BS| Georgia Institute of Technology| 2010
MS| University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill| 2013
Ph.D.| University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill| 2016
My research is in the field of gravitational astrophysics. Specifically, I model the gravitational waves emitted by compact binary systems using general relativity. Compact binary systems consist of two black holes, one black hole and one neutron star, or two neutron stars orbiting one another. The initial LIGO detections of gravitational waves generated by compact binaries were monumental confirmations of general relativity that merited the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. My work considers the extreme mass-ratio case where one of the binary components is a supermassive black hole (~1 million times more massive than the Sun) and the other binary component is a stellar mass black hole or neutron star. These extreme mass-ratio binaries are vital sources of gravitational waves for the upcoming LISA space mission. I use the mass-ratio (small mass/large mass) of the system as a small parameter to expand the gravitational field equations perturbatively. Radiation-reaction causes the smaller body to inspiral towards the larger black hole until merger. The primary goal of my research program is to collaborate with students to develop accurate extreme mass-ratio inspiral models with unprecedented astrophysical realism required for LISA data analysis.