Her Story: Andreia Carrillo knew she wanted to do astronomy as a career, solidified by her three years of physics in a science high school in the Philippines. She came to U-M on a teacher’s recommendation because astronomy wasn’t well-established in her country. She hopes one day to go back home and change that, to connect astronomers in the Philippines to astronomers all around the world.
Favorite Experience: Working with Professor Eric Bell on the formation of stellar halos and stellar populations. Andreia knew she wanted to do research in her first year, but along with adjusting to life in the US, it was overwhelming to set a stable footing. Professor Edwin Bergin, the undergraduate advisor at that time, was very helpful and introduced her to several researchers for her to choose from. “I wasn’t experienced when I asked to do research, but Eric and his graduate student walked me through all the programming and the science behind it,” she says. She successfully published a paper in her senior year about a dwarf galaxy in the M83 group.
Why Astronomy? “Astronomy is so interesting because it can take you from the very specific to the vastest topics. It’s amazing that we can observe stars and extrapolate when they were born and what they are composed of. And I love that there are still intriguing mysteries, like dark matter. There’s so much to discover.”
Andreia is currently a PhD student at the University of Texas, Austin. Her current research focuses on how spiral galaxies build their bulges, bars, and outer disks. Click to visit her website.