I was born and grew up near Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, and my hometown is a beautiful riverside village known as Sibu. Since high school, I have been pursuing my education on different continents and in various cultures, adding another self to the growing body of my work. The process started when I undertook a concurrent, double-degree program from the National University of Singapore, and Ecole Polytechnique, in France. I moved to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in astrophysics at Harvard University, funded by a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship. After earning my doctorate in 2017, I was honored to be the first scholar awarded a joint-fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Princeton University, and Carnegie Observatory (and a NASA Hubble Fellowship). Two years after, I was appointed a continuing faculty position at the Australian National University in Canberra. After the havoc due to the pandemic, I joined the school in 2021 and have been here since.
My research group tackles the most challenging aspects of astrophysics in light of large data sets. My work draws heavily on a combination of theoretical modeling, statistical inferences, and machine learning. I use these tools to provide new innovative angles and shed light on the most fundamental questions of star formation, galactic evolution, the formation of black holes, and cosmology. I primarily work on the Milky Way, capitalizing on a wide range of on-going large-scale surveys and most key future surveys in the next decade. I am an "end-to-end" large survey-oriented scientist -- I develop novel machine learning methods to maximally harness information in the data, build theoretical models, and confront them with observation via statistical inference.
Current student projects
TED Video: How do we measure distances in space
TED Video: How do we study the stars
Hollywood Science Fiction: Lost in Space
One World, Two Skies: The Bifurcation of the Sky by Technology