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2019 Summer Undergraduate Research Program
Student of the Week

Name: Clara Chung

Hometown: Toronto

Program: Physics Specialist Program, University of Toronto

Clara’s Research Project:

Clara is a University of Toronto Astronomy SURP student, who is working with two postdoctoral researchers at CITA. Her day-to-day work involves using gravitational lensing to study dark matter. She spends much of her time coding. Her project is a theoretical and computational one that involves computing the impact of our lack of certainty about the distribution of ordinary matter. This is important, because it affects what we would infer about dark matter in future observations of gravitational lensing.

How did you first become interested in Astrophysics?

My dad is a physics education professor, so he did a lot of research into history, philosophy, and pedagogy of physics. He did quite a bit of research into Einstein and his upbringing, so naturally he would often tell me about it when I was young – and that’s when my interest in cosmology really started.

What are you enjoying most about SURP?

I like how there are a lot of talks specifically dedicated towards the SURP students, which is really nice. It’s not so toned down that it’s for general audience, but it’s not for experts, either. So as students, we really get something out of it. There are a lot of events, which also contribute to a feeling of community.

What do you like most about working with your research team?

It’s different than what I’ve had before, which is just research. There’s also always something to do. They keep us very busy, but in a good way.

What are your future plans?

As I started studying physics in university, I realized I really like quantum mechanics and decided I want to go to graduate school for condensed matter. It’s different from what I’m doing right now, but I’m really glad I got to live my childhood dream.

After graduate school, I will hopefully end up in academia for research, or maybe even become a professor.

2019 SURP Student of the Week Archive


Kelly Werker Smith