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GWPAC students Amy Gleckl, Samuel Rodriguez, Erick Leon, Teresa Ramirez, Isabella Molina, Derek White, Eric FLynn, Denyz Melchor and Jazlyn Guerrero, postdoctoral associate Marissa Walker and professors Josh Smith and Geoffrey Lovelace attended the March 2019 LIGO-Virgo Meeting held at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva.

Plane

During the meeting GWPAC members made progress on neutron star astrophysics, working with collaborators from the Rochester Institute of technology, on thermal noise calculations with faculty from American University and Hobart William and Smith Colleges, and on black hole simulations with collaborators from Caltech and Cornell. 

lvc lunch
GWPAC students grab a quick lunch between sessions.

Marissa Walker presented a well-recieved tutorial for students and postdocs on how to use LIGO software to diagnose periods of poor data quality in the instruments, "LAAC Tutorial: Introduction to detector characterization." Former GWPAC students Daniel Vander-Hyde (Syracuse) and Thomas Abbott (LSU) presented work toward their PhDs at the meeting as well. 

GWPAC also had a big impact on the poster session, with the following student-led posters: 

  • Does annealing cause micro-crystals growth in LIGO optics? - Amy Gleckl and Jazlyn Guerrero *Winners of a $150 prize!*
  • Neutron Star Measurements in Third Generation Gravitational Wave Observatories - Isabella Molina, Erick Leon, Eric Flynn
  • The LIGO/Virgo Binary-Black-Hole Orrery - Teresa Ramirez
  • Numerical Simulation Infrastructure for Gravitational Wave Data Analysis - Derek White
  • Parameter Estimation of Gravitational Waves from Binary Neutron Star Mergers Using LALInference - Erick Leon
  • Inferring the binary black hole population redshift distribution - Denyz Melchor
  • Numerically calculating the thermal noise of mirror coatings with multiple loss angles - Samuel Rodriguez
Jazlyn and Amy poster
For their poster on experimental optics research at CSUF, Amy Gleckl and Jazlyn Guerrero won the collaboration-wide poster prize of $150 for best experimental poster. 

The meeting had a general buzz of excitement about LIGO, Virgo and KAGRA's participation in the third observing run (O3) that will begin April 1, 2019 and what discoveries the gravitational-wave skies will provide through our significantly more sensitive detectors. There was also great progress toward a roadmap for the next generation of gravitational-wave detectors envisioned for the 2030s.