Deborah Lynn Ferguson

Physics Postdoc

The focus of my research has been the development and analysis of numerical relativity simulations, particularly in the context of gravitational wave detections. An important part of that has been assessing the readiness of current numerical relativity codes for the challenges that will come with LISA and third-generation ground-based detectors. Additionally, I have been optimizing the placement of numerical relativity simulations in parameter space in order to more effectively utilize limited computational resources. I conduct this research with Dr. Deirdre Shoemaker as a postdoc at the University of Texas at Austin. I am also involved with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the LISA Consortium.

Deborah Lynn Ferguson

The focus of my research has been the development and analysis of numerical relativity simulations, particularly in the context of gravitational wave detections. An important part of that has been assessing the readiness of current numerical relativity codes for the challenges that will come with LISA and third-generation ground-based detectors. Additionally, I have been optimizing the placement of numerical relativity simulations in parameter space in order to more effectively utilize limited computational resources. I conduct this research with Dr. Deirdre Shoemaker as a postdoc at the University of Texas at Austin. I am also involved with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the LISA Consortium.

Education


Ph.D. Physics
  
2020
Georgia Institute of Technology
M.S. Physics
  
2017
Georgia Institute of Technology
B.S. Physics
  
2016
Minors: Mathematics, Computer Science
University of Kentucky

Short Author Publications


Assessing the Readiness of Numerical Relativity for LISA and 3G Detectors
D. Ferguson, et al.
2021
Inside the Final Black Hole: Puncture and Trapped Surface Dynamics
Christopher Evans, Deborah Ferguson, Bhavesh Khamesra, Pablo Laguna, Deirdre Shoemaker
2020
Measuring Spin of the Remnant Black Hole from Maximum Amplitude
D. Ferguson, et al.
2019
Targeted numerical simulations of binary black holes for GW170104
J. Healy, et al.
2017
Milky Way Tomography with K and M Dwarf Stars: The Vertical Structure of the Galactic Disk
D. Ferguson, S. Gardner, B. Yanny
2017

Collaboration Publications


  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "Search for lensing signatures in the gravitational-wave observations from the first half of LIGO-Virgo’s third observing run" (May 2021). arXiv: 2105.06384 [gr-qc]
  • LIGO Scientific, Virgo, and KAGRA Collaborations. "Constraints from LIGO O3 data on gravitational-wave emission due to r-modes in the glitching pulsar PSR J0537-6910" (Apr. 2021). arXiv: 2104.14417 [astro-ph.HE]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "Search for anisotropic gravitational-wave backgrounds using data from Advanced LIGO’s and Advanced Virgo’s first three observing runs" (Mar. 2021). arXiv: 2103.08520 [gr-qc]
  • LIGO Scientific, Virgo, and KAGRA Collaborations. "Constraints on cosmic strings using data from the third Advanced LIGO-Virgo observing run" (Jan. 2021). arXiv: 2101.12248 [gr-qc]
  • LIGO Scientific, Virgo, and KAGRA Collaborations. "Upper Limits on the Isotropic Gravitational-Wave Background from Advanced LIGO’s and Advanced Virgo’s Third Observing Run" (Jan. 2021). arXiv: 2101.12130 [gr-qc]
  • LIGO Scientific, Virgo, and KAGRA Collaborations. "Diving below the spin-down limit: Constraints on gravitational waves from the energetic young pulsar PSR J0537-6910" (Dec. 2020). arXiv: 2012.12926 [astro-ph.HE]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "All-sky search in early O3 LIGO data for continuous gravitational-wave signals from unknown neutron stars in binary systems". Phys. Rev. D 103.6 (2021), p. 064017. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.103.064017. arXiv: 2012.12128 [gr-qc]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "Search for Gravitational Waves Associated with Gamma-Ray Bursts Detected by Fermi and Swift During the LIGO-Virgo Run O3a" (Oct. 2020). arXiv: 2010.14550 [astro-ph.HE]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "Population Properties of Compact Objects from the Second LIGO-Virgo Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalog" (Oct. 2020). arXiv: 2010.14533 [astro-ph.HE]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "Tests of General Relativity with Binary Black Holes from the second LIGO-Virgo Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalog" (Oct. 2020). arXiv: 2010.14529 [gr-qc]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "GWTC-2: Compact Binary Coalescences Observed by LIGO and Virgo During the First Half of the Third Observing Run" (Oct. 2020). arXiv: 2010.14527 [gr-qc]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "Search for Gravitational Waves Associated with Gamma-Ray Bursts Detected by Fermi and Swift During the LIGO-Virgo Run O3a" (Oct. 2020). arXiv: 2010.14550 [astro-ph.HE]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "Population Properties of Compact Objects from the Second LIGO-Virgo Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalog" (Oct. 2020). arXiv: 2010.14533 [astro-ph.HE]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "Tests of General Relativity with Binary Black Holes from the second LIGO-Virgo Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalog" (Oct. 2020). arXiv: 2010.14529 [gr-qc]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "GWTC-2: Compact Binary Coalescences Observed by LIGO and Virgo During the First Half of the Third Observing Run" (Oct. 2020). arXiv: 2010.14527 [gr-qc]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "Properties and Astrophysical Implications of the 150 M⊙ Binary Black Hole Merger GW190521". Astrophys. J. Lett. 900.1 (2020), p. L13. DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/aba493. arXiv: 2009.01190 [astro-ph.HE]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "GW190521: A Binary Black Hole Merger with a Total Mass of 150M⊙". Phys. Rev. Lett. 125.10 (2020), p. 101102. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.101102. arXiv: 2009.01075 [gr-qc]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "GW190814: Gravitational Waves from the Coalescence of a 23 Solar Mass Black Hole with a 2.6 Solar Mass Compact Object". Astrophys. J. Lett. 896.2 (2020), p. L44. DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/ab960f. arXiv: 2006.12611 [astro-ph.HE]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "GW190412: Observation of a Binary-Black-Hole Coalescence with Asymmetric Masses". Phys. Rev. D 102.4 (2020), p. 043015. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.102.043015. arXiv: 2004.08342 [astro-ph.HE]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "Open data from the first and second observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo" (Dec. 2019). arXiv: 1912.11716 [gr-qc]
  • LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations. "Search for intermediate mass black hole binaries in the first and second observing runs of the Advanced LIGO and Virgo network". Phys. Rev. D 100.6 (2019), p. 064064. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.100.064064. arXiv: 1906.08000 [gr-qc]

