Dallas was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, and is currently a junior in the University of Hawaii at Hilo. He was originally pursuing a Nutrition degree, but his fascination in the cosmos convinced him to switch his major to Physics.  His pursuit for knowledge is his main drive in his academics, and he aspires to find his calling as he continues to learn and challenge what he believes in. His main interests has always been in the STEM fields – especially in natural sciences – but at this time has not decided on a specific career.  After obtaining his undergraduate degree, he hopes to continue his studies in astrophysics, medical physics or neurology.

Besides educational endeavors, Dallas is a national qualifying Olympic weightlifter,  loves to travel, enjoys bad puns, and probably knows more facts about Pokémon than you.

Home Island: Big Island
High School:
Institution when accepted: University of Hawaii at Hilo

Akamai Project: Creating a Public Database of Star Clusters from the VISTA Variable in Via Lactea (VVV) Survey
Project Site: Gemini Observatory
Mentor: Andre-Nicolas Chene

Project Abstract:

The Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope of Astronomy (VISTA) in Chile has recently finished its survey of the Milky Way Galaxy’s Bulge and its adjacent Galactic plane region. The VISTA Variable in Via Lactea (VVV) survey covers approximately 109 point sources including multi-wavelength (ZYJHKs) coverage of the area as well as time monitoring in Ks band. The main objective of this project was to compile information of star clusters from the VVV survey into a uniform database that the public domain can access. At this stage of the project, the database contains only the names, the coordinates and an approximate size of the clusters. Future implementations will add information about the stars in the clusters, such as brightness, proper motion, dust extinction and spectral type. In the meantime, the SIMBAD Database – a collection of astronomical objects that have been studied in published articles and research reports – was used to identify any star clusters that may have already been studied prior to the VVV survey. Open text editors Brackets and Sublime Text were used to create the web interface using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, while Sequel Pro in conjunction with MariaDB and Docker were used to create the database to store the information of the VVV survey. The analyzed data was then stored into the database, and the database was connected to the newly formed web interface using XAMPP. The website can search for star clusters by entering queries for specific parameters, and its most useful feature is the ability to select a specific tile number from the VVV survey area and it will display all star clusters within that area. VISTA has plans to expand the VVV survey area in the next few years, so any new data it collects will be recorded and stored in the constructed public database.