Science has always been the most profoundly fascinating way of approaching the world, for me. I suppose part of it was my Dad being an engineer, and maybe my liking math when young. And reading a whole lot of science fiction, for sure, which was interspersed with popular science magazines - I distinctly remember trying to read articles about particle colliders in Scientific American in seventh grade. I couldn't really make all that much out, but I thought there was nothing cooler, that's for sure.
This led me straight to majoring in physics as an undergrad at UC Berkeley (UCB), during which I worked in the summers on the design of an instrument for a infrared space telescope (Spitzer), which alas wasn't ultimately included when the project was downscoped.
After this I went back to the arena of smashing little bits of matter together and in December of 2004 I received my doctorate in Experimental High Energy Particle Physics (HEP) also from UCB (specifically on the topic of form factor extraction in semileptonic B meson decay) on the BaBar matter-antimatter asymmetry experiment at the PEP-II Collider at SLAC, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.
I then spent a little while figuring out what was next in 2004-2005, which included visiting the LHC at CERN and being awed by the construction of the CMS and Atlas experiments duing that time.
After this I fell in a fairly incidental way to working on the side on a cosmology project involving second order weak lensing (and ultimately, better dark matter distribution determination of distant galaxy clusters) in a visiting position at Caltech, in Pasadena, CA.
From there, I went into a postdoctoral research position at the Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics (CCAPP) at the Ohio State Univ. (OSU), concentrating on galaxy cluster gravitational weak lensing and determination of cosmological parameters from this technique (working on DES, and also in a group using data taken to do cluster weak lensing from the Large Binocular Telescope at Mt. Graham International Observatory near Safford, Arizona).
(The CCAPP is an amazing interdisciplinary environment located at the intersections of the nationally renowned OSU physics and astronomy departments, where researchers of widely varying backgrounds interact and richly cross-fertilize their respective fields of investigation.)
I returned to SLAC in 2010 and since then I continue to work on gravitational lensing projects on GREAT3 , LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope), DES (Dark Energy Survey) and on other ground-based telescope data, as an observational cosmologist at KIPAC at SLAC.
I also work part of my time in public outreach at KIPAC, giving tours of the site and presenting film clips in the 3D Astrophysics Visualization Lab, giving talks at schools and other venues offsite, and also publicizing the work KIPAC is involved in through a regular blog in which research from the institute is showcased.
I am more excited than *ever* about the possibilities the coming years (and in particular the next decade) hold in revealing Nature's secrets to us in the arenas of dark matter, dark energy, and nothing less than more insights into the evolution of the Universe we live in.