Reaching for the Stars
College of Staten Island salutatorian Daniel Feldman plans to begin studying astronomy at Boston University as a Ph.D. student in the fall. He is a physics major and part of the 2012 graduating class of the CUNY Macaulay Honors College at CSI.
During his undergraduate studies, Feldman took part in numerous research projects. Starting the summer after his freshman year (2009), he conducted galaxy evolution research as part of a team at the American Museum of Natural History under the advisement of CSI Professor Charles Liu. He presented this work at the 215th American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, D.C.
During 2010, Feldman participated in two research projects at CSI that were overseen by Professor Irving Robbins. The first was an asteroid-tracking project, determining the positions and trajectories of high-priority asteroids using data from Tenagra Observatory in Arizona. The second involved helping to build a radio antenna to track solar flares; this work was done as part of the SID collaboration, which was run at Stanford University.
In the summer of 2010, Feldman was selected to participate in the CUNY Summer Undergraduate Research Program, where he worked with Professor Kelle Cruz at Hunter College and the American Museum of Natural History, studying youth indicators in M dwarf stars. He continued this research through the following year, and it resulted in numerous research presentations, including the Astronomical Society of New York conference at the University of Rochester and the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle, Wash.
In the summer of 2011, Feldman was selected to participate in the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates program at Northern Arizona University, studying Kuiper Belt Objects. This research resulted in presentations at Columbia University's AstroFest and the American Astronomical Society meeting in Austin, Texas.
In his last year at CSI, Feldman has been working on his senior thesis with Professor Emily Rice, as well as collaborators in the BDNYC research group at the American Museum of Natural History; he has been using high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy techniques to help determine the physical properties of brown dwarfs.
In addition to research, Feldman has been active in developing his teaching skills. Since his freshman year, he has been a physics and calculus tutor for the Macaulay Honors College. Beginning in his junior year, he also has been employed at the college as an adjunct college lab technician for the astronomy labs. He also has done outreach at CSI's astrophysical observatory, helping teach the public about astronomy.
A graduate of Port Richmond High School, Feldman has a passion for music and theater. As hobbies, he enjoys playing numerous musical instruments as well as performing as a singer/actor in musical theater productions in various venues on Staten Island. It is his hope to continue to pursue these scientific and artistic passions after graduation and become successful in these different aspects of his life.
In fall 2012, Feldman will begin studying astronomy at Boston University as a PhD student and has aspirations of becoming a professor at a research institution.