PhD candidate–Ashna Sharan

Hello there. I am a PhD candidate investigating the use of GPUs in modelling planetary microlensing events, as Nicholas Rattenbury mentioned in his  recent post. We have on hand a GPU-based code for modelling and simulating gravitational microlensing events. The immediate goal of my project is to use the GPU-based code to model real microlensing events and searching for extra-solar planets. Future work could potentially involve introducing concepts of Swarm Intelligence to optimize the parameter search strategy in finding the best-fit model.

On another note, I completed my MSc in Mathematics at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji, having a Mathematics and Physics background at the undergraduate level. I have always been interested in Astronomy and find myself fortunate that Department of Physics, University of Auckland gave me the opportunity to pursue  it! I expect a challenging yet exciting ride ahead of me, as I journey through my PhD candidacy!

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