nick.hakobian
The Homepage of Nicholas Szandor Hakobian

Nicholas Szandor Hakobian, Ph.D.

Education
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL
    Doctor of Philosophy in Astrophysics 2005 - 2013
    • Dissertation Title: Observational Study of the Role of Magnetic Fields in Star Formation
    • Thesis Advisor: Richard Crutcher
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL
    Masters of Science in Astrophysics 2005 - 2009
    • Advisor: Richard Crutcher, awarded April 2009
  • University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA
    Bachelors of Arts in Physics and Astrophysics 2000 - 2004
    • Double Major in Physics and Astrophysics, awarded December 2004
  • Ulysses S. Grant High School Van Nuys, CA
    High School Diploma 1996 - 2000
    • Valedictorian of graduating class, awarded June 2000
Skills
  • Programming Languages — C/C++, Phython, PHP, MySQL, CSS, LaTeX
    Working Knowledge — JavaScript, LUA, Fortran, Bash Scripting
  • Data Reduction Packages — CARMA MIRIAD, IDL, SciPy
  • Reduction of Large Data Sets
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Computer Hardware — Building, repairing, and debugging computers
  • Expert in Linux-based operating systems (primarily Ubuntu/Debian based), and Windows (XP, Vista, and 7)
  • Observational experience with single-dish and interferometric radio telescopes
Work and Research Experience
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL
    Research Assistant in Astronomy 2005 - 2013
    • Performed research into molecular clouds as part of PhD thesis completion.
    • Was an observer at the CARMA Observatory for 80+ days over 6 years.
    • Developed and maintained the CARMA Proposal Submission System, a web-based system to accept scientific proposals. Entered data has to be verified, formatted as a PDF coversheet, and exported to be used in the CARMA real time system for observation planning.
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory Los Alamos, NM
    Summer Research Assistant in Space Sciences May 2005 - August 2005
    • Performed calculations and background research on the feasibility of a space-based navigations system using Pulsars as a coordinate reference.
    • Performed a geometric Monte-Carlo analysis on various parameters in an experimental setup to ascertain the cause for anomalous readings in laboratory experiments.
  • University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA
    Undergraduate Research Assistant May 2004 - May 2005
    • Re-purposed components from the Rapid Prototype Array (RPA) to develop and maintain a 21-cm radio antenna for the UC Berkeley Astronomy Department Undergraduate Radio Laboratory.
    • Rebuilt a 21-cm dual-polarization radio receiver to receive 21-cm (1421 MHz) and 18-cm (1667 MHz) emission; operation can be swapped between these two modes by replacing an RF filter.
    • Wrote basic control system software to perform tasks such as: pointing the telescope, setting oscillator frequencies, and operating a signal capture card. This software was used to remotely operate the telescope (at the Leuschner Observatory) from the UC Berkeley campus by students in the Undergraduate Radio Astronomy Laboratory course.
  • University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA
    Undergraduate Research Assistant May 2003 - May 2004
    • Managed the data archive for a pulsar survey (Advisor: Prof. Don Backer) performed with an 85ft telescope at the Green Bank Observatory.
    • Performed basic data reduction on data sets to gather observing statistics using pre-written analysis software.
Teaching Experience
  • Extraterrestrial Life (ASTR 330) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Teaching Assistant Fall 2006
    • Grade papers and tests; gave several lectures and graded students' oral presentations.
  • Radio Astronomy Laboratory (AY 121) University of California, Berkeley
    Teaching Assistant Spring 2005
    • Give weekly one-hour lectures on various topics including: how to use lab computer systems, introduction on the LaTeX typesetting language, radio equipment descriptions, IDL data reduction software tutorials, and usage of remote access software to communicate with the Leuschner Observatory.
    • Provide hands on help to students taking the course for several hours every weekday afternoon. For off-hours help, provided email support.
    • Completed construction of the 21-cm Radio Antenna at Leuschner Observatory for use in the class.
  • Basic Semiconductor Circuits (PHY 111 - S1) University of California, Berkeley
    Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Fall 2003
    • Grade lab reports for ~35 students every week.
  • Advanced Physics Lab (PHY 111 - S2) University of California, Berkeley
    Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Spring 2003
    • Provided technical and conceptual assistance to students taking the lab course that covered many Nobel Prize winning experiments in Physics from the last century, such as: nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR/MRI), X-ray crystallography, atomic spectroscopy, Muon detection, etc.
