Jessica Avva

I am a physicist, telescope builder, and data analyst trying to understand how the universe works, one solder joint and line of code at a time. Start scrolling to learn more.

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About Me

I am an experimental physicist who develops cutting-edge instrumentation and data analysis techniques to make sensitive measurements of cosmic history.

Currently, I am a graduate student in my final year at UC Berkeley working on the South Pole Telescope (SPT), a 10-meter microwave telescope at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. During grad school I built and commissioned SPT-3G, the most recent camera on the SPT. SPT-3G makes precision measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background, the oldest light in the universe. I am currently working on my thesis project. Using the data from SPT-3G, I am developing novel analysis techniques to measure the polarization of the CMB to search for the signature of gravitational waves imprinted during inflation.

Previous to grad school, I worked on a variety of projects pursuing my interest in high-energy astrophysics. These included doing site characterization and instrumentation for the Greenland Neutrino Observatory, an in-ice radio detector for astrophysical ultra-high energy neutrinos, and studying cosmic ray acceleration in supernova remnants with the Fermi LAT and VERITAS.

In Fall 2022, I will start as a NASA Einstein Fellow at the University of Chicago and will subsequently hold a joint appointment as a Fermilab Lederman Fellow and as a University of Chicago KICP Fellow.


Contact Details

Jessica Avva
Department of Physics, UC Berkeley
151 LeConte Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
javva(at)berkeley.edu

Career

Education

University of California, Berkeley

PhD in Physics, Holzapfel Lab Expected June 2022

  • NSF Graduate Fellow

University of Chicago

B.A. in Physics with Honors, Vieregg Lab, Wakely Lab June 2015

  • Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellow, University of Chicago
  • John Mather Nobel Fellow, Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Sugarman Award, KICP, University of Chicago

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