I am a 6th year PhD candidate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCLA. My research centers on the use of strong gravitational lensing by galaxies to investigate the nature of dark matter.
Gravitational lensing refers to the deflection of light rays by gravitational fields. It is spectacular to witness, and enbales us to direclty probe dark matter structure in the universe. For some additional explanation about why it is useful, and to see a couple animations, click the "What is gravitational lensing" link below.