2018 Student Cohort

2018 REU Student CohortWe had approximately 400 applications from across the country for the 8 NSF-funded spots in our 2018 CIERA REU program!

We also had additional funding from the LSSTC, the Illinois Space Grant, and faculty grants, allowing us to fund a total of 15 students this summer.

Below you will find information about these very talented students who spent the 2018 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.

Sam Berry
Truman CCC (Physics), Sophomore
Advisor: Shane Larson
Project: LISA’s Observation of Inspiraling Binary Black Holes

Andrew BowenAndrew Bowen
Northwestern University (Physics, Astronomy), Sophomore
Advisor: Aaron Geller, Adam Miller
Project: Eclipsing Binaries in the LSST Era

Lexi DetweilerAlexandra (Lexi) Detweiler
Illinois Institute of Technology (Physics), Sophomore
Advisor: Seth Jacobson
Project: Examining Initial Conditions of Planetary Formation Simulations

Nick EastonNick Easton
Case Western
(Astronomy), Senior
Advisor: Aaron Geller, Adam Miller
Project: Variable Star Classifications: Combining Citizen Science and Machine Learning

Carlo EsquiviaCarlo Esquivia
Hamilton College
(Physics), Junior
Advisor: Wen-Fai Fong
Project: On to Off: Predictions for the Radio Afterglows of Neutron Star Mergers

Jack FosterJack Foster
Sanford University
(Physics), Freshman
Advisor: Vicky Kalogera, Chris Pankow, Adam Miller
Project: Predicting Observing Conditions to Optimize Target of Opportunity Observation in the LSST Era

Sophie HaightSophie Haight
Columbia University
(Astrophysics), Freshman
Advisors: Vicky Kalogera, Chris Pankow, Pablo Marchant
Project: Merger Rates of High Mass X-ray Binary Systems

Sinead HumphreySinead Humphrey
DePaul University
(Physics, Mathematical Sciences), Sophomore
Advisors: Vicky Kalogera, Scott Coughlin
Project: Finding Gravitational Wave Signals from Core Collapse Supernovae

Mitchell LachatMitch Lachat
Allegheny College 
(Physics, Mathematics), Sophomore
Advisor: Fred Rasio, Kyle Kremer
Project: Gamma Ray Bursts from Black Hole – Star Collisions in Globular Clusters

Enrique LeónEnrique León
DePaul University
(Physics, Mathematics), Sophomore
Advisor: Michael Schmitt
Project: Type Ia Supernovae and their Intrinsic Luminosity

Ethan MarxEthan Marx
Northwestern University (Physics, Astronomy), Junior
Advisor: Adam Miller

Kristopher MortensenKris Mortensen
Northwestern University (Physics, Astronomy), Sophomore
Advisors: Adam Miller, Raffaella Margutti
Project: The Importance of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope in Kilonova Discovery

Isaac RiveraIsaac Rivera
Northwestern University (Physics, Computer Science), Junior
Advisors:  Wen-fai Fong, Vicky Kalogera, Michael Zevin, Chase Kimball
Project: Constraining Natal Kicks of Binary Neutron Star Systems

Mahlet ShiferawMahlet Shiferaw
Harvard College (Astrophysics, Physics), Junior
Advisors: Claude-André Faucher-Giguère, Aaron Geller, Alex Richings, Alex Gurvich
Project: Visualizing HII Abundance in FIRE Data

Megan TillmanMegan Tillman
Texas A&M University (Physics, Astrophysics, Mathematics), Sophomore
Advisor: Claude-André Faucher-GiguèreSarah Wellons
Project: The Quasar Luminosity Function from FIRE Simulations of Galaxy Formation

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