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Sebastian Wagner-Carena

I am a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in Physics working under the supervision of Professor Risa Wechsler. My research focuses on using the largest visible structures in our universe, galaxies, to probe the physics of dark matter. Because dark matter does not emit an electromagnetic signal we can detect, my work focuses on measuring dark matter’s gravitational effects on strong gravitational lenses and the formation of galaxies. To do this, I use a variety of computational tools ranging from physical simulations to machine-learning-based inference techniques. As a Stanford Data Science Scholar, I hope to better understand how different fields have adapted data science techniques to their own needs and bring that knowledge back to the broader astrophysics community.

Before Stanford, I attended Harvard University and received a B.S. in physics and mathematics with a minor in computer science. While there, I worked together with Professor Cora Dvorkin on developing new methods of separating the signal from our universe’s first light, the Cosmic Microwave Background, from radiation emitted by our own galaxy. In my free time you’ll either find me biking or hiking through the mountains or indulging in a movie marathon.