Williams Hosts Astronomy Symposium

Image: Williams College students who attended the 2015 KNAC symposium. L to R: Allison Carter ’16, Michael May ’17, Sarah Stevenson ’17, Emily Stump ’18, Anneliese Rilinger ’17, Ross Yu ’19, Becky Durst ’16. Gillian, and Prof. Karen Kwitter. Not Pictured: Tina Seeger ’16, MeiLu McDermott ’16, Hallee Wong ’18, Marcus Hughes ’18, Tim Nagle-McNaughton ’18

Why didn’t the Dog Star laugh at the joke? If you were in science quad last weekend (October 17th) and asked one of the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium (KNAC) presenters, you would likely have gotten a chuckle and a response that “it was too Sirius.” KNAC, a collaboration of eight liberal arts colleges in New England (Colgate University, Middlebury College, Vassar College, Wesleyan University, Haverford College, Swarthmore College, Wellesley College, and Williams College) funds summer research opportunities for astronomy students. The annual symposium, which rotates between the eight institutions, was hosted at Williams this year with 32 student speakers and 9 poster presentations.

Williams students presented on the following topics:

  • Tim Nagle-McNaughton and MeiLu McDermott: “Photoionization Models of Planetary Nebula in Outer Regions of M31”
  • Marcus Hughes: “Searching for Circumbinary Planets in K2 Data”
  • Tina Seeger: “Developing a Methodology to Classify Io’s Mountains by Morphology”
  • Hallee Wong: “Short Term Variability in the Open Cluster NGC 1960”
  • Allison Carter: “Precise Measurement of the Stark Shift in the Indium 6P_(½) State Using Two-Step Laser Spectroscopy”
  • Becky Durst: “Observation of the 2015 Occultation of Pluto”
  • Anneliese Rilinger: “It’s  Tight Squeeze: Reducing Noise Levels of Quantum Correlated Squeezed Light”
  • Sarah Stevenson : “Second Harmonic Generation and Magnetic Contrast versus Laser Intensity for Materials of interest in Spin Hall Effect Spin Current Generation”
  • Emily Stump: “Infrared SED Decomposition of Active Galactic Nuclei”