Meet the Fellow: Sebastian Wagner-Carena


This entree is a part of our “Meet the Fellow” blog series, which introduces and highlights incoming faculty fellows at CDS.

CDS Faculty Fellow, Sebastian Wagner-Carena

Meet Sebastian Wagner-Carena, who will join CDS this fall as a faculty fellow.

Sebastian comes to CDS with a substantial background in physics. He recently graduated with a PhD in physics at Stanford, where he worked under the supervision of Professor of Physics and of Particle Physics and Astrophysics and physicist Risa Wechsler. His current research focuses on using strong gravitational lenses to examine the physics of dark matter. Given that dark matter doesn’t emit an electromagnetic signal that we have been able to detect, Sebastian’s work has a particular emphasis on measuring the gravitational effects of dark matter structures on the light emitted by distant galaxies. In his work, he leverages a variety of computational tools ranging from physical simulations to machine-learning-based inference techniques. Ultimately, his aim as a data scientist is to better grasp how different fields have utilized data science techniques for their research needs and use those methods to enrich the broader astrophysics community.

Prior to his time at Stanford, Sebastian earned a B.S. in physics and mathematics with a minor in computer science from Harvard University. At Harvard, Sebastian worked with Professor of Physics and theoretical cosmologist Cora Dvorkin on developing new methods of separating the signal of the Cosmic Microwave Background, our universe’s first light, from radiation emitted by our own galaxy.

“CDS is a unique interdisciplinary effort housed in one of the most vibrant research cities in the world,” says Sebastian. I’m excited to join the CDS and get to work with its talented students, fellows, and faculty!”

Some of his recent works include “From Images to Dark Matter: End-To-End Inference of Substructure From Hundreds of Strong Gravitational Lenses” and “Symphony: Cosmological Zoom-in Simulation Suites over Four Decades of Host Halo Mass”.

To view all our current faculty fellows, please visit the CDS Faculty Fellows page on our website.

By Ashley C. McDonald



NYU Center for Data Science

Official account of the Center for Data Science at NYU, home of the Undergraduate, Master’s, and Ph.D. programs in Data Science.