About Me


Graduate Student at Northwestern University,
Department of Physics and Astronomy (PhD),
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (MS)

Specialization in: Computational Physics, Numerical Analysis,
Applied and Computational Mathematics, Applied and Computational Statistics,
High Performance Computing, High Performance Streaming Hardware Design,
Software Engineering, Systems Engineering

Undergraduate Student at The Pennsylvania State University,
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics,
Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics,
Astrophysical Multi-messenger Observatory Network (AMON) Group
Schreyer Honors College

Specialization in: Computational Physics, Numerical Analysis,
Applied and Computational Mathematics, Applied and Computational Statistics,
High Performance Computing, Software Engineering, Systems Engineering
Graduated: December 2013

Undergraduate Thesis

Thesis Title: Sensitivity Study of Coherent Multi-messenger Event Analysis
Abstract: The concept of multi-messenger event detection has long been explored in the context of above-threshold analysis performed by the IceCube collaboration using Swift BAT and by the Amanda collaboration using BATSE. While these investigations produced null results, they left the event space of sub-threshold events untouched. This untapped event space, combined with the addition of new observatories for various bands and messenger types, provides the obvious niche for a GBN style network to exist: AMON. Important theory and concepts for hypothesis testing and event correlations were developed and brought into the context of multi-messenger astrophysics. Toy models were then developed for relevant neutrino and gamma-ray observatories, along with a model for neutrino-gamma source spectrum via the Guetta model. Monte-carlo models were considered for pair-wise detection between sub-threshold IceCube neutrino doublets, sub-threshold neutrino-gamma doublets with Swift BAT, and with sub-threshold higher multiplicity neutrino-gamma coincidences with Fermi LAT. Several detection methods were considered and compared to a status quo analyses of neutrino doublets by IceCube, demonstrating a significant sensitivity gain in previously un-excluded parameter space.

Technical Skills
Platforms: Windows, Mac OSX, Linux
Tools: C/C++, FORTRAN, IDL, MATLAB, Python, Bash Script, Mathematica, LaTeX, Javascript, Microsoft Office, Maple, Adobe software (Photoshop, Creative Suite Programs), Autodesk software (AutoCAD, Inventor, 3DSMax), IMSI TurboCAD, VectorWorks, Solidworks, IRAF, PyRAF, SAO DS9, NEC, FEKO, Makfiles, Cmake, Microsoft Visual studio, Emacs, VIM, wxWidgets, OpenGL, GLSL, DirectX, HLSL, OpenMPI, OpenMP, GSL, Posix Threads, VHDL, Subversion, GIT, Unreal UDK, Unreal Engine 4 (UE4)
Certifications: Milling Machine, Metal Lathe

Applied Physics Club: I was the founder and president of the Penn State Applied Physics Club, where I have organized and led groups of students in the design and construction of several experiments, as well as handle funding and university politics. Our primary project had been the construction of a 408 MHz radio telescope, where I took a major role in designing and investigating the hardware implementation (See Applied Physics Club Tab).
Rock Climbing: I climb somewhere between a 5.10 and a 5.11a, as well as boulder around a V3, depending on the route and Gym. I have been climbing on and off since March 2009.
Archery: I shoot both Recurve and Compound bows for target shooting (I do not hunt). I have been involved in archery since May 2013.
Piano: I have been playing piano on and off since middle school and have achieved moderate proficiency.
Violin: I played violin for a year in 5th grade, and have since tried to take up the instrument again (a difficult task due to lack of free time).
Digital Art: I took up digital art (using 3DS Max) in high school as an outlet for creativity and some engineering skills. I have used concepts learned from digital art in both classwork and research. See my 3D Artwork Website  – still in progress.
Computer Game Development: I have been interested in video game development since my sophomore year in college, where I began to learn OpenGL. I am working on developing a highly modular game engine in C++, as well as playing around with several game ideas. I have used game development techniques for algorithm acceleration and memory management in several research projects.

Contact Information
Tech F220
2145 Sheridan Road,
Evanston, IL 60208

Email:  joshuafixelle2014@u.northwestern.edu