IGERT Graduate Student – cohort 3
Astronomy & Physics
Advisor: Jake Vanderplas
David Fleming’s research focuses on the dynamics of short period binary systems. Fleming uses the UW N-body Shop’s massively parallel SPH code ChaNGa to simulate circumbinary protoplanetary accretion disks. The gravitational force between the central binaries and external gaseous disk cause a complex dynamical interaction that impact both the disk’s and the binaries’ subsequent evolution. Accurately modeling these systems and understanding their evolution will help to characterize exoplanet formation around short period binaries and place constraints on their future dynamical interactions.
As a member of the UW eScience Institute’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) in Big Data and Data Science, Fleming will employ machine learning techniques to study the habitability of circumbinary exoplanets. The results from his circumbinary N-body simulations place constraints on the dynamics of such systems and will shape and direct his analysis of their potential habitability.
Fleming graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science with a major in Physics and concentrations in Astrophysics and Advanced Physics. While visiting graduate schools, he fell in love with Seattle and in the Fall of 2014 was delighted to join the UW Astronomy Department. At UW, he works as a graduate researcher under the guidance Dr. Tom Quinn.
As a native of St. Louis, MO, Fleming loves all things St. Louis, especially the beer, the toasted ravioli, and the sports teams. The St. Louis Blues hold a special place in his heart, and he eagerly awaits their first Stanley Cup. Being a Notre Dame football fan has made him almost too good at waiting for a championship, but there’s always next year, right? When not working on his simulations, you can find him either watching sports, tinkering with hockey analytics, or playing foosball.