HI, I’M HILLARY.
Astrophysicist-in-Training at MIT | Science Communicator
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At the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, I work in Professor Anna Frebel’s lab to study how ultra-faint dwarf galaxies form. They are the oldest and faintest galaxies in the cosmos—“cosmic fossils” giving us clues about what the early universe looked like.
To uncover how they formed, I use data from the Caterpillar computer simulations.
Students learn about physics as a set of objective facts and laws of nature. Hidden from them is the complex journey of curiosity, creativity, struggle, serendipity, and collaboration undertaken by our scientists.
With Elizabeth Cavicchi (MIT Edgerton Center), I seek teaching methods that put the human experience back into the physics classroom. We seek pedagogies that incorporate the history, philosophy, and sociology (HPS) of physics into physics teaching.
As an astrophysicist-in-training who feels deeply inspired by the cosmos, I want to share the excitement of science. At the same time, as a survivor of Supertyphoon Haiyan and witness of the COVID-19 pandemic—cases where better science communication could have saved thousands of lives—I also want to share the life-saving value of science.
I do this through engaging public talks and webinars, social media posts, videos, and visual designs. So far, my work has reached 8M views and I have spoken at 50+ public talks.
My science classes hid so much from me. Sixteen years ago, I learned that a million Earths could fit inside the sun. Amazed by this fact, I decided that I wanted to be an astronomer or...
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Hello, Challenger! It's Hillary, Winner of the 2017 Breakthrough Junior Challenge. How are you doing? Although our days are now fraught with uncertainty, one thing is for sure: the Challenge...
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