Diego Garza Astrophysicist in Training

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Ph.D. Astronomy & Astrophysics

The University of California at Santa Cruz (2023 - 2029)

Bachelor of Arts in Physics, Bachelor of Science (Honors) in Astronomy & Astrophysics

The University of Chicago (2019 - 2023) | GPA: 3.67

Associate of Science Degree

Lone Star College (2016 - 2019) | GPA: 3.96

High School Diploma

Victory Early College High School (2015 - 2019) | GPA: 3.98

Research Experience

Caustic Properties in Outskirts of Dark Matter Halos

University of Chicago: Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics | Supervised by: Susmita Adhikari & Andrey Kravtsov | February 2021 – Present

    - Analyze density histories of cold dark matter halos using cold dark matter simulations
    - Study phase space structures in solid angle bins to develop an algorithm to identify the splash back radius of cluster-sized dark matter halos in simulations

Chemo-Dynamic Properties of the Fastest Stars in the Milky Way

University of Texas at Austin: Dept. of Astronomy | Supervised by: Keith Hawkins & Tyler Nelson | June 2022 – Present

    - Analyze chemical properties of fast stars in the Galaxy using Gaia DR3 to chemically tag them onto a stellar population
    - Analyze MCMC orbit integration of the fastest stars to physically determine their origins

LADEE Data Analysis of the Lunar Exosphere

NASA: Goddard Space Flight Center | Supervised by: Orenthal J. Tucker | June 2022 – August 2022

    - Analyzed how chemical abundances in the Lunar Exosphere changes with respect to local lunar time using data from the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft

ChicagO Optically-selected Lenses - Located at the Margins of Public Surveys (COOL-LAMPS)

University of Chicago: Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics | Supervised by: Michael D. Gladders | January 2022 – June 2022

    - Identified galaxy candidates using extragalactic spectroscopic DECamera Legacy Survey
    - Utilized the surface brightness modeling software GALFIT to describe galaxy mass distribution, providing information on stellar population synthesis

Study of Gaseous Argon Time Projection Chambers

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory: Neutrino Division | Supervised by: David Caratelli & Angela Fava | June 2021 - August 2021

    - Analyzed setups of gaseous Argon time projection chambers for low energy nuclear recoils using simulation software of Argon ion trajectories into gaseous Argon to model, optimize, and study both position and energy resolution
    - Created supplemented research material for electron charge amplification in liquid Argon

Teaching Experience

Teaching Assistant

Computational Techniques in Astrophysics | March 2022 – June 2022, March 2023 – June 2023

    - Hold open office hours 5-8 hours weekly helping students on coding projects related to techniques used in everyday astrophysics research including integration techniques, function approximation, Machine Learning, MCMC, and ODEs

Physics Tutor

University of Chicago: Department of Physics | October 2021 – March 2022

    - Hold open hours for peer tutoring aimed at undergraduate students in the introductory physics sequences

Service, Outreach, Mentorship

SEDS-UChicago Vice President, Treasurer

March 2020 – June 2023

    - Plan and coordinate weekly meetings, events, and workshops to help students with model rocketry and high-powered rocketry certification
    - Outreach and coordinate logistics to industry professionals to plan for the national conference SpaceVision 2022 hosted at UChicago
    - Manage the funds for my school’s SEDS chapter. Write and defend grant proposals from SEDS-USA and UChicago Student Government’s Financial Committee

Moneythink Mentor

November 2019 – June 2023

    - Mentor local Chicago high school students on the importance and process of financial literacy. Provide advice on post-graduation plans including college and trade school

SACNAS Secretary, Member

October 2020 – June 2022

    - Develop events and programming to engage with minority students on campus and take notes during leadership meetings

Kavli Institute Space Explorers Instructor

June 2021 – January 2022

    - Design, develop, and document summer curriculum for high school students

Odyssey Community Scholars Fellow

September 2020 – June 2021

    - Write, edit, and develop a First-Generation Low-Income Catalog documenting resources and providing advice from shared experiences at the University of Chicago for incoming students from disadvantaged backgrounds
    - Share important issues and suggested solutions with the Dean of Students in the University as a speaker for the Odyssey Scholar community

Work Experience

Tech Staff

John Crerar Library: Computer Science Instructional Laboratory | October 2021 – June 2023

    - Develop, maintain, and deploy software for over 50 Mac Pros, iMacs, and Mac minis
    - Provide technology and hardware support for students


Programming: Python, C, C++, Bash, SQL/ADQL, Mathematica, LaTeX

Astronomy: Simulations, Data Analysis, Data Reduction

General Software: Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, DS9, TOPCAT, GALFIT, Pulse Height Analyzer, Oscilloscope, SRIM

Language: English, Spanish

Last updated 28 August 2023