Coding & Computer Skills

Python: Proficient

I was introduced to Python through jupyter notebook problem sets in my Mechanics course. We mainly used numpy, scipy, and matplotlib to solve differential equations and simulate/plot analytically unsolvable physics problems. I also chose to use Python to simulate a 3-body orbital problem to simulate orbital resonance, which was a great experience done under my own volition.

Additionally, I've used Python in my UW-Madison research group to handle and combine large datasets using packages like fitsio, astropy, and pandas. I've also used plenty matplotlib to plot results.

Most recently, I went through a 6-part Python training as part of the CIERA REU in which we used previously mentioned packages in addition to new differential equation solvers and MCMC samplers to analyze astronomical systems (galaxies, clusters, stellar systems, etc.). More specifically, as part of my main project, I wrote code which simulates and analyzes light curves using a multitude of packages (mainly to create likelihood functions); most importantly of all, the ultranest package.

Command Line/High Performance Compute Cluster: Proficient

Since learning Command Line basics for my research at UW-Madison, I've attended a Command Line workshop as part of my CIERA REU & have worked extensively with Command Line as part of my main research. I feel comfortable navigating directories and most importantly, working in HPC environments and submitting/managing high memory jobs. Most of my research project consisted of validating a pipeline by simulating and analyzing (with a thorough Reactive Nested Sampler) hundreds of light curves at a time with each taking around 1-2 hours to complete. This meant essentially all of my work outside of debugging the code in jupyter notebooks was done in terminal.

HTML, CSS, Javascript: Novice

My experience with these languages is fairly limited, but since becoming intrigued with improving my website, I've gone into deep dives on how to design and make a website with average-level javascript functions. I've got most of the basics down and have learned how to take different chunks of Javascript from Stack Overflow to achieve what I'm looking for. I hope to continue learning about CSS and hopefully become comfortable with writing my own Javascript code. For current purposes, however, I don't anticipate developing these languages much outside of personal interest.

Soft Skills

Presentation: Expert

I hesitate to rate any skill of mine as "expert", but I felt this was an exception due to my extensive experience presenting my work; both science and business. As part of my first internship, I worked with two different teams to develop a small business ideas--despite my wishes, I presented both of my teams' final results to various small business owners & accomplished professionals at, and both presentations went very well.

After this, I had experience presenting financial information/findings as part of a Finance/Accounting Internship at the Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin. I presented my work almost entirely to people in the finance department, but it was good practice in presenting individual work to managers in my department.

As part of my final experience in business--an Actuarial Science Internship at Northwestern Mutual--I presented my work in the Disability Income field to several departments in the company. This required a deep understanding of the Actuarial implications of my work as well as an ability to explain complicated Actuarial concepts to those not directly involved in the field. The emphasis on communicating complicated information to an audience which wasn't as proficient in the specifics of Actuarial work was crucial in my development as a presenter, and helped me feel much more confident in my ability to present to all audiences.

These experiences, especially my presentations at Northwestern Mutual, served me very well in the CIERA REU @ Northwestern University this past summer. We presented in two formats: 1) A poster-style presentation, where other Astrophysics grad students, post-docs, and research professors came up to my poster and inquired about my project and we went into as much detail as they desired, sometimes talking for 20+ minutes based on the overlap of our research fields, and 2) A presentation to the REU participants' family and friends.

The last 2 weeks of this program were very hectic for me thanks to a move-in situation in Madison & problems with validating my code, so my poster was rushed and I felt slightly underprepared for my presentation. Despite this, I was able to quickly relax thanks to my past experiences presenting information to various audiences. In the first presentation, my audience was farther along in their career than I was, so they understood many astronomical concepts. At the same time, research work can be extremely specific, so it was necessary I could communicate the intricacies of my project in an understandable way--something I feel I was very successful in. In the second presentation, though I didn't have a "script" for the less-advanced audience, I felt extremely comfortable in presenting my work. I focused on the more exciting parts of my project, tried to use as many visuals as possible to not push the viewer away with impossible-to-understand data/jargon, and presenting my findings in a quick and understandable way.

In summary, I have presented on various topics to a multitude of audiences--furthermore, I have been involved with tutoring practices and will be furthering my involvement in the next year through two tutor programs at UW-Madison. In this way, I feel I have developed to an expert level in the art of presentation. I still look forward to any opportunity to improve my abilities!