Nicholas’ work lies at the interface of experiment and theory of high redshift astrophysics and cosmology. Broadly, Nicholas is interested in problems related to precision radio interferometry, data analysis and optimal signal extraction, and cosmological parameter inference. Specifically, his research aims to understand when and how the first stars and galaxies in the universe formed and the way this process was tied to cosmological structure formation. In particular, Nicholas uses low-frequency radio telescopes that map the distribution of primordial hydrogen in the distant universe in order to shed light on these processes.
His PhD work focused on the development of data analysis algorithms and pipelines for a new radio experiment, the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA), which aims to make a first measurement of such radio emission from the Epoch of Reionization. Nicholas’ background spans a wide range of sectors within the experiment, including hardware commissioning, data quality management, instrument calibration, data compression, and connections to astrophysical theory.
His current work is focused on developing new end-to-end Bayesian frameworks for solving the daunting systematics robustness problem that these radio telescopes face. His broader research goals at MIT are to establish these experiments as novel cosmological and astrophysical probes, and to design the next generation of experiments that will push to higher redshifts and deeper sensitivities.