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IfA Welcomes New Graduate Students

new graduate students

From left to right, I-Ting Ho, Brian Roper, Kimberly Aller, and Chao-Ling Hung. Photo courtesy Jason Chu.

Four new students with previous astronomy research experience joined the IfA graduate program last fall. They are Kimberly Aller, a 2010 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley; I-Ting Ho, who received a master’s degree from National Taiwan University in 2009; Chao-Ling Hung, who received a master’s degree from National Tsing Hua University (also in Taiwan) in 2010; and Brian Roper, a 2010 graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Aller participated in the 2009 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) summer program at IfA. She worked with John Johnson on a project about exoplanets, a subject she is still interested in. That work resulted in a paper, "Giant Planet Occurrence in the Stellar Mass-Metallicity Plane." Besides astronomy, her interests include outdoor sports and hiking.

Ho was attracted to Hawai`i by "the unparalleled observing resources." He is particularly interested in studying galaxy clusters and distant galaxies. Before coming to IfA, Ho had already published a paper written with IfA alumnus Wei-Hao Wang and IfA astronomer Glenn Morrison.

Hung is also interested in extragalactic astronomy. She says, "Hawaii seems to me to be the best place for both astronomy research and living. You can use the best telescopes to explore the Universe and at the same time enjoy your life in the most beautiful place." She is the first author of a published paper about star formation.

Roper spent the summer of 2009 as an REU student at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia. He worked with Aaron Evans (PhD, UH, 1996) on a project called "Dissecting Luminous Starburst Galaxy Mergers."

Astronomy Graduate Program Chair David Sanders said, "I am pleased that the program continues to attract highly qualified students."