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2005 Mainland Intern Profiles

Aftan Alameda
Francesc Andre Bertomeu
Timne Bilton
Emily De La Garza
Rigo Dicochea
Zachary Graham
Sarah Jenkins
Layra Reza
John Ruiz
Christy Sheehy

Aftan Alameda, University of Houston - Victoria
CfAO Site for Internship: Lawrence Livermore National Labs
Project: Restoration of Non-astronomical Images Using Iterative Blind Deconvolution (Abstract, Presentation)
Advisor: Scot Olivier
Carmen Carrano

Aftan Alameda is currently a sophomore at Victoria College and plans on transferring to University of Houston - Victoria in fall 2005. She will be working towards a Bachelors of Science degree with concentration on mathematics and later plans to pursue a graduate degree. She is the oldest of her family and is a first generation college student. Along with going to school full-time, Aftan works as a math and chemistry tutor and is an officer in two clubs at Victoria College. (Top)

Francesc Andre Bertomeu, Hartnell Community College
CfAO Site for Internship: University of California, Los Angeles
Project: Thermodynamic Modeling of Astronomical Infrared Instruments (Abstract, Presentation)
Advisor: James Larkin
Michael McElwain & Shelley Wright

Francesc Bertomeu, who goes by his middle name Andre, was born in Brazil and immigrated to California with his parents when he was five years old. He is currently attending Hartnell Community College in Salinas, California and will transfer to UC Santa Cruz in Fall 2005 to attend the Jack Baskin School of Engineering. Andre is a Computer Engineering major, and wishes to pursue research in Artificial Intelligence (AI). (Top)

Timne Bilton, University of Arizona
CfAO Site for Internship: University of Rochester
Project: A Fiber-Optic Laser Interferometer for Vision Research (Abstract, Presentation)
Advisor: David Williams
Julianna Lin, Silvestre Manzanera & Sapna Shroff

Timne Bilton is a fourth year Optical Science and Engineering major at the University of Arizona. She is also pursuing a minor in Electrical Engineering and expects to graduate with a bachelor's degree in May 2006. Timne's interest was sparked by the wide variety of applications optics could provide and this incited her to switch her major from computer engineering. Her current focus area lies along applying her electro-optic knowledge base to generate new and improve existing audio and visual display systems for both the impaired and unimpaired. (Top)

Emily De La Garza, University of Houston - Downtown
CfAO Site for Internship: University of California, Santa Cruz
Project: Testing the Use of Adaptive Optics to Reveal the Age of Distant Galaxies (Abstract, Presentation, Poster)
Advisor: David Koo
Jason Melbourne

Almost 19 years ago, a petite 9 pound, 13 ounce baby was welcomed into the De La Garza family of four to make the final fifth member. As the youngest of three daughters, Emily followed her sisters’ footsteps all the way through grade school, commonly mistaken for one of them or as twins. The pressure was on in high school to graduate within the top five percent of her graduating class to fulfill the family tradition. Mission accomplished! Emily graduated Distinguished from North Shore Senior High School in Houston, Texas. She is about to complete her freshman year at the University of Houston-Downtown majoring in Computer Science. Emily is a member of the Scholars Academy at UHD and a tutor in the Peer-Led Team Learning lab for College Algebra. She plans to graduate with a degree in Computer Science in May of 2008 and then go on to graduate school. (Top)

Rigo Dicochea, University of California, Santa Cruz
CfAO Site for Internship: University of California, Santa Cruz
Project: Matrix Multiplication Implementation for Pre Conditioning Back Propagated Errors on a Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics System (Abstract, Presentation)
Advisor: Don Gavel
Marc Reinig

Rigo Dicochea is a senior at UCSC majoring in Computer Engineering with an emphasis on networking. His parents are William and Socorro Dicochea. He is the oldest of three chidren, sister, Rita, and brother, Ray (Shorty). He has lived the majority of his life in Watsonville, California but now calls Salinas, California his home. He is recently engaged and prepared, he hopes, for marriage on August 20, 2005. He feels so blessed to be able to be involved in an internship program that allows him to explore the areas that fascinate him, astronomy, adaptive optics, and hardware design dealing with FPGA's. (Top)

