saturn and its rings. The accuracy of this simulation will play an important role in the Cassini Grand Finale.