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Riverside student presents radio astronomy work at national conferences

By in Press Enterprise on February 8, 2018

By Staff report Riverside City College student Sierra Garza presented her work at two national science conferences in January 2018. Garza shared her research as part of an eight-person team that designed a broadband low-frequency radio feed and constructed a prototype antenna. (Photo courtesy of Riverside City College District)

Riverside City College student Sierra Garza recently presented her research to two conferences this month: one at the American Astronomical Society conference in Washington, DC, and the other at the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics, hosted by the American Physics Society.

Garza, who was part of an eight-person team that designed a broadband low-frequency radio feed, shared research on the HERA Broadband Feed Design for Low-Frequency Radio Astronomy. The team, hoped by extending the lower-limit to 50 MHz, they could detect signatures of the first black holes heating hydrogen gas in the intergalactic medium. Labeled the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) project, the group hailed from such universities as San Jose State; Dunlap Institute in Ontario, Canada; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; University of Virginia; and affiliated associations as National Radio Astronomy Observatory and National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Pasadena.

Garza, a graduate of La Sierra High School in Riverside is majoring in Physics/Astrophysics.

“Sierra impresses me with her divergent ability to draw on all of her knowledge to solve problems, not just the information given to her in a specific class,” Louise Daniels, physics and astronomy professor, said in a news release from the district. “Perhaps even more impressive, however, is the fact that her lateral way of thinking is balanced with uncommonly grounded and practical reasoning. This is the perfect combination of attributes necessary for a position in scientific research, and I have no doubt she will do great things.”


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