Research supervision

  • I supervised Paige Cromley and Xander Jenkins, two undergraduate students at Princeton, supported the LSSTC Enabling Science Award
  • I supervised Paul Couzy, an MSc student at Leiden Observatory for his Masters Thesis, for the academic year 2018-2019. His thesis involved quantifying the contribution to the bias in the shear estimates due to the azimuthal variations in an otherwise smooth galaxy profile.
  • I supervised Erik Rosenberg, a then undergraduate student from Stanford University, who spent his Summer of 2018 as a part of the LEAPS programme. He worked on exploring the limitations of a state-of-the-art approach, called metacalibration, when dealing with undersampled galaxy images, as it would be in the case of space-based surveys. The initial results from this 10-week project have led to a paper that has been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.
  • I supervised Andrija Kostic, an undergraduate student from the University of Belgrade, who spent his Summer of 2017 as a part of the LEAPS programme. He worked on sparse fitting of Gauss-Hermite polynomials to galaxy light profiles and tested several decomposition techniques.

Teaching experience

I designed and taught a mini-course on gravitational lensing in University of Antioquia, Columbia. The course consisted of 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of practical exercises, and was aimed at an advanced undergraduate level.

I have been a Teaching Assistant (TA) for some of the undergraduate physics courses at CMU:

  1. Physics-II for Science students (33-112, Fall 2012)
  2. SAMS - Electronics (Summer-2, 2012)
  3. Physics-II for Engineers (33-107, Summer-1, 2012)
  4. Matter and Interactions-II (33-132, Spring 2012)
  5. Physics-II for Science students (33-112, Fall 2011)

My teaching principle

Most of the science courses today present the currently prevailing scientific theories as facts and focus on the mathematical framework to work out the implications. The introduction to a new subject/topic is mainly about throwing some light at the prerequisites. For e.g., in a general relativity course, discussing the metric and curved spaces in general becomes the introduction before discussing Einstein equation(s) and some interesting solutions. The history of the development is hardly paid attention to.

One of the key goals of teaching science should be to impart scientific thinking. If a student is never going to take a science course again in his/her life, then the take away from the course must be not the details but the generic principles and its justifications. I believe it is best done by emphasizing on how the theories we have today came about. It is important to highlight how even a systematic approach to a problem can lead to erroneous conclusions, affected by confirmational bias. Thus, while introducing a new theory, I always focus on other simpler, alternative theories that were adopted before the current successful theory and why the scientific community has disregarded the earlier approaches.