Iam an incoming PhD student in Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. There, I will be working with Professor Alex Ji on galactic archaeology. Last June 2023, I graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where I majored in Physics and minored in both Astronomy and Science, Technology, and Society (STS). Besides coursework, I also do research on astrophysics at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research and physics education at the MIT Edgerton Center. Learn more about my research here.
Within astrophysics, I am most interested in near-field cosmology which uses information about our own Milky Way and the local cosmic neighborhood (near-field) to learn about the bigger cosmos (cosmology). Currently, I study how our neighboring ultra-faint dwarf galaxies—the oldest and faintest galaxies in the universe—formed using data from a large computer simulation. I do this work with Professor Anna Frebel and Kaley Brauer.
Within physics education, I am most interested in bringing the human experience back into the physics classroom. Most students learn about physics as a bland 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 pedagogies that incorporate history, philosophy, and sociology (HPS) of physics into physics teaching.
Outside of courses and research, I am a leader in my clubs and living communities. I am currently the Vice President of MIT’s Society of Physics Students, Executive Officer in MIT’s Undergraduate Womxn in Physics, and Co-Head Counselor for the Physics Freshman Pre-Orientation Program. I also work as a Resident Assistant in my dorm.
In my free time, I read and dance (K-pop and hip hop styles).
I am a rising science communicator in the Philippines. I started communicating science actively four years ago, right before I graduated high school. Since then, my work has reached more than 8M views worldwide. I have also been invited to speak at more than 50 events, all around the Philippines and in international venues such as the United Nations in Vienna.
Learn more about my work here.
Breakthrough Junior Challenge
When people recognize me, it’s usually because of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge. The Challenge is an international science competition organized by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, which includes Silicon Valley names like Sergey Brin (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and Yuri Milner (DST Global). In 2017, I won the competition, placing first out of 11,000 participants. In 2016, I received the Special Prize, placing third out of 6,000 participants. Learn more about my competition journey and find some resources here.
- This 18-year-old Yolanda Survivor Wants to Make Science More Understandable to Save Lives, Smart Parenting
- Six Takeaways From A Session With Hillary Andales, The Science Scholar
- A Long Distance Interview with Hillary Diane Andales, Young Scientists’ Journal
- Featuring Hillary Diane Andales, MIT Is… Podcast
- Hillary Diane Andales: Science Communicator and Aspiring Astrophysicist, WiTech
- Hillary Andales wins Breakthrough, The Reference Frame
- Hillary Andales Inspires Knowledge Channel Interns, The Lopez Group