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P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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Andrea Sylvia Biscoveanu, 2018

PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Andrea Sylvia Biscoveanu is the child of immigrants from Romania

Fellowship awarded to support work towards a PhD in Astrophysics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Born in Philadelphia, Andrea (Sylvia) Biscoveanu is the daughter of Romanian immigrants. Fearing for their safety after participating in the anti-communist revolution of 1989, her parents left behind their families and their careers in pursuit of increased freedom and opportunity in the United States. Knowing that her family lived without basic civil rights in Romania has given Sylvia a deeper appreciation of the liberties afforded by the US Constitution, and watching her parents struggle to create a name for themselves in the US has taught her the value of dedication and hard work.

Sylvia graduated summa cum laude with degrees in physics and Spanish from the Pennsylvania State University’s Schreyer Honors College with minors in mathematics and violin performance. Her undergraduate research focused on searching for the sources of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays using data from the Pierre Auger Observatory and on the search for a stochastic gravitational wave background using data from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).

As a Fulbright Postgraduate Fellow at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, Sylvia conducted research on constraining the jet properties of gamma-ray bursts using coincident gravitational wave and electromagnetic detections. She has presented her research internationally in Spain, Argentina, and Australia, and her work in astrophysics earned her a Barry Goldwater Scholarship and an Astronaut Scholarship. Her goal is to teach and conduct research in a university setting, using the song of the cosmos to listen back to the very beginning of the universe. 

  • BS Physics, Spanish | Pennsylvania State University 2017
  • PhD Astrophysics | Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Barry M. Goldwater Scholar
  • Fulbright Postgraduate Scholar
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