Research in the Physics Department

Andi ShepherdAndi's focus on research includes characterizing the Astronomical CCD camera. She works on figuring out the dark current measurements of the camera. With the help of a computer, she takes the noise out of the images. Since every camera chip adds its own noise to the image, she must use dark subtraction to remove the spots from each photograph. Andi also uses dark frame, which allows her to see the pixels. The main problem of using the Astronomical CCD camera is that the images are dark, and as a result, noise from the electronics is prominent in the image, unless the camera operator removes it. Andi works to measure this noise so that it can be removed and give clearer images. Since every CCD camera chip is different, she measures the noise in each camera, as it depends on temperature and exposure length. This information will then be used to clean up the raw images taken in the observatory.

Andi feels that she is learning a lot about a very interesting field. All of the material is new to her and, as a result, she finds her experience as a Freshman Fellow very educational. When she has completed her academic career, Andi would like to become a physical therapist.