Davide Gerosa wins the 2016 Stefano Braccini Thesis Prize

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Every year the Gravitational Wave International Committee (GWIC) awards two thesis prizes: the GWIC Thesis Prize and the Stefano Braccini Thesis Prize.

Our collaborator (and former Master student at Ole Miss) Davide Gerosa won the 2016 Stefano Braccini Thesis Prize for theoretical work on gravitational wave sources. Davide, who is now an Einstein Fellow at the California Institute of Technology, defended his Ph.D. thesis (Source modelling at the dawn of gravitational-wave astronomy, available for download here) at the University of Cambridge. His advisor was Ulrich Sperhake (also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Mississippi).

From the announcement:

GWIC is pleased to announce that the selection committee for the GWIC Thesis Prize and the Stefano Braccini Thesis Prize has reached a decision. This year, there was a total of 9 theses nominated, from 5 different countries.

This is the fourth year that a single committee selects the winners of the two thesis prizes. The selection committee was instructed to select the two best theses based on 1) originality and creativity of the research, 2) importance to the field of gravitational waves and gravitational wave detection, broadly interpreted, and 3) clarity of presentation in the thesis. To distinguish between the two prizes, the GWIC Thesis Prize emphasizes the impact on the field of gravitational waves, and the Stefano Braccini Thesis Prize emphasizes the novelty and innovation of the research.

The 2016 GWIC Thesis Prize is awarded to Eric Oelker for his thesis “Squeezed States for Advanced Gravitational Wave Detectors”. Dr. Oelker received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was nominated by his adviser, Prof. Nergis Mavalvala. His thesis describes a beautiful experiment demonstrating frequency-dependent squeezed states suitable for Advanced LIGO. This is a key element in all the designs for detectors with sensitivity beyond the second generation baselines.

The 2016 Stefano Braccini Thesis Prize is awarded to Davide Gerosa for his thesis “Source modelling at the dawn of gravitational-wave astronomy”. Dr. Gerosa received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and was nominated by his adviser, Prof. Ulrich Sperhake. Dr. Gerosa’s thesis includes a wide variety of topics relevant to gravitational waves, as well as other topics in astrophysics: astrophysical explorations of accretion disks, analytically challenging work in mathematical relativity and post-Newtonian theory, and numerical relativity coding of supernova core-collapse in relativity and modified gravity.

Congratulations, Davide!