People in the Lab

  • Professor Matthew Turk

  • Position: Assistant professor
  • Homepage
  • Bio:

    Dr. Matthew Turk received his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University in 2003 and his PhD in Physics from Stanford in 2009. His research in astrophysics was primarily focused on the way that the first stars and galaxies formed in the Universe, which has led him to develop and implement algorithms for data analysis and visualization. He is interested in understanding how scientists process data, developing methods both descriptive and prescriptive around analysis, visualization, and the propagation of information between data and individuals.

  • Dr. Nathan Goldbaum

  • Position: Research scientist
  • Homepage
  • Bio:

    Nathan’s research focuses on the dynamics of the interstellar medium, and has worked on simulations of the ISM in a Milky-Way like galaxy as well as semianlytic models for the evolution of giant molecular clouds. He is also a member of the yt project, contributes to the Enzo hydrodynamics code, and has contributed to many other open scientific software packages, and is an advocate for open, reproducible research.

  • Joined 2015
  • Dr. Kacper Kowalik

  • Position: Research scientist
  • Homepage
  • Bio:

    Dr Kacper Kowalik received his undergraduate degree at Nicolaus Copernicus University (Torun, Poland) in 2008 and his PhD in Astronomy also from Nicolaus Copernicus University in 2014. His research in astrophysics was primarily focused on early stages of protoplanetary formation and circumstellar disks’ instabilities. He is interested in high performance computations – especially in the domain sciences where they haven’t been widely adopted, developing new ways of sharing and interacting with large computational datasets, applying industrial IT solutions to scientific software.

  • Joined 2014
  • Dr. Meagan Lang

  • Position: Research scientist
  • Homepage
  • Bio:

    Dr. Meagan Lang recieved her undergraduate degree at Pennsylvania State University in 2010 and her PhD in Physics from Vanderbilt University in 2015. Her research in astr ophysics has included galaxy evolution, galactic dynamics, large scale structure, and gravitational waves. Through this work, Meagan has developed new tools and techniques for analyzing numerical simulations, modeling noise in gravitational wave detectors, and efficient data access. Meagan is interested in making connections between astronomy and other field s through interdisciplinary research. She is also interested in physics/astronomy education and public outreach in the local Champaign-Urbana community.

  • Joined 2015
  • Dr. Madicken Munk

  • Position: Post-doctoral scholar
  • Homepage
  • Bio:

    Madicken Munk obtained her undergraduate degree from Oregon State University in 2011 and her PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2017. Her dissertation work–completed in residence at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Berkeley Institute for Data Science–focused on hybrid methods for neutron transport. In the nuclear engineering domain she is interested in computational methods for radiation transport, nuclear reactor physics, and reactor multiphysics simulations. Beyond that, she is interested in developing domain-agnostic open-source tools for data analysis and visualization.

  • Joined 2017
  • Dr. Hsi-Yu Schive

  • Position: Post-doctoral scholar
  • Bio:

    Hsi-Yu (Justin) is a postdoc at NCSA. My work focuses on GAMER, a GPU- accelerated adaptive mesh refinement code, and it’s astrophysical applications such as black hole accretion, active galactic nuclei jets, and the wave dark matter model.

  • Joined 2016
  • Colleen Heinemann

  • Position: Graduate student
  • Bio:

    Colleen Heinemann is a PhD student studying the areas of scientific visualization and high performance computing. She received her bachelors in Computer Science and Animation from Bradley University in 2015 and her Masters in Computer Science from Bradley in 2017. Her areas of interest have always been in the representation of data through scientific visualization and interacting with that data through both virtual and augmented reality. She is currently working on the visualization side of the Crops in Silico project and is involved around campus as an instructor for the Girls Who Code club and as the graduate representative on the CS Outreach Committee.

  • Kwok Sun Tang

  • Position: Graduate student
  • Homepage
  • Bio:

    Sunny is currently a graduate student in the Astronomy Department. He is interested in the role of magnetic fields and turbulence in the process of star formation. His current research is currently focused on the development of Dengo, a meta-solver for non-equilibrium chemical network with cooling processes. This is essential to the study of wide range of astrophysical processes. In partiular, I and Matt are interested in the physics that leads to the formation of first stars. With Dengo, we will hopefully push current first stars simulations to unprecedented boundaries and see the first lights of these objects.

  • Wei-Ting Liao

  • Position: Graduate student
  • Bio:

    Wei-Ting is interested in the evolution of the first proto-stellar systems and the dynamo process in the early Universe. She is also a code developer of GAMER.

  • Nathanael Claussen

  • Position: Research intern
  • Homepage
  • Bio:

    Nathanael Claussen is pursuing a bachelor’s degree degree in Statistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has worked as an intern for The Data Exploration Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Urbana, Illinois. His research interests are in data processing, analysis, and visualization in addition to lowering the barrier of entry to these fields of exploration.

  • Joined 2017
  • Brooke Polak

  • Position: Undergraduate research assistant
  • Bio:

    Brooke Polak is an undergraduate studying Engineering Physics at UIUC, specializing in compuational physics, and graduating in December 2018. Her work at the Data Exploration Lab involves building widgets and interfaces for visualizing data from cosmological simulations. She is interested in all research involving astrophysical simulation and analysis.

  • Joined 2018

Former Lab Members