Tom Wagg

About

Astrophysics PhD student at the University of Washington

This autumn (2021) I am starting my PhD at the University of Washington and am exploring different research advisors whilst taking classes and TAing. Last year I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Physics and Astrophysics and spent a year working as a research fellow with Professor Selma de Mink, researching stellar evolution and gravitational waves.

I'm originally from the luscious English countryside near Newcastle-under-Lyme and I grew up with a passion for learning and understanding the world, which quickly led me to Physics. I’m interested in the big questions that are still left unanswered about our Universe; What is the mysterious Dark Matter that permeates our Universe? How did the Universe begin? How unique is Life? What can we learn from gravitational waves? Therefore I am fascinated by astrophysics and the answers that it could offer to these questions!

At the moment, I'm wrapping up a project investigating the population of Galactic double compact objects that could be detected with LISA and I invite you to check out my main page to learn more about my current projects!

Latest CV (August 2020)

More about me
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Work Experience

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Senior Programmer

Senior Programmer


Responsibilities
Create automation tools that increase the efficiency of monotonous or repetitive tasks.
Accomplishments
Designed Chrome Extension to automate Alma library system, which has been adopted by multiple libraries and is critical to the operation of the Judaica Division. You can find more details or install it here.
Contact
Reach out to Elizabeth Vernon at juddiv@fas.harvard.edu
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Teaching Fellow

Teaching Fellow


Responsibilities
Teach a section, run office hours and grade problem sets for introductory computer systems class
Accomplishments
Honed teaching abilities by leadings sections of roughly twenty students in consolidating lecture material. Helped students to improve through meetings in office hours or advice through remote Piazza posts.
Contact
Contact Professor Eddie Kohler at kohler@seas.harvard.edu
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Tutor

Tutor


Responsibilities
Tutor local students in Physics, Maths and Computer Science
Accomplishments
Consistently helped students to improve their understanding of confusing topics. Rewarded by HSA manager thanks to consistent positive reviews from students.
Contact
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Research Fellow

Research Fellow


Responsibilities
Work on various research projects related to massive stars and gravitational wave progenitors.
Accomplishments
Create Python package LEGWORK for working with LISA sources. Worked with COMPAS team to improve wind prescriptions in COMPAS and handling of low mass stars. Wrote first-author paper on the Galactic population of double compact objects that will be observable with LISA.
Contact
Contact Professor Selma de Mink at sedemink@mpa-garching.mpg.de
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Publications

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First-author papers

Co-author papers

Education

Harvard University

A.B in Physics and AstrophysicsSecondary in Computer ScienceHighest Honours2016-2020
Awards and Fellowships

Leo Goldberg PrizeBloomberg Creative Science PrizeAlex G. Booth FellowshipHaase FellowshipHarvard College Research Program Grant


Newcastle-under-Lyme School

Head BoyPrefectHouse Captain2004-2016
Qualifications

5 A Levels in Physics, Maths, Further Maths, EPQ and Latin with 4A*s and an A

13 GCSEs with 13A*s - a record for the school

Awards

Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold AwardsInnovation PrizeLeadership PrizePhysics and Latin Prizes

Positions

Student CouncilField Hockey Vice CaptainCricket Team Bowler