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Highlights

On April 22-23, 2015, GWPAC undergraduate researcher Haroon Khan visited Washington DC to present his research to members of Congress as part of the Council for Undergraduate Research's prestigious Posters on the Hill program. Haroon was selected as one of 60 from the entire US out of an applicant pool or more than 500 students. Haroon's poster focused on "Simulating colliding black holes for gravitaitonal wave astronomy," work that he is doing together with his research mentor, physics professor Geoffrey Lovelace

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While in Washington, Haroon and Lovelace had the opportunity to meet with California's U.S. Representative Ed Royce (CA-39) and his staff, and with staff from the office of U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez (CA-46) and from the office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. In addition, they visited the White House complex, saw congressional deliberations on the America Competes Act, and visited the Air and Space Museum.  

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Haroon is the first student from the College of Natural Science and Mathematics and the second from California State University Fullerton to participate in Posters on the Hill. The first was psychology student Kevin Chavarria, who presented his research on "When Parents Are Twins: Double Look at Social Relations Within Families," together with faculty mentor Nancy Segal in 2007. 

Haroon's work was supported by National Science Foundation grant PHY-1307489 and STEM^2 Department of Education grant P031C110116-12. 

Congratulations Haroon and Geoffrey! 

The 2014 SACNAS national conference was held in the LA Convention Center (right next to the Staples Center) in Downtown LA from October 16 to 18. The CSUF department of physics and college of natural science and mathematics were well represented. The Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center (GWPAC) sent a strong contingent, with students Adrian Avila-Alvarez, Daniel Vander-Hyde, Joshua Hacker, and Erik Muniz and professors Jocelyn Read and Josh Smith in attendance.

Jocelyn Read presents a talk on neutron star astrophysics at SACNAS 2014.Jocelyn Read presents a talk on neutron star astrophysics at SACNAS 2014.

Daniel Vander-Hyde presented a poster entitled "A comparison of optical scatter from coated and uncoated optics for quantum noise filter cavities," work that relates to implementing squeezed light in the LIGO detectors and will soon be submitted for publication. 

Josh Hacker presents a poster on his LIGO-related optics research. Josh Hacker presented in the graduate students section the poster "An imaging scatterometer for characterizing surface and bulk scatter." At CSUF, Josh continues to upgrade and document the imaging scatterometer. 

Josh Smith organized and chaired a Scientific Symposium session, "Seeing and Hearing the Violent Universe with Gravitational Waves and Light" featuring an invited presentation by Jocelyn Read, entitled "Neutron stars and gravitational waves," along with talks by Caltech's Nicholas Smith and Larry Price. The session was attended by 40-50 scientists, mostly students, and ended with a lively Q&A session between the audience and a panel of the three speakers and student representative Daniel Vander-Hyde.  

Daniel Vander-HydeGeoffrey Lovelace and his GWPAC students did not attend SACNAS 2014, as they were busy assembling the greatly upgraded ORCA computing cluster in the CSUF data center. 

GWPAC members are eagerly awaiting SACNAS 2015 in Washington DC! 

GWPAC welcomes visiting faculty members for short or extended visits and sabbaticals, and postdoctoral scholars such as Humboldt Fellows. 

The Cal State Fullerton Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center (GWPAC) was established to conduct research, education, and outreach in gravitational-wave astronomy, physics, and astrophysics. The center currently has three faculty members, one computing specialist, 8 master's students, and 15 undergraduates engaged in research, education and outreach related to gravitational-wave science.

GWPAC is facilitating collaboration among students, faculty members, visitors from around the world, and large external scientific collaborations. We also have strong local connections with gravitational-wave science at Caltech and with science education research at the Fullerton Catalyst Center. 

For more information or to plan a visit, contact Joshua Smith This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Syracuse University Gravitational-Wave Group members Samantha Usman (undergraduate), Fabian Magaña-Sandoval (grad student), and Duncan Brown (faculty) visited GWPAC from May 19 to 23 2014. Their visit was part of the undergraduate to graduate bridge between the BS/MS program at Fullerton and the Ph.D. program in Syracuse. Throughout the week discussions focused on graduate school opportunities at Syracuse, collaborative research projects, and career mentoring. Students and faculty presented their research, worked together in small groups, and found time to go surfting and visit Disneyland.

Thank you very much Samantha, Fabian, and Duncan. We're looking forward to seeing you all again soon. 

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The Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) has awarded Jocelyn Read and Geoffrey Lovelace $75,000 for the two year project, "Developing a Numerical Injection Analysis Pipeline for Gravitational Waves from Merging Black Holes and Neutron Stars".

Lovelace and Read lead a 2014 GWPAC group meeting.Lovelace and Read leading a 2014 GWPAC group meeting.

This Multi-Investigator Cottrell College Science Award, together with a $25,000 match from CSUF, will support research by Geoffrey, Jocelyn, and their students to compute and combine analytical and numerical gravitational waveforms of merging black holes and neutron stars. This combination of theoretical astrophysics and computational relativity will help maximize the scientific output of gravitational-wave detectors such as the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (Advanced LIGO). 

Jocelyn and Geoffrey joined CSUF in 2012, and have both developed active research programs. In addition to this RCSA support, Jocelyn and Geoffrey are funded by the NSF for the projects, "RUI: Dense Matter and Gravitational Waves: The Coalescence of Neutron Star Binaries" and "RUI: Numerical Simulations of Merging Black Holes and Neutron Stars," respectively. Together, they administer Orange county Relativity Cluster for Astronomy (ORCA) - a 240 core supercomputer located on the CSU Fullerton campus and used for gravitational-wave research.

Congratulations Geoffrey and Jocelyn!