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GWIC Thesis Prize and the Stefano Baccini Thesis Prize

I am pleased to announce that the joint selection committee for the GWIC Thesis Prize and the Stefano Baccini Thesis Prize have made their decision.

The 2014 GWIC Thesis Prize is awarded to Leo Singer for his thesis “The needle in the 100 deg^2 haystack: The hunt for binary neutron star mergers with LIGO and Palomar Transient Factory.” Dr. Singer received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology and was nominated by his adviser, Prof. Alan Weinstein. Dr. Singer’s thesis addresses the most challenging problem of joint observation of binary neutron star coalescence events by gravitational wave and electromagnetic detectors. It has two main aspects: (1) A new framework for near real-time sky localization scheme for gravitational waves (BAYESTAR), and (2) the development of wide-field searches for optical afterglow of GRBs using the Palomar Transient Factory telescope.

The 2014 Stefano Braccini Thesis Prize is awarded to Yan Wang for his thesis “On inter-satellite laser ranging, clock synchronization and gravitational wave data analysis”. Dr. Wang received his Ph.D. from the Leibniz University of Hannover, and was nominated by his adviser, Prof. Karsten Danzmann. Dr. Wang’s thesis covers a diverse set of topics related to space-based gravitational wave detection using interferometric instruments such as the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) and its brethren. The largest part of the thesis develops algorithms to synchronize clocks and improve the ranging accuracy via post-processing, thus significantly improving the ranging precision.

Leo and Yan will receive their awards at the Amaldi meeting in Gwangju, Korea, June 21-26.

There were 15 theses nominated for the two prizes. Links to the winning theses and a list of all nominated theses can be found at
https://gwic.ligo.org/thesisprize/
I would like to thank Archana Pai (chair of the selection committee) and the entire selection committee for their diligent service to the community. They are listed at the bottom of the page with all of the nominated theses:
https://gwic.ligo.org/thesisprize/2014/