On January 10-13, Geoff Baum '10, of Lockport, NY, and Physics Laboratory Coordinator Jeffrey Miller attended the 3rd ALFALFA Undergraduate Team Workshop at the Arecibo Radio Observatory, in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The NSF-funded workshop centers on research examining cool hydrogen in distant galaxies. Baum presented his SYE computer science project, conducted with Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics Richard Sharp, titled "Numerical N-Body Simulation and Visualization" to the group, including computer simulations he created that demonstrate the interaction of massive galaxies.
During the workshop students are given tours of the Arecibo Radio Telescope, the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world, and have the opportunity to operate the telescope during observing runs. They also participate in "scavenger hunts," exercises designed to familiarize students with the operation of the telescope and the techniques of analyzing the data collected from it.
In the photo above, Baum and Miller are in front of the 900-ton platform that contains the telescope's measuring instruments. The platform is suspended 450 feet over the main dish, which itself is 1,000 feet in diameter. (Photo: Tom Balonek, Colgate University)
More: Research Opportunities for Students
Posted: January 29, 2010