Geneviève Arboit

2015 iREx Summer Intern and M.Sc. student, Université de Montréalgenevieve_arboit

Astrophysics has always interested Geneviève, although she first completed an undergraduate in mathematics, Concordia University 1994-1997 Honours and Science College, and graduate studies in computer science, M.Sc., University of Toronto, 1997-1999 in computational complexity, and Ph.D., McGill University, 2000-2008 in cryptography. From 2007 to 2013, Geneviève worked on mathematical models of electrical demand and lectured undergraduate statistics.

Mathematics are extremely satisfying to Geneviève when applied in original ways: for instance, in computer science, the theory of NP-completeness shows structure in the mathematical language as applied to computing machinery. Other connections involve mathematics and nature, of which astrophysics studies some of the more fundamental. For this purpose, Geneviève took physics classes at Université de Montréal, starting in 2013.

The study of exoplanets is at an intersection of numerical computing, statistics and astrophysics. Her current undergraduate project involves data analysis for young brown dwarfs, as well as instrumentation adjustments for the Mont Mégantic Observatory, with professor David Lafrenière and Jonathan Gagné. Graduate work, starting Fall 2015, will address transit spectroscopy matters for the James Webb Space Telescope, under the supervision of David Lafrenière.

In 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope is set to become the Hubble Telescope’s successor for infrared observations. It will be maintained at the L2 Lagrange point, which is over 1 million kilometers from Earth.

Transit spectroscopy enables the detection of components of an exoplanet’s atmosphere, such as the presence of water. My masters research work will help better the targeting of James Webb.


David Lafrenière 


Phone : 514-343-6111 x3798
Office : Roger-Gaudry Building, room B-415