Kathryn Xu

Kathryn Xu

Coming to Penn, I knew I wanted to do research but had no idea where to start. My first research experience was the summer after my freshman year with PURM, where I had the opportunity to participate in soft matter physics research, under the guidance of Professor Douglas J. Durian. I performed hard particle Monte Carlo simulations using Python and the Walnut high-performance computing cluster.

Over the last year, I switched to astrophysics research, specifically in dark energy, working with Professor Masao Sako on supernovae. Some of my work included computing light curves of type Ia supernovae, also working with Python. This past summer, I had the opportunity to continue my research with Fermilab, where I worked with Javier Sánchez on the DECam Local Volume Exploration Survey (DELVE) in order to gain constraints on dark energy density, using galaxy surveys. Outside of physics, I'm also an English major and a writer for DP Sports and 34th Street. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about PURM, starting research, using work-study for research, switching research fields, applying to REUs/external research opportunities, or even to talk about anything related to English!

  • Research assistant to Professor Douglas Durian (Soft matter physics; PURM, Frances Velay Fellowship; Summer 2020)
  • Research assistant to Professor Masao Sako (Astrophysics; Work-Study; Fall 2020–)
  • Researcher at Fermilab with Javier Sánchez (Astrophysics; Fermilab SIST; Summer 2021)

Interests