Current fellows

Emeritus fellows

Current Fellows

Amanda White

I am a graduate student in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. I am interested in telescope instrumentation and how the development of new instruments and calibration and observing techniques can help us to move forward in observational solar physics. I am currently working with David Harrington on deriving the polarization behavior of protected metal mirrors coated with many layers of different substances in order to accurately determine the wavelength dependent refractive index of an optic. This will lead to more accurate polarimetric calibrations for DKIST instruments and the polarimetry community at large.

Lily Kromyda

I am interested in understanding the physical processes that take place inside the solar atmosphere, especially with respect to heat flux, energy, mass and momentum transport, both in the Quiet Sun and in Active Regions. The solar atmospheric magnetic field as a nonlinear self-organizing system, small-scale reconnection events, and flare dynamics/energetics, are some of the topics that intrigue me the most. I like working at the boundary between theory and observations, looking for new knowledge that comes as a result of their combination. I am currently working with Adam Kowalski, trying to gain some understanding about the physics behind Ha excessive wing broadening, using IBIS data and RADYN/RH modelling. As a Hale Fellow, I am looking forward to getting involved in projects that will aid our preparation for the new era of DKIST science. Before coming to CU Boulder/NSO for graduate school, I completed my undergraduate studies in Physics at the Aristotle University of Greece.
Featured work: Undergraduate thesis: "Statistical Analysis of Individual Solar Active Regions"
Kromyda, G. 2018 "Space Weather of the Heliosphere: Processes and Forecasts" Proceedings of the IAUS 335

Loren Matilsky

I am a 3rd year graduate student in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at University of Colorado Boulder. I am interested in various applications of astrophysical fluid dynamics (AFD), turbulence theory, and dynamical systems. AFD is relevant in a wide variety of contexts, from the behavior of stars in a spiral galaxy; to the formation of planets in an accretion disc; to the internal dynamo that generates magnetism in stars. As a Hale Fellow, I have been using computational fluid dynamics software on supercomputers to model the dynamics of the solar Near-Surface-Shear Layer (NSSL), which is a region just below the photosphere of the Sun in which there is a sharp radial gradient in the solar rotation rate. The NSSL, apart from being an unexplained puzzle for solar physicists, could have significant consequences for the rearrangement of magnetic structures that is believed to cause solar flares, as well as the manner by which magnetism "erupts" from the interior to the surface as sunspots. Outside of astrophysics, I enjoy hiking, bluegrass, and political activism.
Loren became a Hale fellow after 2 years as a CU Chancellor's fellow.

Gabriel Ortiz-Pena

I am a grad student at CU Boulder’s Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences (APS) department. I got my B.S. in Astrophysics from Penn State University, where I worked on analyzing radio observations of flaring ultracool dwarfs (very late-type stars with effective temperatures of less than 2000 K). As a Hale Fellow at CU Boulder, I am working on various projects, most having to do with fluid dynamics or solar magnetism. My current focus is on modeling the solar interior to understand some recently discovered properties of the solar magnetic cycle. Like the Moon's phases, the Sun’s magnetic field waxes and wanes, changing orientation halfway through the cycle – every eleven years. I am also working on turbulent transport models and applications of machine learning as a data analysis tool.

Momchil Molnar

I'm interested in the dynamics of the chromosphere as a gateway to understanding the mass and energy transport throughout the chromosphere and the transition region. Currently, I am working with co-temporal ALMA and IBIS/FIRS data sets to further our knowledge of the chromosphere through the LTE-formed millimeter radiation measurements coming from ALMA. I did my BSc in physics in MIT before I moved to CU Boulder for my PhD in Solar Physics. I'm currently a Hale fellow and work closely with Dr. Kevin Reardon in NSO and Prof. Steven Cranmer in CU/LASP. In my free time, I climb mountains during the summers and ski down them during the winters. In my downtime I’m trying to pick up Hungarian.

Chris Gilbert

My friends call me Gilly, and I am a Graduate Research Assistant. I work for Dr. Steven Cranmer, studying the way that Alfvén waves might be heating the Solar Corona to temperatures of millions of degrees. I am interested in Heliophysics, Solar Physics, and the Sun-Earth connection. I hope to be involved in space missions such as NASA's Solar Probe Plus and ESA's Solar Orbiter, as well as the DKIST ground based solar telescope. These instruments will all come online in 2018. Last year I was the head TA of the advanced introductory astronomy courses, and we had a blast! My Alma Mater is Georgia Tech.

Evan Anders

I am a graduate student at CU Boulder working with Ben Brown. We are interested in the fundamental properties of stratified convection, which is an important mechanism for heat transport in many astrophysical bodies, including the Sun. We are creating a suite of experiments to study specific mechanisms which influence solar convection to more fully understand how convection is driven in our star. We hope to understand the role of these mechanisms in creating the vast difference between observed and predicted convective velocities at the solar surface, a problem which has become known as the "Solar Convective Conundrum."
Featured work: Anders, E. H. and Brown, B. P., 2017. "Convective heat transport in stratified atmospheres at low and high Mach number," Phys. Rev. Fluids. 2, 083501

Emeritus Fellows

Avery Schiff

I am a PhD student at the University of Colorado Boulder. I work with Steven Cranmer to create simulations of flux tubes in the solar corona to study MHD wave heating. Of particular interest to us is how wave mode conversion processes might influence the temperature structure of the flux tubes.
Featured work: "Explaining Inverted-temperature Loops in the Quiet Solar Corona with Magnetohydrodynamic Wave-mode Conversion," Schiff & Cranmer, 2016, ApJ 831, 10
Avery won a fellowship during her Hale tenure and is now a NSF graduate fellow! Congratulations, Avery!!

Andrew Sturner

I am a PhD student at LASP and the University of Colorado Boulder. I work with Dr. Stefan Eriksson and NASA's Magnetosphere Multiscale mission team to study the underlying physics of magnetic reconnection. I focus primarily on studying observable signatures of multi-site reconnection and on the structure of reconnection outflow jets, both with spacecraft observations and simulations. It will be a long time before we can directly fly a satellite through magnetic reconnection events near the surface of the Sun, so in the meantime, the Earth-Solar Wind boundary provides a more accessible location for studying the physics of this common astrophysical acceleration mechanism.

Piyush Agrawal

I work with Prof. Mark Rast on understanding the transport of small-scale flux elements in the solar photosphere.

Ryan Orvedahl

I am broadly interested in computational fluid dynamics which describe systems with magnetic fields. My current research involves trying to determine what makes the Sun's magnetic field so different from the Earth's. The Sun is very periodic with a well-defined cycle of polarity reversals, where the magnetic north pole flips and becomes the magnetic south pole every 11 years. The Earth is relatively chaotic and does pretty much what it wants, when it wants. The last polarity reversal of the Earth was 780,000 years ago and the previous was only 120,000 years before that. To study these extreme systems, I use computational tools running on some of the fastest supercomputers in the world. Typically I run on thousands of cores and use millions of CPU-hours every year. I work closely with my advisor Mike Calkins, who is actually in the Physics department.
Featured work: Zingale, M., Nonaka, A., Almgren, A. S., Bell, J. B., Malone, C. M., & Orvedahl, R. J., 2013, "Low Mach Number Models of Convection in Helium Shells on Sub-Chandrasekhar White Dwarfs. I. Methodology." ApJ, 764, 97

Ben Greer