Praise for the CASPEN program from first three OKC participants

Stockholm at sunset with the city hall tower prominently in view
Credits: Björn Olin/Folio/
The first three OKC:ers to use the CASPEN (Cosmology and Astroparticle Student and Postdoc Exchange Network) program have reported back that their visits were a success! CASPEN provides travel funds for collaborative visits to institutions in the network.

Tanja Petrushevska (former OKC PhD student, now a postdoc at the University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia) used CASPEN to visit Stanford, California and collaborate on a project with former OKC member Manuel Meyer. They worked to estimate the explosion time from core-collapse supernovae in order to search Fermi gamma-ray data for evidence of axion-like particles from these events. Tanja says that, “all in all, it was a very nice and beneficial experience.”

Axel Widmark (OKC PhD student) travelled to the Flatiron Institute in New York, New York to work with David Hogg for two weeks. They made a full joint fit of a subset of Gaia data with a population model that includes binary (and higher multiple) stars under a Bayesian Hierarchical Model framework. Their model can now be used to classify Gaia objects as single stars, binaries, trinaries, and potentially higher multiples. Axel enjoyed experiencing the atmosphere in another research institute and hopes to implement some of his favorite things here at the OKC. Axel says, “overall, my visit to the Flatiron Institute has been very productive and, in my mind, a great success.”

Suhail Dhawan (OKC postdoc) worked on a project which aims to use physical properties of Type Ia supernovae to improve the general classification of supernovae. His collaborators were Robert Schuhmann, Hiranya Peiris and Jason Mcewen. Suhail says, “the program was a great collaborative experience. There was a lot of nice administrative support for the program, so the logistics were made easy (e.g. the support letter for my visa application).”

For OKC:ers who are interested in starting a project with someone in the CASPEN network : first identify a potential collaborator from one of the host institutions and agree on a specific work plan and potential dates for a visit. Then propose a visit using this form.

(Note : there may be visa complications and additional fees if you plan to travel to the USA.)

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