Congratulations Maggie, Madison, and Chris!

The school year has wrapped up and we’re about to head into summer. Usually we’re excited we survived the year at all, but this time we are celebrating the XWCL undergraduates graduating and completing their bachelor’s degrees! Chris, Maggie, and Madison have worked with us for the past couple years assisting on MagAO-X.

Chris joined us in 2016 as a computer science undergrad. He started working with Katie doing data reduction. Jared then poached him away to work a lot in the lab doing mostly hardware coding and is the original Basler camera whisperer. He is going to stick around with us for a few weeks to wrangle some more hardware control programming before journeying off to a real job with Fast Enterprises.

Congratulations, Chris!

Maggie joined us in 2017 as an optical sciences and engineering undergrad. She’s worked primarily with Laird on MagAO-X optomechanical design and alignment. She came along with us to SPIE last year and is part inventor with Laird on the optomechanical mount patent. She will be suffering sticking around with us this fall at UA for a PhD in optical sciences, where she will also be an NSF GRFP recipient. She is off to a summer internship in Baltimore at STScI working on HiCAT.

Maggie with Laird at the Optical Sciences commencement

Madison joined us in 2018 as an optical sciences and engineering undergrad. She worked with us part time last summer to help Lauren with the MagAO-X pyramid wfs alignment and joined us for the past school year doing quantum efficiency testing for a light source. She will be partially suffering sticking around this fall at UA for a MS in optical sciences. She is off to a summer internship in Boston at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Madison with Jhen and Lauren at the Optical Sciences commencement

The MagAO-X PI has expressed an interest in the return of having a song with the blog posts. With the help of Joseph, we have a graduation-themed song for EACH of the undergrads:

For Chris, we have “Shut Up and Let Me Go” by the Ting Tings:

For Maggie, we have “Move On Up” by Curtis Mayfield:

For Madison, we have “Take Yourself With You” by Rose Linor Dougall:

Also, as tradition with the blog, here are quotes. The MagAO-X PI has some parting words for the graduating undergrads:

Jared: You’re here until you die*
*Source: “Look Down (Prisoners)” from Les Miserables

Congratulations again to the undergrads, XWCL is super proud of all the hard work you’ve done! Here’s to a fun and productive summer for everyone!

Congratulations to Dr. Miller, MagAO-X’s newly minted PhD!

This is a late post, but on November 16, 2018, Kelsey Miller successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation! Congratulations, Dr. Miller!

Kelsey and her Ph.D. Committee – Olivier, Jared, and Michael

Kelsey’s research is on Linear Dark Field Control (LDFC), a focal plane wavefront sensing technique where she monitors the bright field speckles and uses their linear nature to maintain stability in the dark hole. She has been developing LDFC using the MagAO-X pupil and vAPP coronagraph design. You can learn more about Kelsey’s work in LDFC (JATIS, arXiv) and how LDFC will work with MagAO-X (SPIE, arXiv).

Kelsey is off to cooler climates at Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands, who have been our collaborators with the vAPP coronagraph. She will be a postdoctoral researcher with Frans Snik, continuing her work on LDFC to get it working on sky. We will miss you tremendously!

MagAO-X @ SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2018

This past week, the MagAO-X team attended the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation conference in Austin, TX. Here’s a recap of all of our presentations at the conference.

Let’s start off with the talks. Jared kicked off our presentation collection with a talk on the MagAO-X update:

Starting it off with the MagAO-X PI

Laird gave an update on MagAO:

We love MagAO!

Kelsey gave a fantastic talk on the vAPP for MagAO-X and Linear Dark Field Control:

Kelsey’s awesome presentation with excellent use of pictures

Lauren gave an awesome talk on her PyWFS PYRITE sims:

Lauren’s talk stepped through PyWFS really well, great job!

Justin presented PIAACMC designs for SCExAO/GMT/MagAO-X:

Despite being the last talk of the conference, it still had great attendance!

The rest of us had poster presentations:

Joseph presented on his CLIO data analysis

Maggie presented on her work with the MagAO-X kinematic mounts

Alex R (v1.0) presented his simulations work on Fraizen’s paper

Rachel Morgan (MIT) presented her work using the data Ewan collected with MagAO on 2017B

Alex H (v2.0) presented his work with the MagAO-X K-mirror mount

Laird presented the MagAO-X optomechanical design

Kyle presented his work characterizing the MagAO-X DMs

Jhen presented her work using POPPY to characterize the MagAO-X and LGS testbeds

Jared made a poster for GMagAO-X

Here’s some shenanigans from the conference and in Austin:

Jared’s talk crashed several times once during his presentation. It turns out, LibreOffice and the SPIE talk upload system disagree with each other, particularly with how to handle Lauren’s 700 KB flaming logo. When transitioning to the next talk, MagAO-X refused to leave the screen.

Free advertisement for MagAO-X!

According to Laird, later in the week, Lauren’s MagAO-X logo came back to shutdown another talk. The computer tried to “recover” Jared’s talk and so the solution was to kill it outright. MagAO-X came back with a vengeance it seems.

Laird is the best science dad

In accordance to the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2016 conference, this time Jared and Olivier were sitting together as opposed to being in the same room at the same time:

They showed up together for Kelsey’s talk!

Despite the heat and humidity, Austin was a great conference location.

I observed some Texas locals

Sunset dinner by the Colorado River

I did the millennial thing and ate avocado toast for brunch one day

And so concludes SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2018. It was a fantastic time seeing everyone, meeting new people, attending talks, and presenting research. To close off, here’s a quote from the MagAO-X PI:

Jared: “All deficiencies in your presentations have been noted and will be addressed in due course.”