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Carl Rodriguez is an assistant professor of physics at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, a position he has had since spring 2023.  He completed his Ph.D. at Northwestern University in 2016, working with Prof. Fred Rasio, before moving on to be a Pappalardo Fellow at MIT (2016-2019), an ITC Fellow at Harvard (2019-2020), and an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University (2020-2022).  He is PI of the stellar dynamics and gravitational waves group at UNC, currently supported by active grants from the National Science Foundation (AST-2009916), the Kaufman Foundation (New Investigator Award), NASA’s Astrophysics Theory Program (21-ATP21-0144), and is a recipient of a 2022 Sloan Fellowship, a 2022 Packard Fellowship, and the 2023 Vera Rubin Early Career Prize from the American Astronomical Society.  Carl is originally from Shreveport, Louisiana.

Postdoctoral Scholars

Ugo Di Carlo is a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, working in the field of star clusters dynamics and N-body simulations. He obtained his PhD at Università degli studi dell’Insubria in 2021. During his PhD he studied the formation of gravitational wave sources and the formation of massive black holes in young star clusters. Besides science, he loves cooking, music, photography and video games.

Poojan Agrawal’s research focuses on examining the role of individual stars in the evolution of stellar systems. She is currently finishing her PhD with Prof Jarrod Hurley at the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia. For her PhD, she used various modelling techniques to study how uncertainties in the evolution of massive stars affect the properties of their populations.

Graduate Students

Kuldeep Sharma is a graduate student in the Physics department at CMU since 2018. He previously worked under the supervision of Professor Sergey Koposov on mass estimation of Large Magellanic Cloud using the proper motion data of Blue Horizontal Branch stars from Gaia. Kuldeep is currently working on the time evolution of star cluster density profiles under the supervision of Professor Carl Rodriguez using COSMIC and the Cluster Monte Carlo (CMC) code.

Tomás Cabrera is a third-year graduate student in physics at Carnegie Mellon University working under Asst. Prof. Carl Rodriguez using computational methods to study compact object dynamics in stellar clusters.  He moved to Pittsburgh after earning his BS in Physics at MIT from 2015-2019, during which he participated in the 2018 REU program at Northern Arizona University, working with Dr. Joe Llama of Lowell Observatory on detecting molecular signatures in exoplanet spectra.  Tomás grew up in Broomfield, Colorado.

Gina Chen is a second-year grad student at CMU working with Carl Rodriguez and Tiziana Di Matteo. She grew up in Austin, TX and went to the University of Texas at Austin, where she worked on star formation research. Outside of school, she loves rock climbing, digital art, and writing letters to her friends.

Undergraduate Students

  • Ryan Raikman is a Junior at CMU, working with Miguel Holgado and Carl Rodriguez on gravitational-wave parameter estimation for deci-hertz GW detectors.
  • Inés Rodriguez-Hsu is a Junior at CMU working on pseudo-visualizations (HST and JWST) of star cluster simulations
  • Christoph Gaffud is a senior at CMU, working on new techniques for Monte Carlo stellar dynamics

Previous Members

Undergraduate Students

  • Jason DiMasi (Spring 2022) worked on dynamical friction of star clusters falling into the galactic center
  • Sofi Martínez Fortis (Spring 2021) worked on numerical integrators, coding up a new N-body integrator for the two-body problem from scratch.
  • Holly Foster (Summer 2022) worked on tidal forces for infalling globular clsuters
  • Alexis Ortega (2020-2021) worked on fewbody scatterings and eccentric binary black hole formation (see story in Carnegie Mellon’s webpage). Part of this work was subsequently published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. Now studying for PhD at Brown University.
  • David Sanchez (Fall 2022) worked on creating star-by-star models of Omega Centauri
  • Jason Weng (Fall 2021) worked on three-body binary formation in star cluster simulations
  • Emily Sespico (Fall 2021) worked on populations of stars and compact objects deposited into the galactic center by infalling clusters
  • Kevin Quigley (Summer 2021) worked on likelihood-free inference for gravitational-wave populations.