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2022 - Present

University of California San Diego 
PhD Program

Graduate student in Astronomy PhD Program

Concentration: Brown Dwarf Studies

2018 - 2022

Arizona State University | Bachelor's Degree

BS in Earth and Space Exploration (Astrophysics)

Minor in Physics

Ronald Greeley Planetary Scholar (Fall 2021)

Graduated Magna Cum Laude (GPA: 3.76)


Bachelor's Astrophysics Thesis with Dr. Jenny Patience

2021 - 2022

Looking for Brown Dwarf companions around type B and A stars at distances of 100AU and greater. I analyzed a night's worth of Keck data to optically identify and calculate properties of candidate companions. A total of 95 candidates were found and follow up observations are in progress.

2020 - 2022

Brown Dwarf Binary Research with Dr. Adam Schneider

Working in collaboration with the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Citizen Science Project team my project consisted of finding and confirming brown dwarf binary systems by comparing images from a variety of surveys.

  • My work resulted in the discovery of the widest separated brown dwarf binary currently known. I gained experience with the WISE View catalog as well as working with Keck data, specifically plotting and editing observational spectra of discovered systems. Through this process I have gained experience in calculation parameters of the system: Mass, Age, Separation, Photometric Distance, and Binding Energy

2019 - 2022

Brown Dwarf and Exoplanet Research with Dr. Jenny Patience

• Working on a GPI project with team lead Justin Hom. Analyzing GPI images to search for stars with exoplanet of brown dwarf companions. Measuring the sensitivity level of stars without companions as well as calculating frequency of planet and brown dwarf companions.

 • Submitted Observing Proposals for Keck and Hubble as a CoI on projects.

August 2018

ASU Sundial Early Start Mentoring & Research Experience Program

  • Learned to accessed and exported data from exoplanet databases.

  • Used VPython to model a basic multi-planet model of an exoplanet solar system.

  • Was lead theory investigator for gravitational and orbital methods used in the developed Python Program.

Publications and Presentations

Feb 2022

Softich et al. 2022, CWISE J0146AB: Widest Separation Amongst Known Brown Dwarf Binaries

Abstract: Using brown dwarfs discovered with data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) via the Backyard Worlds; Planet 9 citizen science project, we inspected other, higher resolution, sky surveys to look for overlooked companions. During this process we discovered J0146AB, a binary system consisting of two L dwarfs. The spectral types of each component were determined to be L4 and L9 from near-infrared spectroscopy with Keck/NIRES. Our spectroscopic observations also allow us to determine various physical properties of each component of this system. At a distance of ~40 pc, J0146AB has a separation of ~125 AU, making it the widest separation brown dwarf pair found to date.

July 2022

CWISE J0146AB: Widest Separation Amongst Known Brown Dwarf Binaries

COOLSTARS 21 Conference

  • Softich Poster

Nov 9th 2021

Discovery of the Widest Separated Brown Dwarf Binary Known

ASU Stars, Planets & Disks Journal Club

  • 30 min presentation

Nov 29th 2021

Finding the Widest Separated Brown Dwarf-Brown Dwarf Pair

AST 421 – Astrophysics II

  • 5 min AAS Style presentation 

Nov 2020

Machine Learning: Detection Rate of Simple Figures

SES 130 – Coding for Exploration

  •  10 min Workshop- Style presentation

  • Applied Python to create a code that would test the detection rate of simple figures. The project utilized machine learning techniques to display figures with different degrees of blurring being introduced by a Gaussian function

Science Public Outreach

Fall 2021

2018 & 2019

Summer 2017

SES 191 – Mentorship 
  • Being a mentor to the incoming student in the SESE program.

SESE Open House 
  • Public presentations for the LOCO group, presenting to a diverse range of attendees

  • Maned telescopes for the public during the observation portion of the open house  

    • Operating the telescopes manually

    • Provided information regarding objects to those in attendance

Community Outreach 
  • Provided both scientific and safety information regarding the 2017 Total Eclipse for those in my community in Missoula

& Expertise

Programming Languages:
  • Python

  • ​IDL


Software Tools:
  • LaTeX (Overleaf)

  • Google Suite

  • Microsoft Suite

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