Jennifer Burt

Mit Postdoctoral Fellow
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I received my B.A. in Astronomy from Cornell University in 2010 before switching coasts to pursue a Ph.D in Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of California Santa Cruz, where I worked on the commissioning and first science applications of the Automated Planet Finder telescope at Lick Observatory. In 2016, I moved back across the country and joined MIT as a Torres Postdoctoral Fellow focusing on precision RV measurements of exoplanets.

My research centers around the detection and characterization of exoplanets, or planets orbiting stars other than our own sun. I use precision radial velocity measurements taken with ground based telescopes in California and Chile to monitor the spectra of stars and search for telltale “wobbles” which indicate the presence of a planet orbiting the star. I was a key contributor to the commissioning and operation of the Automated Planet Finder telescope, and designed the software system that now allows the telescope to run autonomously each night.

Nowadays I work on developing novel observation scheduling schemes that can be deployed on automated telescopes like the APF to ensure that RV follow up campaigns are conducted in effective and efficient manners. I focus mostly on NASA's TESS mission, implementing intensive ground-based observing campaigns to confirm and characterize the new planets that the spacecraft discovers. In addition, I assist with the continuing the legacy RV surveys happening on a variety of world class telescopes.

[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.