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Hi there, I'm Jerrick.

About me

I’m a space, technology, and humanities nut—and I love the convergence of all three. I’m currently a public servant in the innovation ecosystem, overseeing entrepreneurship programmes by the local Universities and Polytechnics. That’s my day job.

During the other times not thinking about Bildung at work, I like to explore the latest in tech, astronomy, and philosophy. I love fooling around with Python, and sometimes design avant garde websites for no reason.

Reach me by email at weejerrick@gmail.com.

Projects and Works

What got me interested in cosmology was this beautiful Reader’s Digest encyclopedia that my parents bought for me when I was a kid. The mesmerising visuals lulled the dumb kid me to science, and I envisioned to recreate this experience digitally on a website. A brief guide to astronomical objects is the start of a bigger, visual encyclopedic project to come.

A set of algorithms in Python that goes through the whole computational research process of extracting data from telescopic images, running statistical analyses, and cleaning up the final data for eventual publications. Anyone who has astronomical images could quite literally plug-and-play the code after setting up some initial parameters. 

A set of tutorials that goes through the basics of running a remotely-operated research-grade telescope, including operating the software, and making sense of the data that comes after.

In the summer of 2019, I was in Orange County assembling an observatory at Soka University of America. This observatory is the first of its kind with the aim of promoting global citizenry in astronomy through international collaborative undergraduate research. The goal is eventually to have a global system of such remotely-operated telescopes for a round-the-clock study of the heavens. 

Publications

Jerrick Wee, Nadejda Blagorodnova, Bryan Edward Penprase, & 12 other authors

An analysis of a bright classical nova that blew off in our cosmic backyard. A classical nova is a thermonuclear explosion on the surface of a stellar corpse known as a white dwarf. Through the photometric and spectroscopic data obtained from the CTIO 1.3m & 1.5m, my internationally-represented team and I constrained the mass of the progenitor and derived the extinction in our line of sight to the explosion, adding to the body of knowledge of classical novae.

Daniel A Perley, Paolo A Mazzali, Lin Yan, S Bradley Cenko… (One of the 64 authors)

An absolute enigma of an explosion occurred some 200 million light-years away, picked up in mid-2018. This turned out to be a never-before-seen explosion that is almost 100x brighter than a regular supernova, and is now in a new class of objects on its own: a “fast blue optical transient”. The paper analyses astronomical data and proposes a few explanations for the mechanism of the explosion. I contributed infrared data and analysis to the paper. 

Jerrick Wee, Nilotpal Chakraborty, Jiayun Wang, & Bryan Edward Penprase

An analysis of a nearby (relatively speaking) Type Ia supernova, an extremely powerful explosion caused by a white dwarf—a stellar corpse—going thermonuclear. These objects are excellent standard candles for measuring vast cosmic distances. Armed with the CTIO 1.3m, lots of mentoring from Rohan Naidu, and guide from friends at the Carnegie Observatory, my team—led by Bryan Penprase—managed to derive the distance to the object, providing a crucial data point for the cosmic distance ladder.

Academics

In 2019, I graduated with Honours in Philosophy from Yale-NUS College. My capstone was on Culture and Axiology in Nietzsche’s Untimely Meditations, which is a syncretic study of Nietzsche’s philosophy of culture and value system in his four disparate essays collectively known as the Untimely Meditations (Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen). 

In 2017, I was selected to participate in the ZTF Undergraduate Summer Astronomy Institute at Caltech; and in 2016, I was on an academic scholarship to study the history of classical Sparta at College Year at Athens.