2017 Student Cohort

We had approximately 470 applications from across the country for the 7 spots in our 2017 CIERA REU program! Below you will find information about these very talented students who spent the 2017 summer with us.

Please click on each student’s name to visit their research website, which they each developed during their REU to present their research projects.





Students listed in alphabetical order by last name.

José Flores
Cal Poly Pomona (Physics), Junior
Advisor: Dr. Claudé-Andre Faucher-Giguère
Project: Time Scales of Different Star Formation Rate Indicators Using FIRE Galaxy Simulations

Nakul Gangolli
Rutgers University (Astrophysics), Junior
Advisor: Dr. André de Gouvea
Project: Finding Mass Constraints Through Third Neutrino Mass Eigenstate Decay

Keith Hermanek
Illinois Institute of Technology (Physics), Sophomore
Advisor: Dr. Fred Rasio
Project: Blue Stragglers and their Relationship to Black Holes in Globular Clusters

Natalia Obrzut
Loyola University Chicago (Physics, Biochemistry), Junior
Advisor: Dr. Magdalena Osburn
Project: Cultivation of the Deep Subsurface Microbial Communities

Monica Rizzo
Rochester Institute of Technology (Physics), Junior
Advisors: Drs. Chris Pankow and Vicky Kalogera
Project: Equation of State Effects on BHNS Merger Ejecta

Jennifer Ruda
Wheaton College (Physics, Education), Junior
Advisor: Dr. Daniel Abrams
Project: Using Synchrony to Describe the Formation of Astrophysical Systems

Candice Stauffer
Portland State University (Physics), Junior
Advisor: Dr. Raffaella Margutti
Project: Deep limits on the X-ray and radio emission from the nearby Type Iax SN 2014dt

LSST Student Sites


Nick Easton
Case Western (Astrophysics), Junior
Advisor: Drs. Adam Miller and Aaron Geller
Project: Preparing for LSST: Variable Star Classification

Tanner Leighton
Notre Dame (Physics), Sophomore
Advisor: Drs. Adam Miller and Aaron Geller
Project: LSST Variable Star Classification

Ethan Marx
Northwestern University (Physics, Astronomy), Sophomore
Advisor: Dr. Adam Miller
Project: Modeling Supernovae Light Curves

Kristopher Mortensen
Northwestern University (Physics, Astronomy), Freshman
Advisor: Drs. Adam Miller and Raffaella Margutti
Project: Designing the Kilonoca Discovery Metric for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

Ava Polzin
Northwestern University (Physics, Astronomy, Planetary Science), Junior
Advisor: Drs. Aaron Geller and Adam Miller
Project: Exploring an Improved Method for Determining LSST’s Eclipsing Binary Yield

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