AU Logo      Tiffany Z. Summerscales

Selected Talks/Publications

My PhD thesis: Gravitational Wave Astronomy with LIGO: from Data to Science

Maximum Entropy for Gravitational Wave Data Analysis: Inferring the Physical Parameters of Core-Collapse Supernovae, ApJ article, arXiv preprint

Student Talks/Publications

Chris Greenley: Application of the Maximum Entropy Method to Hardware Injections in the LIGO Gravitational Wave Detectors, AAS Meeting, January 2013, Abstract

Chris Greenley: Application of the Maximum Entropy method to data from the LIGO gravitational wave detectors, APS April Meeting 2012, Abstract, Poster

TZS pic


Andrews University
Department of Physics
4260 Administration Dr.
Berrien Springs, MI 49104-0380


Haughey Hall 223




tzs AT andrews DOT edu


According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, mass curves spacetime. When the distribution of mass changes, the curvature must also change and that change spreads outwards through space like the ripples on a pond. These ripples, also called gravitational waves, are very faint. Only the most catastrophic events and massive objects in the universe are capable of producing gravitational waves of measurable strength.

LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observitory) consists of detectors in Hanford, WA and Livingston, LA built to find gravitational waves. Currently LIGO is in the midst of upgrades that will increase its sensitivity by a factor of 10 and greatly increase the volume of space it can search. Once these elusive spacetime ripples are caught, they will reveal important information about their sources. With gravitational waves it will be possible to watch neutron stars and black holes collide, see into the heart of a supernova, and look back to the moment of the universe's creation.

The Andrews University Gravitational Wave Group (AUGWG) members are members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), an international group including hundreds of physisicts who work on LIGO science. Currently, the AUGWG is involved in efforts to characterize detector performance, extract signals from multi-detector data and determine what information about a supernova is carried by a gravitational wave.


Most importantly, I am married to Rodney Summerscales, graduate student in computer science at the Illinois Institute of Technology and hubby extrordinare. I enjoy kayaking, hiking, knitting and camping.

What I like about experience is that it is such an honest thing. You may take any number of wrong turnings; but keep your eyes open and you will not be allowed to go very far before the warning signs appear. You may have decieved yourself, but experience is not trying to decieve you. The universe rings true wherever you fairly test it. - C. S. Lewis