23 April 2020

David Vizgan, DAWN summer student 2019, wins prestigious Chambliss Award

David Vizgan
David Vizgan, who will graduate in 2021, was awarded a Chambliss Award by the American Astronomical Society. The Award is given for an extraordinary poster presentation at an AAS meeting.

Astronomy and Physics major David Vizgan of Wesleyan University has expanded his interest of astrophysics to the far corners of the universe through his research at DAWN. For his outstanding research poster presentation at the most recent American Astronomical Society meeting, he received a Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award. The Award is given for an extraordinary poster presentation at an AAS meeting.

The poster presentations were made during the 235th AAS meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, Jan. 4–8. At the meeting, Vizgan presented the research he began in Summer 2019 at the Cosmic Dawn Center (DAWN) in Copenhagen as part of a NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates.

Vizgans research is part of his general interest in determining the evolution of galaxies from looking at them at different redshift.

Imagine you’re given two weeks in a forest to study the evolution of trees. What would you do? Well you’d probably want to look at trees—old trees, young trees, dead trees, trees that seem completely different from the others—and try to piece together the life story of a tree that way, and how it evolves over time,”  Vizgan said.

“Keep in mind now that, relative to the age of the universe, we’ve been around for a lot less than two weeks! In this universe, galaxies are the trees, and if we want to understand how these objects evolve with time, all we can really do is look at them in different stages of their lives. Understanding galaxies in their youth could help us understand galaxies in all other stages of their lifetime as well as their role in the evolution of the universe” .

You can read more about Vizgans experience in Copenhagen on his DAWN-IRES profile. Read more on DAWN-IRES here.

Since leaving Copenhagen, Vizgan has continued with his research, working with Associate Professor of Astronomy Meredith Hughes’ (Wesleyan University) research group on modelling the debris disk around AU Microscopii, a small, “young” star, only 12 million years old. An article on Vizgans achievement from Wesleyan can be found here.

Read more about the Chambliss Award here.