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 main developers of the DESCQA framework and the Generic Catalog Reader (GCR) 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].
- 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 Today, 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: