Georgia Tech Receives an Award for $400k from the NSF to integrate computing resources into the Open Science Grid

CRA members Laura Cadonati, Nepomuk Otte and Ignacio Taboada and PACE members Mehmet Belgin and Semir Sarajlic have received funding to integrated computing resources into the Open Science Grid. This new funding will enable research with the gravitational wave observatory LIGO, the very-high-energy gamma-ray telescopes VERITAS and CTA and the neutrino observatory IceCube. This award complements MRI-NSF funding obtained in 2018 that will significantly increase the computing capabilities at Georgia Tech’s campus.



Prof. Ignacio Taboada Elected Member-at-Large of APS DAP

Congratulations to CRA faculty Ignacio Taboada for been elected member-at-large of American Physical Society’s Division of Astrophysics (Executive Committee)

CRA student awarded A. Joyce Nickelson and John C. Sutherland Prize from the College of Sciences

Congratulations to CRA undergraduate research student Mathilda Avirett-Mackenzie, who was awarded the A. Joyce Nickelson and John C. Sutherland Prize from the College of Sciences.

The award recognizes excellence at the interface of mathematics and physics.


CRA student receives Hitohiro Fukuyo Outstanding Physics Undergraduate Award

Kenneth Higginbotham, a CRA undergraduate research student with Prof. Deirdre Shoemaker, has been awarded the Hitohiro Fukuyo Outstanding Physics Undergraduate Award.

Congratulations, Kenny!



CRA student Deborah Ferguson selected for Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

The Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings has selected CRA graduate student, Deborah Ferguson, to participate in the 69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting taking place from 30 June to 05 July 2019 in Lindau, Germany.

Only the 600 most qualified young scientists can be given the opportunity to enrich and share the unique atmosphere of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.

Congratulations, Deborah!


CRA faculty Gongjie Li selected RCSA Scialog Fellow for Astrophysics

Study by CRA faculty John Wise featured on CNN

How did massive black holes form in the early universe? The rotating gaseous disk of this dark matter halo breaks apart into three clumps that collapse under their own gravity to form supermassive stars. Those stars will quickly collapse and form massive black holes.

CNN – More than 13 billion years after they formed, distant massive black holes from the early universe are revealing themselves. The light that was released to create them is now reaching our telescopes. But that left scientists with a conundrum: How did they form so quickly when the universe was young? Black holes take time to form.
Typically, a massive star has to burn through all of its fuel, explode into a supernova and create a black hole. Massive black holes take even longer. What if these black holes formed differently? A research team comprised of scientists from multiple universities believes that these very massive black holes were created when galaxies formed very quickly and violently. So rather than forming stars, that normal process was disrupted and led to black hole formation, according to a new study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday.
Previously, scientists believed that massive black holes could only form in regions that were full of intense, ultraviolet star-killing radiation from nearby galaxies. This turns that notion on its head, putting massive black holes in starless regions that grew rapidly.But how does this process actually work? It relies on the gas clouds that lead to galaxy creation, said John Wise, study co-author and associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Physics.“It was only in these overly-dense regions of the universe that we saw these black holes forming,” Wise said. “The dark matter creates most of the gravity, and then the gas falls into that gravitational potential, where it can form stars or a massive black hole.”
More Information:


CRA Grad Student is Finalist in Three Minute Thesis Competition


Deborah Ferguson, a third-year graduate student at CRA and School of Physics is selected in the final round of Three Minute Thesis Competition. She will be presenting her work on testing general relativity with binary black hole mergers.

The final round will be held in the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center on Nov. 7, 6-8 PM. 


Georgia Tech Receives an Award for $3.7 million from the NSF for High Performance Computing Resource

Research enabled by the new system will aid NSF-supported observatories such as the LIGO gravitational wave observatory, and the South Pole neutrino observatory known as IceCube.

Central to the award is the CRA Director and Associate Director of Institute for Data Engineering and Science, Prof. Deirdre Shoemaker (first from left in the photo).

Full Press Release:





CRA Simulations Support Missing Ancient Red Giants

The amazing image, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows the planetary nebula NGC 3918, a brilliant cloud of colorful gas in the constellation Centaurus, 4,900 light-years from us. The image is a composite of visible and near-infrared snapshots taken with Hubble’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2.New simulations led by CRA Prof. Tamara Bogdanovic and her student Forrest Kieffer support the ‘disappearance’ of ancient red giant stars from the Milky Way.

Link to their recent paper:…823..155K

Press coverage in Daily Mail: