Astronomy: Visiting Assistant Professor
Physics: Visiting Assistant Professor
Rita Wells joined the Lycoming College Astronomy and Physics department in the fall of 2019, immediately following the completion of her PhD in very-high-energy (VHE) astrophysics. She recieved her Bachelor's degree in Physics from Grinnell College and completed her Ph.D. in high energy astrophysics at Iowa State University. During her time at both Grinnell College and Iowa State University, she spent several semesters as a teaching assistant in a wide variety of introductory physics and astronomy classrooms.
Dr. Wells also worked as a lab instructor at Williams College, and looks forward to a return to a small liberal arts college environment at Lycoming College. She is developing new courses for the Lycoming astrophysics curriculum, and will teach a broad range of courses in physics and astrophysics during her time at Lycoming.
Her research interests include developing novel analysis techniques for indirect detection of VHE gamma rays. She is an Associate Member of the VERITAS collaboration, the collaboration with which she did her PhD research. The VERITAS collaboration uses data from an array of 4 imaging atmospheric-Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) for indirect detection of VHE gamma rays. Dr. Wells looks forward to continuing her research with IACT data and analysis methods with undergraduate students majoring in physics and astronomy at Lycoming.