Hi, I am a TESS postdoctoral associate at MIT with a visiting appointment at Princeton University. I work on the discovery and characterization of planets beyond our Solar System and detection of dark matter, where I build novel inference tools using Bayesian statistics and machine learning. I am a group vetting lead of NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and work on many aspects of the analysis of TESS data. The resulting TESS Objects of Interest (TOIs) constitute a legacy catalog of exoplanet candidates likely to be transiting nearby stars and amenable to detailed characterization in the decades to come.


About Me

I have been a postdoc at MIT since 2018. Before my postdoc, I was a PhD student at Harvard between 2013 and 2018, working on constructing novel statistical methods to search for signatures of dark matter with my advisor Douglas P. Finkbeiner. Even earlier than that, I completed my undergraduate studies at METU in Ankara, Turkey. I graduated from METU with a double major in electrical and electronics engineering and physics in 2012 and 2013, respectively. As an undergraduate, I was affiliated with CERN between 2011 and 2013 and worked on the AMS-02 experiment on the International Space Station. Before that I graduated from the Robert College in 2008. Going further back, I was one curious child growing up in the beautiful city of Istanbul.

Yet before that, I was a collection of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and other heavier elements spread throughout the molecular cloud in the pre-Solar neighborhood that eventually ignited our Sun and formed our planet Earth. Overall, I am a self-conscious and inquiring ingredient of our Universe, pondering on its constituents, origin, evolution, and elegant symmetries.

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