Nickolas Kokron

Physics PhD student at Stanford

This is a picture of me!
I'm Nick, a graduate student at Stanford Physics, SLAC National Lab and the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology. I work on several aspects of cosmology at large scales, using theory and simulations in tandem. I'm advised by Risa Wechsler, and I've also been fortunate to work with other professors at Stanford including Tom Abel and Leonardo Senatore. I collaborate closely with friends from across the bay including Joe DeRose, Stephen Chen, and Martin White. I have also done fun science with Arka Banerjee.

I grew up in the concrete jungle of São Paulo, Brazil, where I attended the Molecular Sciences Program at Universidade de São Paulo. My senior thesis in cosmology was carried out within the Dark Energy Survey (DES), supervised by Rogerio Rosenfeld and Fabien Lacasa.

I'm interested in the formation of large-scale structures in the Universe. That is, how did the Universe grow from its smooth and homogeneous initial conditions to the complex cosmic web of dark matter inhabited by galaxies that we see today? How does dark energy affect this process, and how can we use observations of galaxies to learn about its nature?

Specifically, large galaxy surveys such as DES, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) and the Vera Rubin Observatory's Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) are either currently collecting or will soon collect datasets with unprecedented statistical power to answer these questions. My thesis work is focussed on the question of whether our current models of the distribution of galaxies are accurate enough to interpret these data, and how can we improve these models to make sure we don't run the risk of drawing incorrect conclusions from these data. If this sounds interesting to you, feel free to read my KIPAC blog post pitched at a general audience!

Most of my recent work is at the interface of analytic techniques ("effective field theories") and N-body simulations of structure formation. You can find my publications here, and a one-paragraph summary of selected publications in the research tab. If you have any questions or would like to chat more about my work feel free to reach out!

In my spare time you'll probably find me listening to music, grilling churrasco, playing computer games or, recently, climbing Palo Alto's surrounding hills on a bike. Given an extended block of spare time you'll most likely find me on a road trip across the American West hauling hiking and camping gear in a station wagon.


email: kokron at stanford 🍕 edu (replace the pizza with a dot)
github: github.com/kokron