    • Students had to pick four experiments to perform from a list of ~20 during the course of the semester. One TA, one professor, and one staff scientist were on duty at all time to help students with problems they encountered.
Peer-reviewed Publications
(Preprints of accepted publications can be found at the arXiv links provided.)
  1. Hakobian, N.S., and Crutcher, R.M., "Ion-Neutral Linewidth Analysis of Objects Observed with CARMA", submitted to The Astrophysical Journal
  2. Hakobian, N.S., and Crutcher, R.M., "Structure and Composition of Molecular Clouds with CN Zeeman Detections II: DR21(OH), OMC1, S140, S255, G10.6", submitted to The Astrophysical Journal
  3. Hull, C.L.H., Plambeck, R.L., and 25 others including Hakobian, N.S., "TADPOL: A 1.3 mm Survey of Dust Polarization in Star-forming Cores", to be submitted to The Astrophysical Journal
  4. Hull, C.L.H., Plambeck, R.L., and 24 others including Hakobian, N.S., "Misalignment of Magnetic Fields and Outflows in Protostellar Cores", 2013, The Astrophysical Journal, 768, 159
    [doi] [arXiv]
  5. Hakobian, N.S., and Crutcher, R.M., "First Interstellar HCO+ Maser", 2012, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 758, 18
    [doi] [arXiv]
  6. Hakobian, N.S., and Crutcher, R.M., "Structure and Composition of Molecular Clouds with CN Zeeman Detections I: W3(OH)", 2011, The Astrophysical Journal, 733, 6
    [doi] [arXiv]
  7. Crutcher, R.M., Hakobian, N.S., Troland, T.H., "Self-consistent analysis of OH Zeeman observations", 2010, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 402, 64
    [doi] [arXiv]
  8. Crutcher, R.M., Hakobian, N.S., Troland, T.H., "Testing Magnetic Star Formation Theory", 2009, The Astrophysical Journal, 692, 844
    [doi] [arXiv]
Presentations
  1. Hakobian, N.S., "Observational Study of the Role of Magnetic Fields in Star Formation", Dissertation Defense, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, June 27, 2013 (Extended Dissertation Talk)
  2. Hakobian, N.S., "CARMA Mapping of Molecular Cores with CN Zeeman Detections", 221st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, Long Beach, CA, January 6-10, 2013 (Dissertation Talk)
  3. Hakobian, N.S., and Crutcher, R.M., "Structure and Composition of Molecular Clouds with CN Zeeman Detections: DR21(OH)", Midwest Astrochemistry Conference 2011, Urbana, IL, October 21-22, 2011 (Poster)
  4. Hakobian, N.S., "Molecular Clouds with CN Zeeman Detections", 2009 CARMA Science Symposium, Urbana, IL, October 18-20, 2009 (Talk)
  5. Hakobian, N.S., "Structure and Composition of Molecular Clouds with CN Zeeman Detections: W3(OH)", Midwest Astrochemistry Conference 2009, Urbana, IL, October 6-7, 2009 (Poster)
Participation in Conferences
  • 221st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society Long Beach, CA
    Long Beach Convention Center January 6 - 10, 2013
  • Astronomical Data Analysis Software & Systems (ADASS) XXII Champaign, IL
    University of Illinois ar Urbana-Champaign November 4 - 8, 2012
  • Midwest Astrochemistry Conference 2011 Urbana, IL
    University of Illinois ar Urbana-Champaign October 21 - 22, 2011
  • 2009 CARMA Science Symposium Urbana, IL
    University of Illinois ar Urbana-Champaign and NCSA October 18 - 20, 2009
  • Midwest Astrochemistry Conference 2009 Urbana, IL
    University of Illinois ar Urbana-Champaign October 6 - 7, 2009
  • The Cosmic Agitator - Magnetic Fields in the Galaxy Lexington, KY
    University of Kentucky March 26 - 29, 2008
Participation in Conferences
  • American Astronomical Society (AAS) 2012 - Present
    Junior Member
  • Sigma Pi Sigma (ΣΠΣ), The Physics Honors Society 2004 - Present
    Inducted May 2004
  • The Society for Physics Students 2002 - Present
    UC Berkeley Chapter President, 2003-2004