Westley Roth

Departure Date:
6/25/2019
Return Date:
7/28/2019
Local Institution:
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Local Advisor:
David Kaplan
Foreign Institution:
UKZN
Foreign Advisor:
Kavilian Moodley
Student Status:
Undergraduate
  • Q. What country were you staying in?
    • South Africa
  • Q. Where were you doing research?
    • Pulsar detection parameters on Hirax
  • Q. How long were you there?
    • two months
  • Q. What sort of research were you doing?
    • I was using PsrPopPy to run simulations with the Hirax telescope parameters and altering the time and frequency resolution within the allotted correlator bandwidth. With the research I did, I had concluded specific resolutions for both that the Hirax team will use on the telescope when it is complete.
  • Q. Did being abroad influence the kind of research you’re doing?
    • I was not doing research beforehand, but going abroad has taught me a lot about how other cultures work and the inefficiencies in our own culture.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing about being abroad?
    • Seeing a completely different biome. To be more spesiffic, I mean how the people interacted with each other, the different road behaviors, how people behave in a mall, and so on. Along with all of that, I got to experience how the work field actually works because I had not been a part of research before. Lastly I thought that the nature there was vastly different from here in Wisconsin along with how similar other things were. The monkeys were a very interesting sight every time I saw them.
  • Q. What’s your favorite new phrase from the language?
    • Everyone there spoke English and I did not learn any new things from a local language, however I thought the way they use clicks in Zulu was very interesting.
  • Q. What’s the hardest thing about being abroad?
    • Driving; I was the designated driver and the system is backwards and there were several polite things that happen there that threw me for a complete loop.
  • Q. What did you do in your free time?
    • We went exploring with a local group several times including once going to a wildlife reserve where I had saw a wild elephant for the first time in my life.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • Monkeys. They still amaze me with how smart they are. In the US we have squirrels, but they do nothing to compare with the monkeys in other countries.
  • Q. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • There were a couple things that I ate which where very weird. A bunny roast was very odd, it seemed like a stew in bread almost, but the bones were still in it, and you eat it with your hands. Which was very odd to me.
  • Q. What advice would you offer others thinking of going abroad?
    • Have and open mind and be aware of everything around you.
  • Q. What skills have you learned abroad?
    • I learned how to use Python, I learned a lot about pulsars, and how we use them to look for Gravitational waves. Also I learned a lot about the parameters a radio telescope uses and which can be altered in the programming.
  • Q. Is there anything you’d do differently or anything you wish you’d have known?
    • Yes, I wish I had been to an airport before going there so it wasn’t my first time and I would have had an easier time adapting and seeing what was going on.