Viraj Pandya, Ph.D.

NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow , Columbia University
Pre-Doctoral Fellow, CCA (2021), Flatiron Institute

Viraj Pandya was a Summer Research Associate and CCA Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the Flatiron Institute under the supervision of Dr. Rachel Somerville. He earned his PhD in Astronomy & Astrophysics from UC Santa Cruz and is now a NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University. While at the Flatiron Institute, he led the development of a next-generation semi-analytic model of galaxy formation that could emulate more sophisticated hydrodynamical simulations. As a core member of the Simulating Multi-scale Astrophysics to Understand Galaxies (SMAUG) Collaboration headquartered at the Flatiron Institute, Viraj’s research provided major insights on how the energy carried by supernova-driven galactic winds can prevent cooling and accretion of circumgalactic and intergalactic gas. His phenomenological modeling efforts are laying the groundwork for marginalizing over the uncertainties of baryonic physics so that we can fully leverage galaxies as precise cosmological probes of fundamental physics. In his free time, Viraj enjoys exercising, practicing the guitar and volunteering at an animal shelter.

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