Recent Student Research Projects

The below provides brief descriptions of student research projects carried out at Luther College with our faculty over the past five years (2014-2018)

Summer 2018

  • Torger Jystad worked at Luther College using eclipse timing to search for evidence of a third body in a partially eclipsing binary system
  • Alex Pigarelli worked at Luther College assessing the feasibility of using annular aperture photometric approach to background subtraction in a crowded stellar field.
  • Nell Himlie worked at Luther College on a project involving the numerical simulation of a realistic, physical spring and mass system.
  • Zach Martin worked at Luther College and at KEK in Japan on a study of the production of charm mesons in the decays of the chi_bJ states of bottomonium, using data from the Belle Collaboration
  • Tania Proksch worked at Luther College and at KEK in Japan, continuing her study of the inclusive production of charm mesons in electron-positron collisions, using data from the Belle Collaboration.
  • Keegan Danielson continued his research at Luther College on creating a MATLAB-based simulation of contact resonance experiments. Keegan modeled the contact resonance system using Euler-Bernoulli beam theory, which models the AFM cantilever as an extended elastic beam.
  • Lucas Ruge-Jones worked at Luther College on creating a MATLAB-based simulation of contact resonance experiments. Lucas modeled the AFM cantilever in the contact resonance system as a simple lumped mass simple harmonic oscillator model.

Summer 2017

  • Eric Floden worked at Luther College developing dynamic aperture photometric techniques for enhanced stellar photometry in crowded stellar fields.
  • Madilyn Heinke worked at Luther College assessing environmental factors impacting photometric precision in a long term stellar monitoring project.
  • Torger Jystad worked at Luther College along with Isaac Stivers improving determination of eclipse parameters for eclipsing binary star systems in the field of open cluster M23.
  • Isaac Stivers worked at Luther College with Torger Jystad improving determination of eclipse parameters for eclipsing binary star systems in the field of open cluster M23
  • Josh Jackson worked at Luther College, and continued his analysis of the radiative cascade decays of the Y(2S) bottomonium states, specifically looking for the production of the eta_c(1S) meson, using data from the Belle Collaboration.
  • Zach Martin worked at Luther College on an analysis of the radiative cascade decays of the Y(2S) bottomonium states, using data from the Belle Collaboration
  • Tania Proksch worked at Luther College on a study of the inclusive production of charm mesons in electron-positron collisions, using data from the Belle Collaboration.
  • Jared Barnes calibrated and validated MATLAB algorithms used to quantify AFM-based wear measurements through working with Professor Flater at Luther College and Professor Tevis Jacobs at University of Pittsburgh.
  • Keegan Danielson and Megan Petzold worked together to simulate the functionality of a FPGA-based dual lock-in amplifier system. They were part of a collaboration between Professor Flater at Luther College, Jason Killgore at NIST in Boulder CO, and Jesse Wilson at Colorado State University.

Summer 2016

  • Eric Floden worked at Luther College along with Kevin Honz improving photometry to better understand apparent secular evolution in semi-regular variable stars.
  • Jonathon Goldstein worked at Luther College assessing the nature of a short-period variable star previously identified as a potential eclipsing binary system.
  • Kevin Honz worked at Luther College along with Erik floden improving photometry to better understand apparent secular evolution in semi-regular variable stars.
  • Mitch Meyers
  • Andrew Bien worked at Luther College, and travelled to KEK in Japan, while continuing his work on the inclusive production of charm mesons in electron-positron collisions, using data from the Belle Collaboration.
  • Will Imoehl worked at Luther College, and travelled to KEK in Japan, continuing his analysis of the radiative cascade decays of the Y(2S) bottomonium states, using data from the Belle Collaboration.
  • Josh Jackson worked at Luther College, and travelled to KEK in Japan, studying the radiative decays of Y(2S) bottomonium states, using data from the Belle Collaboration.

Summer 2015

  • Eric Floden worked at Luther College along with Kevin Honz building a new stellar color-based inter-night normalization to improve photometric resolution in a long-term stellar monitoring project.
  • Jonathon Goldstein worked at Luther College searching for evidence of evolution in three eclipsing binary systems.
  • Dan Herman worked at Luther College along with Jusse Hirwa analyzing three nearly symmetrical apparent stellar brightening events as potential gravitational microlensing events.
  • Kevin Honz worked at Luther College along with Erik Floden building a new stellar color-based inter-night normalization to improve photometric resolution in a long-term stellar monitoring project.
  • Jusse Hirwa worked at Luther College along with Daniel Herman analyzing three nearly symmetrical apparent stellar brightening events as potential gravitational microlensing events.
  • Jesse Hitz-Graff performed and analyzed AFM-based wear experiments, varying systematically the applied force during those wear experiments. He used a simple geometrical model to extract wear volumes during experiments.
  • Jayse Weaver used MATLAB-based blind tip reconstruction to calculate wear volumes during AFM-based wear experiments.
  • Ben Reasoner
  • Sam Berglund
  • Andrew Bien worked at Luther College, beginning a study of the inclusive production of charm mesons in electron-positron collisions, using data from the Belle Collaboration.
  • Will Imoehl worked at Luther College, continuing his analysis of the radiative cascade decays of the Y(2S) bottomonium states, using data from the Belle Collaboration.

Summer 2014

  • Amanda Hayden worked at Luther College studying electron capture from molecules by highly charged ions.
  • Zach Stottler worked at Luther College on an analysis of the decays of bottomonium states which yield open charm mesons, using data from the Belle Collaboration.
  • Ryson Stuart worked at Luther College on an analysis of heavy quark fragmentation in electron-positron annihilation, studying the continuum production of open charm mesons, using data from the Belle Collaboration.
  • Will Imoehl worked at Luther College on an analysis of the radiative cascade decays of the Y(2S) bottomonium states, using data from the Belle Collaboration.
  • David Pfotenhauer worked at Luther College assessing the nature of pulsating stars near the statistical limit of variability detection in the field of Open Cluster M23.
  • Daniel Herman worked at Luther College studying short-term transient events in the measured signal from the stars in the field of Open Cluster M23.
  • Dylan Winston studied the interaction of electron and hole spins with magnetic domain walls.
  • Steve Sorenson worked at Luther College studying  the systematic changes in the friction of aluminum oxide surfaces and developed quantitative models regarding the kinetics of the reaction of aluminum oxide with water in the scanning environment.