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MIT LIGO Welcomes New Workers

MIT LIGO Welcomes New Workers

- Contributed by David Shoemaker

Here at MIT, we are happy to welcome a number of people who have either recently joined us or (in one case) soon will. Here's a rundown to introduce the new personalities:

Tania Regimbau has joined us as a postdoc working on data analysis issues. Tania received her "DEA d'Astrophysique" at the University of Nice, France, in 1998, and her PhD in 2001 at the "Observatoire de Nice." Her thesis, directed by Jose de Freitas Pacheco, covered Neutron Stars and Gravitational Radiation. In her membership in the VIRGO Collaboration, she has had a lead responsibility for searches for a Stochastic Background.

Laura Cadonati will join us as a postdoc in January 2002, but will be by from time to time in the interim. Laura will also work on data analysis issues. Her undergraduate degree is from the University in Milan, and her PhD is from Princeton (where she is presently a postdoc). She comes from the field of particle astrophysics, and was involved in just about every aspect of Borexino (a solar neutrino detector at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy)--from nuts and bolts to Montecarlo, and data analysis to inflating and doing stress models of big nylon balloons.

Keisuke Goda is a graduate student at MIT and a current member of the MIT LIGO group. Before coming to MIT, he graduated summa cum laude with his BS from University of California, Berkeley, where his research work was on the theoretical part of KamLAND (Kamioka Liquid Scintillator Anti-Neutrino Detector) and the possibility of CP violation in neutrino oscillation experiments. Keisuke has interests in the detection of gravitational radiation and a specific interest in LIGO optics and lasers, as well as thermal noise.

Joseph Betzwieser received his B.A. in Physics from Cornell University last year, and is starting the physics PhD program here at MIT. He is planning to focus in Astrophysics. At Cornell, he worked at the Wilson Synchrotron, both doing upgrades in the form of positional beam detectors for the electron storage ring, and more recently doing experiments with the processing of niobium superconducting cavities.

Stefan Ballmer joins the MIT LIGO group as a graduate student. He received his Master of Science Degree in Theoretical Physics from the ETH Zurich in Switzerland. He studied Vorticity Perturbations in a Friedmann Universe in the framework of Cosmological Perturbation Theory. After graduation he worked for one year as a software engineer for Contraves Space in Zurich helping to develop a laser based inter-satellite link terminal. His interests lie in the LIGO data analysis as well as in laser optics.

Joshua Phinney has just completed an S.M. in the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, before which he attended the University of Illinois at Chicago. His principal contributions are in power electronics, where he developed phase-lock tuning methods for resonant magnetics and passive inductance-cancellation techniques. Joshua is currently a doctoral candidate in electrical engineering, and has jumped into the active pre-isolation work at LASTI to get a sense of what's up in LIGO.