Andrew C. Becker, Research Assistant Professor
Contact InformationEmail: becker@astro
Office : C327
Phone : 206.
Fax : 206.685.0403
Dept. of Astronomy
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-1580
3910 15th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98195-1580
My research interests in the past have focused on detecting and following-up unusual microlensing events in real-time (with MACHO, GMAN, and MPS). However, my pursuits have since broadened to the generalized problem of detecting and classifying astronomical variability regardless of type (with DLS, SDSS, and LSST). In particular, if one wants to recognize rare classes of transient events, the background of more prosaic astronomical variability must first be recognized and removed. Modern surveys that simultaneously survey faint, fast, and wide are now at a threshold where we expect these new sorts of discoveries. Accomplishing this will require advances in the integration of computing and information management necessary to extract and model astronomical variability information in real-time. Recent science pursuits include: mining survey data for distant Trans-Neptunian Objects, phasing large time-series of 2MASS data for periodic variability, pursuing a novel method to estimate Supernova Type Ia distances and constrain cosmology, undertaking a Principal Component Analysis of M-dwarf spectra, and writing reams of software for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.
Type Ia Supernova
Low Mass Stars and their Variability
Mining all of these from 1 data stream, concurrently
Survey Science Research
At this stage, writing the pixel--level applications for the nightly image processing pipeline.
Constraining cosmology using Type I supernovae; mining the supernova data for asteroids and solar system objects; creating a database of period objects from this dataset.
Other Survey Science
Data mining the 2MASS calibration area; searching for transit timing varaitions in known transiting exoplanet sysetems.
Students and Research
Amy Rose (transit timing variations); AJ Singh and Kathryn Smith (phase curves of asteroids).
Research, Diversity and OutreachActive in the Department's Pre-MAP program. Leading a 9-week NSF Faculty and Student Teams (FaST) program at the University, awarded as a subcontract through LSST Corporation. We are working on modelling the transfer function of LSST for recovering periodic variability.