- Goldwater Scholarship (2010)
Christopher Faesi is a senior majoring in Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics at Indiana University in Bloomington. SPS has been an exceptionally important influence in his undergraduate education, and attending the 2008 Sigma Pi Sigma Quadrennial Congress at FermiLab was a motivating experience that inspired him to first become SPS chapter president in spring 2009, helping to revitalize the Indiana University SPS chapter, and then Associate Zone Councilor for Zone 8, a position he has held since fall 2009. He was inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma in April 2009, is a two year recipient of the Indiana Space Grant, and was awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in spring 2010, as well as receiving numerous other academic awards.
His research interests are diverse, and he has worked in particle physics (the ATLAS experiment) as well as stellar astronomy during the past two years. He was a summer intern at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, where he modeled the conditions in the dust shrouds of giant, dying stars, and worked at Cornell University in summer 2010 conducting a spectroscopic near-infrared variability study of young stellar objects (YSOs) to try to understand the mechanisms by which they accrete mass in the early stages of star formation. He will author a senior honors thesis this year studying Lithium abundance of certain open star clusters, with the intent to characterize a trend with metallicity that may shed light on the Big Bang abundance of Lithium.
After graduating in spring 2011, Chris intends to pursue graduate study leading to a PhD in astrophysics. Chris also plans to continue his SPS affiliation long into the future, with the hope of instilling the sense of community in other young prospective scientists that is so pivotal to scientific progress. A former professional ballet dancer, he also enjoys music, playing guitar, running, Tae Kwon Do, reading and speaking French, and hiking.