Invited Talks


Gravitational Wave Data Analysis
July 29, 2021
D. Ferguson

North American Einstein Toolkit Workshop

Virtual

Assessing the Preparedness of Numerical Relativity for Current and Future Gravitational Wave Detectors
March 2021
D. Ferguson

Seminar at Gravity Group of University of Mississippi

Virtual

Assessing the Preparedness of Numerical Relativity for Current and Future Gravitational Wave Detectors
November 2020
D. Ferguson

Seminar at Astrophysics/Gravity/Cosmology Group of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Virtual

Conference Presentations


Impact of Secondary Spin in Black Hole Binaries with Increasing Mass Ratio
July 21, 2021
D. Ferguson, D. Shoemaker

14th Edoardo Amaldi Conference on Gravitational Waves

Virtual

Impact of Secondary Spin in Black Hole Binaries with Increasing Mass Ratio
April 2021
D. Ferguson, D. Shoemaker

American Physical Society April Meeting

Virtual

Assessing the Readiness of Numerical Relativity for LISA
September 2020
D. Ferguson, K. Jani, P. Laguna, D. Shoemaker

13th International LISA Symposium

Virtual

Assessing the Readiness of Numerical Relativity for Future Gravitational Wave Detections
April 2020
D. Ferguson, K. Jani, D. Shoemaker

American Physical Society April Meeting

Virtual

Assessing the Readiness of Numerical Relativity for Future Gravitational Wave Detections
January 2020
D. Ferguson, K. Jani, D. Shoemaker

235th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society

Honolulu, HI

Using Machine Learning to Optimize Placement of Numerical Relativity Simulations
June 2019
D. Ferguson

Machine Learning in Science and Engineering Conference

Atlanta, GA

Numerical Relativity Errors in LISA
May 2019
D. Ferguson, K. Jani, D. Shoemaker

LISA Waveform Working Group Meeting

Golm, Germany

Revealing the Final Black Hole from Signal at Maximum Amplitude
April 2018
D. Ferguson, et al.

American Physical Society April Meeting

Columbus, OH

Apparent Horizon Dynamics of Binary Black Hole Systems
October 2017
D. Ferguson, et al.

Georgia Regional Astronomers Meeting

Athens, GA

Mobile Physics Engine Modeling Two Dimensional Elastic and Inelastic Collisions for the Educational Demonstration of Physics Phenomena
April 2014
C. Powell, D. Ferguson

National Conference on Undergraduate Research

Lexington, KY

Honors and Awards


Larry S. O'Hara Graduate Student Fellowship
2020

Georgia Institute of Technology

Amelio Award for Research Excellence
2020

Georgia Institute of Technology

Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting
2019

Oak Ridge, Lindau Committee

Georgia Tech Institute Fellowship
2016

Georgia Institute of Technology

Outstanding Senior in Physics
2016

University of Kentucky

Summer Research Grant
2015

University of Kentucky

Outstanding Junior in Physics
2015

University of Kentucky

Singletary Scholarship
2013

University of Kentucky

National Merit Finalist
2013

National Merit Scholarship Foundation

Contact


University of Texas at Austin - Center for Gravitational Physics
Welsh, Office 4.252
Austin, TX 78712
E: deborah.ferguson [at] austin.utexas.edu