Alyssa D. Sokol
Astronomy PhD Candidate
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Welcome! My name is Alyssa Sokol and I'm currently a 6th year Astronomy PhD student at UMass Amherst.
My dissertation advisor is Dr. Min Yun and I work on understanding the nature of co-evolution between galaxies and their central supermassive black holes across cosmic time using multi-wavelength observations. While my PhD thesis focuses on high redshift galaxies and AGN, at large I'm also interested the many scales of star formation astrophysics that make up our fractal, hierarchical, and fundamentally connected universe! In my graduate career I've also researched nearby dwarf galaxies (optical) and Milky Way molecular clouds (millimeter). Using HST data, I worked with Dr. Daniela Calzetti to study low-mass star clusters in local dwarf galaxies, investigating the universal nature of star formation in unique low-density environments. Prior to nearby galaxy research I worked with Dr. Robert Gutermuth on the clustering properties of pre-stellar cores in the MonocerosR2 molecular cloud using data from the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) in Mexico (Sokol et. al 2019).
Beyond graduate school research I am keen on understanding how quantum physics, consciousness, and astrophysics work together to explain our expanding universe and existence. To this day, 95% of the universe largely remains a mystery! Perhaps it is time we transcend our third-dimensional plane and linear thinking by seeking these answers in higher dimensions, welcoming thoughts about the non-physical and that which is currently imperceivable. After all, time is an illusion!