LAHS students advance in Siemens competition

Los Altos High School students Arthi Vaidyanathan and Justin Yu advanced to the semifinals of the 2017 Siemens Competition.

Vaidyanathan’s project, “Mining for Galaxy Properties with MaNGA,” explores the evolution of galaxies by analyzing their characteristics and determining any trends. The project used data collected by Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory (MaNGA) to analyze approximately 4,000 galaxies.

Vaidyanathan and two other high school interns wrote programs in Python to derive the specific traits such as age, metallicity and lambda, and then plotted the traits against each other under the guidance of their mentor during their summer internship.

“We hope that our programs will be applied to the rest of the 6,000 galaxies in the MaNGA project,” she said.

Yu did not respond to the Town Crier’s request for comment.

For more information on the Siemens Competition, visit

– Crystal Tai

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