Name: Zach Pace
Location: Buffalo, NY USA
School: University at Buffalo
Majors: Physics, Mathematics
Interests: Visual Astronomy, Radio Astronomy, Rocketry, BattleBots, Sub-Orbital Experimentation, High-Altitude Balloons
Academic Interests and Projects
I am a physics major at the University at Buffalo, with an interest in theoretical physics and cosmology. I began research in spin-based semiconductor theory in May 2011, and I plan to be working in semiconductor experiment during Spring and Summer 2011. After that, I plan to begin to select a topic for my senior thesis, which I will complete by June 2014.
Currently, I am the Science/Optics Payload Lead for UB's Nanosat Team, which is part of the AFRL's University Nanosat-7 Competition.
Independent, Hobby, and UB-SEDS Projects
I am working on getting started individually with solar system and deep sky imaging, in association with some of the good people at the Buffalo Astronomical Association's Beaver Meadow Observatory. I currently possess a TMB80SS refractor for wide field use, and I plan to make use of the UB-SEDS 8" Celestron Reflector, and my parents' 8" Meade Reflector on a Vixen SXW mount. I purchased a planetary imager in early 2011 and hope to acquire some lunar shots before it gets too cold. In the meantime, I will also be be working to acquire a medium-format CCD camera by either Atik or SBIG for deep sky work. I hope to begin that in late 2011 or early 2012.
With UB-SEDS, I am participating predominantly in the Astronomy project group, but will contribute to the Educational Outreach, Rocketry, and Balloon groups on a less integral level. I will be directly involved in outreach for all project groups, but I also plan to begin the Astronomy group's endeavor into imaging, with the immediate use of our new Meade DSI Imager, as well as the subsequent acquisition of a mid-resolution CCD. With this, I would like to begin to systematically image one full constellation per semester, as well as two during the summer months, with the purpose of using Photoshop to stitch the images together for posters to be used and distributed at our outreach activities. I also have plans to begin a radio astronomy project as a subsidiary of the UB-SEDS astronomy project group, with the intent of observing first solar flares, then Jupiter, followed by possible quasar hunts, GRB searches, low-res constellation mapping, and CMB mapping.
I will be beginning a semi-independent educational outreach program during late fall 2011, focused on integrated STEM-based problem solving in the context of astronomy and radio astronomy. This project will also involve the construction of a student-run observatory on the University at Buffalo's North Campus in Amherst, NY. The program will hopefully be offered to 10-15 high school students in Buffalo, and will culminate yearly in an academic research paper.
I also hold positions as [UB-SEDS]] Council of Chapters Representative and UB-SEDS Treasurer. As CoC Rep, I am responsible for attending all relevant chapter meetings, and for communicating with other clubs about SEDS issues. As Treasurer, I manage UB-SEDS' budget, and collaborate with other club officers, in order to best use our funds.
I also enjoy Quiz Bowl and other forms of academic competition, ad am the head of the Robot Team for UB's Undergraduate Physics Club, a chapter of the Society of Physics Students.