Originally from Chillicothe, Ohio, I graduated from Zane Trace High School in 2012. I have my teachers there to thank for teaching me to love all things science, especially astronomy, physics, and math. From there, I went to Ohio Wesleyan University, where I made lifelong friends and learned to reconcile my love of science with my interests in history, philosophy, and religion. I graduated in 2016 with a BA in astrophysics and a minor in religion, which brings me to the present.

I’m currently a sixth-year grad student in Mānoa, in the ahupuaʻa of Waikīkī, in the moku of Kona, on the mokupuni (island) of Oʻahu.

Working with Dr. Jennifer van Saders, I study the physics of stellar rotation and magnetism. I also am interested in and enjoy discussing relativity and cosmology, but I don’t do any research in those fields. When I’m not thinking about stars and space, I enjoy hiking, food, and coffee. Especially coffee.

I am fortunate to live and study in a beautiful place with a rich cultural history. Some of that history is uncomfortable and difficult, but those parts should not be ignored or taken for granted. I aspire to be a lifetime learner and am always willing to discuss these things, no matter how difficult.


Ph.D. Topic

Topic: Characterizing Rotation and Magnetic Evolution of TESS Stars
Committee: Jennifer van Saders(Chair), Daniel Huber, Benjamin Shappee, Xudong Sun, Peder Sadowski

For my thesis, I’m using machine learning techniques to estimate stellar rotation rates and star spot properties from TESS light curves. With this information, I hope to learn how stars of various masses and compositions rotate, and how their rotation, magnetism, and spot activity change over time.


  • Recovery of TESS Stellar Rotation Periods with Deep Learning
  • Chemical Evolution in the Milky Way: Rotation-based ages for APOGEE-Kepler cool dwarf stars


  • American Astronomical Society (AAS)



  • Friends of the IfA Outreach Award - 2018
  • Honorable Mention, TESS SciCon II Poster Contest



  • Aidan Chun (Roosevelt High School)

PhD Candidate
M.S. 2018, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
B.A. 2016, Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Characterizing Rotation and Magnetic Evolution of TESS Stars
IfA Mānoa, C-233 (Digital Siberia)