Chris Carr ’19

Where are you from?
I am from Strongsville, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.

What are your majors? 
I am a double major in Physics and Astronomy.

Why did you choose to study these subjects? 
The sciences have always been a lifelong passion of mine since I was young. I remember scouring my elementary school library for any book I could get my hands on about the stars and planets. It’s an obsession that has never left me, so it was never in question I would pursue physics and astronomy in college.

What is your favorite class and/or faculty member? 
I’ve had the pleasure of fostering many great relationships with fantastic faculty members over the past few years. Dr. Bradley Ricca was my instructor for the Imagination Project, my first semester SAGES seminar. It still amazes me how he was able to take a group of 20 or so wide-eyed freshmen, and nurture such a friendly and inclusive environment in his classroom. Since then, Bradley and I have stayed in contact, and he’s been incredibly helpful and supportive along the way.

Why did you choose CWRU? 
Being from the Cleveland area, I was well-aware of Case’s reputation when it came around to applying for college. I thought the close proximity to home would be very convenient if I ever needed anything urgently, or if I wanted to see friends and family.

What do you like best about CWRU? 
It’s a research intensive institution right in the midst of a larger metropolitan area. It offers many opportunities for meaningful research, and its open access to the city makes it seem like it’s just part of the town.

What do you like best about living in Cleveland? 
Just large enough that there’s much to go and see, but just small enough to maintain its shared heritage and town pride.

Describe any research projects, study abroad, internship or other unique experiences and opportunities you have had as a result of being a CWRU student.
I’ve had the opportunity to pursue meaningful research in both departments of physics and astronomy. Last summer, I had the pleasure of doing research with Prof. Chris Mihos of the Department of Astronomy, where our research focused primarily on the search for low-surface brightness galaxies in deep-field images taken of nearby massive galaxies from Case’s Burrell Schmidt Telescope. This past summer I began research in the Department of Physics Department under Prof. Glenn Starkman, where we were interested in the search for a theorized form of dark matter using Martian seismology.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in at CWRU?
Since freshman year, I have been a staff programmer for WRUW-FM 91.1 Cleveland. For the past two years, I have hosted a science radio talk show, ENTER GALACTIC. This year I’ve gotten involved with the undergraduate research journal, Discussions, where I am a journal reviewer. I also participate in other science outreach organizations such as TEDxCWRU and the Science and Human Rights Coalition.

What are some of your interests and hobbies? 
In my spare time, I really enjoy reading and writing. I am fan of non-fiction and science fiction in both hobbies. I’m also an avid watcher of tv and movies.

What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far? 
My biggest accomplishment so far as a burgeoning scientist definitely occurred this summer. As part of my research with Prof. Mihos last summer, we discovered a strange object in our images of the Leo I galaxy group, and that strange object turned out to be one of the faintest galaxies astronomers have ever seen! A year later, our work was accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.

Where do you see yourself in five years? 
In five years, I hope to see myself entrenched in my graduate studies in astronomy and astrophysics.