Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Summertime...

and here I am, back at Haverford. Most of my free time looks to be devoted to studying for the GREs and fencing, but the lion's share of my attention, time and enthusiasm will be taken up by my research.

The best place to start talking about this is the end; what my goals are. For this summer I'll be working with N-body + SPH simulations of Milky Way like galaxies to make predictions for the LSST. The objectives stated are:

1) Develop a method to look at and analyze the simulations from a perspective within the galaxy (like someone on the Earth observing the Milky Way);

2) Do the same, except change the perspective to that of someone within a nearby galaxy (like someone from the Earth observing Andromeda)

Of course, on a shorter timescale (~2 weeks) I've got some intermediate steps:
1) Develop an understanding and intuition of the simulations and write up a summary of this;
2) Learn about the LSST (it's methods, specs, what makes it unique, what it will/won't do, it's likes and dislikes...) and write up a summary of that;
3) Gain some experience and develop techniques for analyzing the simulations in IDL.

So far, I'm reading about the simulations to get a good preliminary understanding of them, reading select bits of the big book of LSST science (the LSST Science Book) and playing around with tipsy, learning how to view the simulations and different aspects thereof.  It's gonna be a busy summer!

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