In 2020, William completed a Joint Major in Physics and Computer Science at McGill University. During that same year, he got the opportunity to work as an iREx summer intern under the supervision of ProfessorRenéDoyon and researcher Loïc Albert. The work was related to the data extraction pipeline of the Canadian JWST instrument NIRISS (Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph)in itsSingle Object Slitless Spectroscopy (SOSS)mode.
NIRISS-SOSS is optimized for time series observations of transiting exoplanets and for transmission spectroscopy.However, light from other stars is more likely to contaminate the spectrum of a target star due to the slitless nature of the SOSS mode. The goal of the internship was therefore to implement a spectrum extraction technique that removes this contamination from NIRISS-SOSS time series.
For his master’sdegree, William will continue to work on the NIRISS-SOSS extraction pipeline under the supervision of René Doyon. His thesis aims to characterize the SOSS mode using techniques such as Gaussian Processes. He will also help in the development of the NRISS-SOSS simulation package.