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MIT LIGO Group Welcomes Three New Members

MIT LIGO Group Welcomes Three New Members

- Contributed by David Shoemaker

Here at MIT, we welcome three new members to our group. Here are some brief introductions:

Erik Katsavounidis has joined the MIT Physics Faculty and the MIT LIGO Group to lead our data analysis effort.

Erik received his PhD from Caltech in Experimental High Energy Physics. Before joining MIT, he was a postdoctoral fellow with the Italian Institute of Nuclear Physics, and an associate scientist with Caltech's High Energy Physics group. His research work has centered around the physics of MACRO, the Monopole Astrophysics and Cosmic Ray Observatory located in the Gran Sasso Laboratories in Italy. He has searched for magnetic monopoles, nuclearites, as well as for neutrinos of potentially astrophysical origin or decaying from cosmic ray interaction products in the atmosphere. Besides learning more about how the instrument works, Erik's interests in LIGO are centered in data analyses that will look for gravitational radiation during bursting episodes in the universe or as a stochastic background.

Gregg Harry has joined the MIT LIGO group to work on the LIGO Advanced System Test Interferometer (LASTI) and to continue work on thermal noise.

Gregg has been in this field for some time, having done his PhD research with Ho Jung Paik at Maryland, and having just finished a postdoc with Peter Saulson at Syracuse; he started with a undergrad degree from Caltech. He has interests in the astrophysics of gravitational radiation, experience with acoustic GW detectors, and has a specific interest and expertise in thermal noise. Among other things, Gregg will perform experiments to study the mechanical losses in coatings on mirrors and help put LASTI together.

Keith Bayer joins us to help with the programming of data analysis algorithms, and the assembly and tuning of the LDAS Beowulf installation at MIT. He will also provide oversight of the computing systems for the group.

He has many years of Unix programming and system administration experience in a variety of research and development settings. Keith has worked on Internet protocols used to develop distributed applications and support systems on a broad range of computers and operating systems, and has expertise with customizing and adapting Open Source Software for in-house adoption and use. Keith comes to us from Harvard Medical School where he was a Systems Programmer.