Research Projects


The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is an optical-NIR imaging survey that uses a 570-Mpix camera on the 4-meter Blanco Telescope in Chile to cover 5000 deg2 of the southern sky. The primary science goal of DES is to understand the nature of dark energy through combined measurements of supernova, large-scale stucture, weak lensing, and galaxy clusters. The rich dataset from DES also enables studies of dark matter, galaxy evolution and transiant science.


The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is a next-generation optical-NIR imaging survey. LSST will host a 3.2-Gpix camera and a 8.4-meter primary mirror at Cerro Pechon in Chile. LSST adopts a "wide, fast, deep" survey strategy that will cover the entire visible sky every 3 nights. Over its 10 year mission, LSST will produce a "movie" of ~18,000 deg2 of the night sky. The LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC) hosts the study of dark energy with LSST.


The South Pole Telescope (SPT) is a 10-meter mm/submm telescope operating at the geographical South Pole, designed to measure the temperature and polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The high angular resolution and low noise level of SPT allows unprecedented measurements of CMB lensing and galaxy clusters. SPT and DES observe the same area of sky, which enables joint analyses of the two data sets.

CCD Development

Silicon charged-coupled devices (CCDs) have been the primary detector for astronomical observations for the last 30 years. While CCD technology is mature, it is far from stagnant. We work at the interface of hardware and software to improve the performance of these detectors for applications in future cosmic surveys.

Deep Skies

Deep Skies brings together experts in astronomy and artificial intelligence to explore the mutual benefits of large-scale data analysis for both fields. The Deep Skies team is specifically interested in the advent of advanced algorithms for data-intensive research on astrophysics and cosmological phenomena.

Recent Publications

Most of our publications can be found on the ADS with the following query:


We also write software, much of which can be found on GitHub:

Research Group

Group Meetings Thursdays @ 1PM in ERC 445

Chihway Chang

Assistant Professor
Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics
University of Chicago
Ph.D., Stanford, 2013

Alex Drlica-Wagner

Wilson Fellow, Fermilab
Assistant Professor
University of Chicago
Ph.D., Stanford, 2013

Brian Nord

Associate Scientist, Fermilab
Visiting Research Assistant Professor
University of Chicago
Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2012

Postdocs and Research Staff

João Caldeira

Research Associate, Fermilab

Ting Li

Lederman Fellow, Fermilab

Yuanyuan Zhang

Schramm Fellow, Fermilab

Graduate Students

Jason Poh

Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Chicago

Nora Shipp

Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Chicago

Dimitrios Tanoglidis

Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Chicago

Kuang Wei

Physics, University of Chicago

Georgios Zacharegkas

Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Chicago

Zhuowen Zhang

Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Chicago

Undergraduate Students

Rebecca Chen

Astrophysics, University of Chicago

Sidney Mau

Physics, University of Chicago


Brandon Buncher -- BA Physics, 2017 College of William and Mary. Graduate student in Physics at UIUC.