Nickolas Kokron

Postdoc at Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study


I'm Nick, a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University (working with Jo Dunkley) and a Member at the School of Natural Sciences of the Institute for Advanced Study. I work on several aspects of cosmology at large scales, using theory and simulations in tandem.

I received my PhD in Physics from Stanford University, advised by Risa Wechsler. I was also been fortunate to have worked with other professors at Stanford including Tom Abel and Leonardo Senatore. I also collaborated closely with friends from across the bay including Stephen Chen, Joe DeRose, and Martin White. I have also done fun science with Arka Banerjee, José Luis Bernal and my better half.

I grew up in the concrete jungle of São Paulo, Brazil, where I attended the Molecular Sciences Program at Universidade de São Paulo. My senior thesis in cosmology was carried out within the Dark Energy Survey (DES), supervised by Rogerio Rosenfeld and Fabien Lacasa.

I'm interested in the formation of large-scale structures in the Universe. That is, how did the Universe grow from its smooth and homogeneous initial conditions to the complex cosmic web of dark matter inhabited by galaxies that we see today? How does dark energy affect this process, and how can we use observations of galaxies to learn about its nature?

Specifically, large galaxy surveys such as DES, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) and the Vera Rubin Observatory's Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) are either currently collecting or will soon collect datasets with unprecedented statistical power to answer these questions. My thesis work is focussed on the question of whether our current models of the distribution of galaxies are accurate enough to interpret these data, and how can we improve these models to make sure we don't run the risk of drawing incorrect conclusions from these data. If this sounds interesting to you, feel free to read my KIPAC blog post pitched at a general audience!

Most of my recent work is at the interface of analytic techniques ("effective field theories") and N-body simulations of structure formation. You can find my publications here, and a one-paragraph summary of selected publications in the research tab. If you have any questions or would like to chat more about my work feel free to reach out!

In my spare time you'll probably find me listening to music, grilling churrasco, playing computer games or, until recently, climbing Palo Alto's surrounding hills on a bike. Given an extended block of spare time you would've most likely found me on a road trip across the American West hauling hiking and camping gear in a station wagon (I took a 4400 mile-long road trip when moving, you can see some of the sights I was lucky to see here!).


email:
kokron at astro🍕princeton🍕edu (replace the pizzas with a dot)
or
kokron at ias 🚲 edu (replace the bicycle with a dot)


github: github.com/kokron
google scholar