Zachary Graham, Hartnell Community College
CfAO Site for Internship: University of California, Davis
Project: Characterization for Vision Science Applications of a Bimorph Deformable Mirror in a Closed Loop Adaptive Optics System (Abstract, Presentation, Poster)
Advisor: Jack Werner
Sophie Laut & Dave Horsley

Zachary Graham was born and raised in Salinas, California. He is currently finishing his 4th semester at Hartnell Community College. Zack plans to transfer to a University of California campus to study electrical engineering. Afterwards he is planning to pursue a graduate degree in robotics. Zack is actively involved in the Hartnell Chapter of the Society of Physics Students, and works for the Hartnell MESA program as a physics tutor. (Top)

Sarah Jenkins, Texas A&M International University
CfAO Site for Internship: University of California, Berkeley
Project: The Limits of Visual Acuity Using Adaptive Optics (Abstract, Presentation)
Advisor: Austin Roorda
Siddharth Poonja

Sarah Jenkins is currently enrolled at Texas A&M International University. She is a sophomore majoring in Biology with a minor in Mathematics. Sarah plays on the NAIA Division VI Volleyball Team at her university and recently has been selected as the 2004 Academic All-District VI College Division Volleyball Second Team (the first female student-athlete at TAMIU to earn COSIDA All-Academic Honors). At school Sarah is a member of the Biology Club and the College Republicans. She enjoys being involved in the community and engaging in new activities. Sarah plans to attend graduate school and receive a degree in biological engineering. (Top)

Layra Reza, University of Texas at El Paso
CfAO Site for Internship: University of California, Santa Cruz
Project: Characterization of MEMS Deformable Mirrors for Wavefront Control in Extreme Adaptive Optics (Abstract, Presentation, Poster)
Advisor: Don Gavel
Scott Severson

Layra Reza was born in Mexico and in the fall of 2002 she came to the US and entered community college in El Paso, TX. She is currently enrolled at the University of Texas at El Paso. Layra is a junior majoring in Physics with a minor in Mathematics. She is currently working with a professor at the university doing research that involves Optics and Solid State Physics. Layra plans to obtain a PhD in Physics and go into the experimental field. She is the secretary of the Society of Physics Students at UTEP. (Top)

John Ruiz, San Antonio College
CfAO Site for Internship: Lawrence Livermore National Labs
Project: Metrology of Prototype Nano-laminate Deformable Mirrors (Abstract, Presentation, Poster)
Advisor: Scot Olivier & Kevin Baker
Stacie Hvisc

John Ruiz is a sophomore at San Antonio Community College who plans on attending the University of Texas at San Antonio in the Fall of 2005. He is studying electrical engineering and plans on obtaining a masters then a doctorate in engineering and becoming a PE. John is the president of the SAC chapter of MAES (the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists) and enjoys reaching out to not only college students interested in engineering and science, but to elementary school children and high school students as well. Much like Pythagoras, the music of the spheres enthralls him so he bows to its power and plays guitar and piano as much as possible and teaches 25 students. (Top)

Christy Sheehy, University of Rochester
CfAO Site for Internship: University of Rochester
Project: An Alternative Method to Classify Cones in the Living Human Eye (Abstract, Presentation)
Advisor: David Williams
Li Chen & Joe Carroll

Christy Sheehy is currently a sophmore at the University of Rochester. She is majoring in Optics and loves every minute of it. Christy is proud to be the first woman in her family to major in the engineering sciences. She is a member of the Club Softball Team on campus and participates in the Choir as well. In her free time she loves to go skiing, teach synchronized swimming lessons, and read. Christy hopes to be able to participate in many more research opportunities in the future and plans to someday go to Law School and become a Patent lawyer. (Top)

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Last Modified: Jul 13, 2006 

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