SAO/LIP Student Profiles, 2018

Nassika Dabel, Undergraduate Student, UMASS Lowell

Nassika is a third year Computer Science student with a minor in Mathematics at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. She became interested in coding during high school when she made her very first website and has been hooked ever since. Her first paid job as a teen was to teach the Scratch programming language to children in her community. Currently, she is the developer for the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) retrievals site. OMPS is an advanced suite of hyper spectral instruments and measures the global distribution of the total atmospheric ozone column. Using MySQL, the site incorporates features that allow users to interact with OMPS data products. It offers a simple UI in which users can export large quantities of analysis data based on applied filters. When she is not working on programming projects, she enjoys cooking, music and promoting women in technology.

Edwin Dely, Undergraduate Student, UMASS Lowell

Edwin attends University of Massachusetts, Lowell, as a Mechanical Engineering major. As a SAO/LIP intern, he works on projects where he designs educational devices. He created a design where you can use any smartphone as a spectrometer with a mechanism that rearranges the position of the phone so the design can fit any phone. Edwin also worked on a project where he designed and constructed a light box for flat fielding in photometry. He always had the passion to become a mechanical engineer mostly because he wants to be able to design many things and the research that he completed at the CfA has helped him in this direction. He has improved his skills in SolidWorks and learned Python programming - another goal that he had coming into this program. He is currently the secretary of UML’s NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) chapter and when he is not doing pursuing engineering, he works on his own clothing brand that he created with some longtime friends that is called D.O.A.D.L.S (Dope On All Different Levels).

Dalton Grady, Undergraduate Student, UMASS Lowell

Dalton attends the University of Massachusetts, Lowell (UML), as an undergraduate currently pursuing a bachelors degree in computer science. Under the supervision of Dr. Francesca Civano, Dalton is researching the separation of black holes from their host galaxies through creating models of a wide variety of galaxies. The data he is observing is found from the COSMOS source catalog and includes the optical observations of over a hundred thousand different sources taken by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Along with his advisor, Dalton is hoping to make a discovery that could change what people know about black holes. His strong love for computers and technology have given him the opportunity to apply his skills to a different field of science. Back at UML, he is currently the treasurer of the UMass Lowell Ballroom Dance Team and has been dancing ever since his first year at college. In his spare time, he enjoys playing video games, reading novels, watching horror movies, listening to music, and skateboarding.

Malcolm Gyagenda, Undergraduate Student, UMASS Lowell

Malcolm attends the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, as a Mechanical Engineering Major with a minor in Mathematics. As a SAO/LIP intern he works with the atmospheric measurements group to monitor air quality. Using the Pandora spectrometer, designed by NASA, Malcolm is able to monitor solar ultraviolet and visible radiation as it travels throughout the Earth's atmosphere in order to determine atmospheric composition. These Pandora measurements will help scientists to understand the processes that drive local air quality and to validate air quality satellite missions like TEMPO. Pandora looks at different trace gases like ozone, formaldehyde and nitrogen dioxide. As an intern he has been able to learn more about space technology, the Earth’s atmosphere, astrophysics and about upcoming projects like TEMPO, which is NASA’s first Earth Venture instrument mission to measure the pollution over North America hourly at a high spatial resolution. At school he is involved in the Assistive Technology Program and he enjoys playing guitar and video games in his free time.

Alexander MacLeod, Undergraduate Student, UMASS Lowell

Alex is currently attending the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He is a member of the Commonwealth Honors College and is majoring in chemical engineering with a biology focus and a minor in mathematics. After college, he plans on pursuing a career doing research in the pharmaceutical industry. Although Alex is focusing on chemistry and biology, astronomy has intrigued him since taking an astronomy course in high school. This summer he is working with Dr. Sarah Sadavoy on an observational project called Revealing the Temperature Structure of Protostellar Cores that uses formaldehyde (H2CO) lines to measure gas temperatures in thirteen different star forming cores in the Perseus molecular cloud. The gas temperatures will be measured using two different methods. For the first method, Alex will compare line ratios for two formaldehyde lines with an assumption of thermodynamic equilibrium. The other method will utilize radiative transfer models to determine the gas temperatures and density. The gas temperatures will then be compared to the cores to find correlations with the age of the system, mass of the core, and the number of stars within the core to name a few. Working at the CfA has given Alex an unique opportunity to conduct hands-on research in astrophysics while majoring in chemical engineering and has further opened up new pathways that he can explore in academia.

Fernando Mazzoni, Undergraduate Student, UMASS Lowell

Fernando is a Physics undergraduate student currently attending the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML). At the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, his research is focused on the origins of Dwarf Carbon stars (dC) through X-ray emissions under Dr. Rudy Montez. He is investigating the regions near dC stars for potential binary companions. Using Python, he is analyzing data from the second Gaia data release in order to compare the parallaxes to prior calculations. Fernando became interested in Physics through his curiosity and desire to understand the world around him. At UML, Fernando is the Treasurer of the Society of Physics Students and enjoys discussions on math, physics, and TV shows. He is thrilled to be taking courses like Computational Methods, General Relativity, and Complex Variables this upcoming semester. Furthermore, he is studying and practicing for the GRE’s. Fernando is excited to progress forward into his future endeavors. In the interim, he diligently helps each student in the SAO/LIP feel comfortable in the work environment as this year's Peer Mentor.