During my PhD, I was also an instructor and a teaching assistant for a variety of physics courses in the core undergraduate curriculum, spanning Classical Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Special Relativity, Vibrations & Waves, Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Physics & Thermodynamics. I absolutely loved teaching in the classroom! The student body at Caltech, the Associated Students of the California Institute of Technology awarded me the 2018 ASCIT Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2019, the Physics Department at Caltech conferred me with the R. Bruce Stewart Prize for Excellence in Physics Teaching which is "awarded to a graduate student teaching assistant who demonstrates, in the broadest sense, unusual ability, creativity, and innovation in undergraduate/graduate classroom or laboratory teaching of physics." I also served as the Physics Teaching Fellow for the 2019-2020 academic year, being a resource for the department and the other teaching assistants to help strengthen the teaching culture.
Supported by an Innovation in Education grant by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach at Caltech, we offered the 2019 Caltech sophomore/junior level course on Vibrations & Waves taught by Prof. Frank Porter and myself as an online course available at http://waves.caltech.edu. In a rather unique online offering, course materials were made public in June 2020, creating an open-source learning resource, complete with recorded lectures, recitations, homework & exam problems, and their solutions to offer a self-teaching course to audiences beyond Caltech.
Before my PhD, I studied Physics at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, where I graduated top of my class with an Institute Silver Medal in 2015. My masters thesis was on "Precision Emulation of Statistics of the Lyman-alpha Forest using a Gaussian Process-based Machine Learning Model" which I completed at the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy in Heidelberg in Joe Hennawi's group. I had some of the best time of my life in Roorkee. I was the Secretary of the Astronomy Club and a co-founder of the Physics Journal Club. With a wonderful cohort of friends and classmates, we built Roorkee's first in-house campus planetarium, a 25 ft geodesic dome structure to bring the charm of the night skies to the masses. On the research front, I mostly focused on astronomy and astrophysics during my undergraduate days before long discussions with Aiman Khan made me join the dark side, thinking about foundational quantum mechanics.
I was born and raised in New Delhi, India, and attended Birla Vidya Niketan for my schooling. I was introduced to amateur astronomy in 2007 with the Amateur Astronomers Association of Delhi (AAAD), and have been an active astronomer and astrophotographer ever since. I was awarded the National Bal Shree Honor for Creative Scientific Innovations, India's 2nd highest honor for children, by the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil in June 2008. It was also during these years which laid the foundation of my admiration and interest in Indian Classical Music.