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Student Discovers Passion for Astrophysics after attending the Pulsar Search Collaboratory

Katherine Fong is a mentor in the Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC), mentoring the next generation of pulsar hunters. 

Katherine Fong headshot

“When I first heard about the Pulsar Search Collaboratory, (PSC) I knew that I had found something incredibly special. I was able to analyze raw data that no one had ever seen before. Searching for such fascinating stars confirmed that I want to be an astrophysicist. I found my passion.”-Katherine

Katherine is a mentor in the Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC), mentoring the next generation of pulsar hunters. 

The PSC is a partnership program between West Virginia University and the Green Bank Observatory that allows high schools students and teachers to analyze pulsar data from the Green Bank Telescope (GBT).  Katherine is conducting outreach and continuing to search for pulsars of her own now. Due to her extensive research background with the PSC, she was able to work at Caltech as a research assistant and then move into an astrophysics research lab as a college freshman.  She is currently an undergraduate astrophysics student at California State University, Los Angeles. 

Working with a PSC member, she is developing an algorithm to try and filter through information to increase the efficiency of observing data. Her interests in pulsars have extended to black holes, dark energy, dark matter, and so much more. She credits her time in the PSC for giving her preparation to find answers to some of the more complex questions about the universe.

If she could give advice to future PSC members, she would say to join and try it out.  Katherine looks back on her time in the PSC fondly. “It is so much fun, I made lifelong friends, and I was able to get a head start on my career with the hands-on experience that I learned through the PSC!”