For Undergraduates

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Training the next generation of time-domain astronomers

The ZTF partnership is deeply committed to teaching and training undergraduate students to become the next generation leaders in time-domain astronomy. Each year, ZTF faculty and postdocs take undergraduate students through various mentorship programs available at their respective institutions.

At Caltech, such programs are the Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), and the Freshman Summer Research Institute (FSRI).

Students & Projects


Searching binary central stars in planetary nebulae with ZTF

Tam Man Shuen (The Chinese University of Hong Kong/National Tsing Hua University) | REU Program 2022
Mentor: Albert Kong

Constraining the early light curves of Type Ia supernovae

Anna Grace Ulses (Trinity College Dublin) | REU Program 2022
Mentor: Kate Macguire

Exploring the diversity of Type Ia supernova environments

Robert Senzel (Trinity College Dublin) | REU Program 2022
Mentor: Kate Macguire

Correlations between SN Ia and their host’s properties in the ZTF DR2 volume limited sample

Madeleine Ginolin (IN2P3) | IN2P3 REU Program 2022
Mentor: Mickael Rigault

Technique for discovery of white dwarfs with transitary planerary debris in ZTF

Soumyadeep Bhattacharjee (Indian Institute of Science) | Caltech SURF 2022
Mentor: Zach Vanderbosch / Shri Kulkarni

Defining and characterizing the full sample of young Type Ia supernovae found with ZTF-I

Anastasia Wei (Northwestern University) | NW REU 2022
Mentor: Adam Miller

Combining Data Science, STEM, and Astronomy with Android App ZARTH

Anika Arora (Caltech) | Caltech SURF 2022
Mentor: Ashish Mahabal

Fritz development for multi-messenger astrophysics

Leo Yang (Caltech) | Caltech SURF 2022
Mentor: Robert Stein

Hardware accelerated inferencing on alert streams using Edge TPUs

Randy Ngo (Caltech) | Caltech SURF 2022
Mentor: Matthew Graham

Developing a monitoring system for identifying anomalous photometric behavior from ZTF nightly data

Cason Shepard (Caltech) | Caltech SURF 2022 Mentor: Matthew Graham

Exploring anomaly detection using topological data analysis techniques with ZTF time series

Riti Agarwal (Caltech) | Caltech SURF 2022
Mentor: Matthew Graham


X-Ray Bright vs Faint Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN): Using the Structure Function to Compare AGN Variability

Milo Brown (Diablo Valley College ) | WAVE Fellows 2021
Mentor: Matthew Graham

Finding Millisecond Optical Transients and Variable Sources in Zwicky Transient Facility Data Using Unsupervised Anomaly Detection Techniques

Derek Ing (Caltech) | Caltech SURF 2021
Mentor: Mansi Kasliwal, co-mentor: Igor Andreoni

Gravitational Lensing and Neural Networks

Josiah Miller (Caltech) | Caltech SURF 2021
Mentor: Matthew Graham

A Search for Short Period Cataclysmic Variables Using ZTF

Zhuofu (Chester) Li (UCLA) | Caltech SURF 2021
Mentor: Jan van Roestel

Creating kilonova “surrogate” models from fixed model grids

Jack Heinzel (Carleton College) | Caltech SURF 2020

Estimating the kilonova luminosity function with ZTF

Priyadarshini Rajkumar (TTU) | Caltech SURF 2020

Scheduling strategies for detecting kilonovae from binary neutron star (BNS) and neutron star—black hole (NSBH) mergers with ZTF

Polina Petrov (Carnegie Mellon University) | Caltech SURF 2020

Dynamic Exposures: a new technique for the electromagnetic followup of gravitational wave triggers

Vishwesh Kumar (American University of Sharjah) | Caltech SURF 2020

Optimizing the ZTF survey strategy for kilonova detection

Mouza Al Mualla (American University of Sharjah) | Caltech SURF 2020

An online framework for fitting fast transient light curves

Brandon Reed (University of Minnesota - Duluth) | 2020 REU at U of Minnesota
Mentor: Michael Coughlin

Scheduling the Unexpected: Mixed Integer Programming Based Scheduling for Ground and Space Based Surveys

B Parazin (Northeastern University) | 2020 REU at U of Minnesota
Mentor: Michael Coughlin