Dreams. Made Real.
Clayton State Students Conduct Hands-On Research in Astronomy
Dr. Bram Boroson, assistant professor of Physics at Clayton State University, conducts hands-on, empowering research with students of all majors to yield in scientific understanding.
His current research includes working with business major Katy Bell since spring 2015. Together, they are observing the Cygnus X-1 black hole system, using data from an x-ray telescope, and studying how it changes its x-ray spectrum over weeks and months. They intend on creating a better simulation that will predict the gas flow around the black hole.
Boroson has also worked with students Diana King, a high school student at the time of the project who is now enrolled at Clayton State, and Christopher Larry, on creating a computer method that would classify Galaxy Zoo images. Galaxy Zoo is a website which presents images from a variety of telescopes and allows the general public to help categorize images that are difficult for current programs to differentiate.
For this project, Boroson took an algorithm, which he used in a contest to predict hospital records, and applied and adapted it with the help of his students. The result was making the top 25 percent of entries for the Galaxy Zoo project.
Boroson, a former student assistant himself, enjoys the new perspectives that students bring. While he says that the core of science is taking theories and comparing them with observations, students who may not be as familiar with typical outlooks of science can offer fresh viewpoints.
“I enjoy seeing my students’ confidence grow, especially when my colleagues rely on them,” Boroson says. “It can be intimidating. But once past the intimidation, taking it step by step, it can be done.”
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