My current research interest mainly focuses on dark matter and galaxy formation physics in a cosmological context. With cosmological simulations, I aim to quantify the connection between visible galaxies and invisible dark matter halos, and from there, to further explore the nature of dark matter and galaxy formation physics.
Specifically I have been working on:
- 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.
- Galaxy–halo connection: to quantify the galaxy–halo connection and to constrain it with large-scale distribution of galaxies [ref] and also small-scale galaxy properties/dynamics [ref:1,2]
- 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].
- Dark substructures: to understand what properties of the host halos affect the abundance of dark substructures [ref], and to provide "LCDM" predictions for observations of dark substructures [ref].
- 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 extremely important for 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) interface for comparing and validating mock galaxy catalogs, as part of the effort of the Cosmological Simulations Working Group.
- 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: