Research



Over the past few years I have worked on a wide range of dynamics research problems covering topics from cosmology to extrasolar planets. During my PhD I studied the formation, evolution and properties of the first generations of galaxies and 21cm fluctuations. In parallel, while still a graduate student, I was intrigued by the theoretical challenges and problems in the dynamics of our solar and extra-solar planetary systems and decided to pursue those as well. This part of my work was further enhanced these past years where I have studied the dynamical evolution of Hot Jupiters. Most notably I have found a new mechanism that, not only produces Jupiter like planets in a very close proximity to the star, but can also explain the eccentric and even retrograde observed systems. This mechanism raises many interesting research questions, which are applicable to a diverse range of astrophysical systems at different scales.

New The Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics review: The Eccentric Kozai-Lidov Effect and Its Applications (including Supplemental Material).

Research group

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Thanksgiving lunch 2017

Current students:

Grad students
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Alexander Stephan
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     Jesus Salas    
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   Yeou Chiou   
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Bao-Minh Hoang
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Sanaea Rose
Undergrad students
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Paul Denham
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Isabella Goetting
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Ahmed Qureshi
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Shelley Cheng
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Igor Van Der Put

Former students:

Grad students
  • Gongjie Li (graduate student @ Harvard) Now Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows at Harvard University / faculty @ Georgia Tech
  • Cristina Popa (graduate student @ Harvard) Now work @ Two Sigma Investments
Undergrad students
  • Cicero Xinyu Lu (undergrad @ UCLA) Now a grad @ Johns Hopkins
  • Joseph Guzman (undergrad @ Cal-Bridge and REU @ UCLA) Now grad @ Florida State
  • Jean Teyssandier (undergrad @ Northwestern) Now postdoc @ Cornell
  • Ian Lizarraga (undergrad @ Northwestern) Now graduate student @ Cornell



Talks on-line


Mettings

New AstroBash Sept. 27 2017

AstroBash Oct. 13 2016

Aspen winter conference Feb. 7-12 2016

AstroBash Dec. 11 2015




"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable... There is another theory which states that this has already happened." - Douglas Adams