My research interests surround the connection between visible galaxies and dark matter halos. In particular, I study various approaches to model the galaxy–halo connection, make observable predictions using simulations and models and compare them with observational datasets, and quantify the influence of the galaxy–halo connection on our understandings of cosmology, dark matter physics, and galaxy formation/evolution.
Specifically I have been working on:
- Galaxy assembly bias and secondary halo biases: to understand how halo clustering [ref:1,2] and galaxy clustering [ref:1,2,3,4] depend on the halo formation history and other secondary properties.
- Satellite galaxies in the Milky Way and beyond: to explore the abundance and properties of the satellite galaxies in the Milky Way and beyond [ref:1,2,3], and to compare them with theoretical predictions [ref:1,2,3,4,5].
- Dark substructures: to understand what properties of the host halos affect the abundance of dark substructures [ref:1,2,3], and to provide "LCDM" predictions for observations of dark substructures [ref].
- Galaxy dynamics at small scales: to predict small-scale galaxy properties/dynamics using gravity-only simulations and galaxy-halo connection models and compare with observation [ref:1,2].
- Zoom-in dark matter simulations: to better understand the variance in various halo properties by analyzing a statistical sample of zoom-in isolated halos [ref:1,2,3].
- Local velocity distribution function (VDF) of dark matter: to find an accurate VDF model [ref], which is crucial to dark matter direct detection experiments, especially for low-mass dark matter candidates [ref].
I also participate in many collaborative projects, including:
- LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC): I am one of the lead developers of the DESCQA framework [ref] and the Generic Catalog Reader (GCR). These tools provide an unifed data accessing tool set and a validation framework to validate and test mock galaxy catalogs and beyond.
- Satellites Around Galactic Analogs (SAGA): We look out at the dwarf galaxies in nearby Milky Way-like systems to learn more about our own galaxy and galaxy formation physics [ref].
- Magellanic Satellites Survey (MagLiteS): a NOAO community survey that uses DECam to explore the neighborhood of the Magellanic system [ref].
- Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI)
- Dark Energy Survey (DES): I helped analyzing the anisotopic spacial distribution of the newly discovered Milky Way satellite candidates [ref].
- Sussing Merger Trees: a series of comparison among different merger tree building codes [ref].
- Is the Milky Way an 'outlier' galaxy? Studying its 'siblings' for clues [Yale News, 2017/09]
- Standard Model of the Universe Withstands Most Precise Test by Dark Energy Survey [SLAC News 2017/08]
- Building Halos by Digesting Satellites [AAS NOVA, 2016/05]
- Stanford physicists help discover hidden dwarf dark galaxy [Stanford News, 2016/04]
- Learning about the future from the distant past [Stanford News, 2016/03]
- Dark Energy Survey finds more celestial neighbors [Fermilab News, 2015/08]
- Scientists find rare dwarf satellite galaxy candidates in Dark Energy Survey data [Fermilab News, 2015/03]
- KIPAC Theorists Weigh In on Where to Hunt Dark Matter [SLAC News, 2013/05]
- Hints of lightweight dark matter get even stronger [New Scientist, 2013/05]
- Learning to play the dark matter boogie [Symmetry Magazine, 2012/10]
When I was an undergrad, I had been working on many different topics, including: