We strongly encourage our graduate students to get involved with astronomical research as soon as possible, typically in their first semester in the program. We offer opportunities for both observational and theoretical projects in galaxy evolution, stellar populations, stellar physics, cosmology, and galactic dynamics. Students have access to our wide-field Schmidt telescope at Kitt Peak, Arizona, early access to data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and access to CWRU’s high speed computing cluster. Examples of possible projects for incoming graduate students can be found here.

Current Graduate Student Research

Pengfei Li is interested in “Dark Matter” or “Mass discrepancy” problem. He is exploring the Radial Acceleration Relation (RAR) for spiral galaxies and wants to use it to test various dark matter models and modified gravity theories. RAR can also potentially predict galaxies’ rotation curves and serve as a distance indicator. (Advisor: Stacy McGaugh)

Joe Curro is studying the spatial distribution of different stellar populations in the outskirts of the nearby spiral galaxy M101 using data from both the Hubble Space Telescope and CWRU’s Burrell Schmidt. (Advisor: Chris Mihos)