MSSL student wins UCL poster competition
7 March 2014
MSSL student Jason Hunt won 1st prize in the Built Environment, Engineering Sciences and Mathematical & Physical Sciences category in the UCL Graduate School Research Poster Competition 2013/14 for his poster entitled PRIMAL: Mapping the Milky Way from Gaia data. The competition highlights the excellent work done at UCL, showcasing a variety of different projects from different subject areas including Radiation Therapy, Ecology and Galactic Astrophysics.
The poster shows Jason's recent work on PRIMAL, a computer algorithm designed to make a dynamical model of the Milky Way from the data returned by the European Space Agency's Gaia mission which Launched in December. Approximately 1 billion stars will be observed by Gaia, but this is still only ~1% of the stars in the Milky Way. PRIMAL is designed to come up with a model for the whole Galaxy based upon this limited data.
Judges said Jason's poster stood out because the striking image at the centre made them want to read it, and when they did they were all able to understand it. This accessibility to all audiences is often difficult with scientific posters.
Jason says: "Thanks to the Judges for choosing my poster and the kind words they said about it. It's always nice to have recognition for your work, especially when the level of the competition is so high! There were a lot of excellent posters in this years competition, so I wasn't expecting to get a prize. With Gaia launched recently we're entering an exciting time for Galactic astronomy. Hopefully my poster has shown people one of the many things that we can do with the data."
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