Suyash Kumar

Eckhardt, 5640 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637. (424) 535-8828 ·

Welcome! I am a PhD student and Neubauer graduate fellow in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. My research is advised by Professor Hsiao-Wen Chen, and involves characterizing the kinematics, chemistry, and thermodynamics of the circumgalactic gas around galaxies at z~1. I completed my undergraduate education in Physics from UCLA, and I originally hail from the town of Patna, India.

Please find here my full CV!


Characterization of the circumgalactic gas at z~1

Working with Professor Hsiao-Wen Chen at the University of Chicago, I am currently trying to use quasar absorption spectra from the Hubble Space Telescope to constrain the complex, multi-phase circumgalactic gas around galaxies at z~1. I then try to identify hosts for absorbers found along the quasar line of sight using spectroscopic follow-ups of surrounding galaxies using the Very Large and Magellan Telescopes. This multi-pronged approach allows us to constrain the origin of the circumgalactic gas at the redshift range of interest.


Extreme coronal line emissions in type-2 quasars

Working with Professor Matthew Malkan at UCLA, I examined coronal line emissions in a hundred million SDSS quasars to understand trends of coronal line emission and identified a new addition to the small class of seven known Coronal Line Forest (CLiF) AGNs.


Working with Professor Matthew Malkan, I reduced far-IR IFUs of about 37 galaxies observed by SOFIA. Our findings are publised in The Astrophysical Journal (Spinolgio L., Fernández-Ontiveros J.A., Malkan M.A., Kumar S., et al., February 2022.)


Working with Dr. Lauren Anderson at Carnegie Observatories, I used machine learning, particularly Gaussian Processes to determine the spatial distribution of interstellar dust in the Milky Way.


Working with Dr. Andrew Emerick at Carnegie Observatories, I examined metal mixing in cosmological dwarf galaxy simulations. My findings were presented at the summer student symposium talk and also the 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (January 10-15, 2021). My work also contributed to another poster on modeling chemical abundance evolution in dwarf galaxies.


Spacecraft operations and magnetometer data analysis for the ELFIN CubeSat mission

I served as a spacecraft operations lead for the NASA/ NSF funded ELFIN CubeSat mission at UCLA, operating satellites ELFIN-A and ELFIN-B and ensuring timely scientific collections and downlinks. I also analyzed the magnetometer data onboard to detect Field Aligned Currents and EMIC waves in the Earth's Van Allen radiation belts.


Teaching and Beyond

I currently have two quarters of experience as a teaching assistant in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. I have had several experiences in informal teaching before, most notably being involved in a departmental club at UCLA meant to train undergraduates for research opportunities in physics. I believe in learning from my students just as much as they would like to learn from me - I am always looking for ways to better reach my audience, and make my discussions a safe, welcoming, and engaging space.

That said, I realize that a variety of backgrounds that students come from can pose significant challenges to their learning. This has historically been an obstacle for the engagement of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM. I am committed to learning more about the different experiences of communities within astronomy and physics as well as STEM in general.

I am also looking to be more involved in outreach opportunities to promote a healthy mindset of thinking about science among children in schools. In the future, I wish to make an impact on the experiences of undergraduates and graduate students within research-based departments.