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Graca Rocha
Dr. Graca Rocha is a Staff Scientist at JPL and Associate Academic Visitor at Caltech. Her area of expertise is Cosmology, more specifically constraining models of structure formation and fundamental physics with the study of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, CMB.
As a PhD student at Cambridge University, UK, she pioneered the use of CMB data to determine cosmological parameters, now one of the most important areas in Cosmology. Later on she pioneered the use of CMB data to constrain fundamental physics by means of constraining temporal variations in the fundamental constants of nature. She played an important role on several CMB experiments: Tenerife, Python, CAT, VSA, BICEP and Planck.
She is a Planck Scientist, Coordinator of three Planck core areas and Coauthor of several innovative mathematical and statistical frameworks for CMB data analysis. Some of the Coauthored algorithms are part of the official Planck data analysis pipeline: FEBeCoP (to generate effective beams, beam transfer functions and simulations); PowellSnakes (a Bayesian algorithm to detect and characterize point sources and SZclusters); XFaster+XFpipe (pipeline to estimate the angular power spectrum, Likelihood and parameters from CMB maps), to name a few.
In addition she was the spokesperson for Planck team at the Planck Plenary Session at ESLAB, Netherlands in 2013.
She is currently very active in pursuing the preparatory studies for next CMB polarization experiments such as CMBS4 and of a potential CMB Space mission, PICO, and wrote or coauthored successful proposals to conduct these studies.
In 2018 Graca Rocha and the Planck team were awarded the prestigious Gruber Prize in Cosmology.
She has a total of 235 peerreviewed publications with 33263 citations (hindex 80). (Source: The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System).
 Licenciatura in Mathematics (Pure Mathematics), University of Porto (1987)
 Licenciatura in Physics and Applied Mathematics, Astronomy, University of Porto (1991)
 M.Sc. in Astrophysics, QMW College, University of London (1992)
 PhD. in Cosmology, Cavendish Astrohysics Group, University of Cambridge (1997)
 Invited Lecturer, University of Porto (1998)
 Physical Cosmology
 Cosmic Background Radiation
 LargeScale Structure of the Universe
 Galaxy Formation
 Gravitational Lenses
 Non Gaussianity
 Topology of the Universe
 Teories with varying fundamental constants
 Computational Astrostatistics
 Structure of, and Science Extraction from Large Astronomical Data
Repositories
Planck
Planck is the first European mission to study the birth of the Universe. Planck was launched on May 14, 2009.
BICEP
BICEP (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) is an experiment designed to measure the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) to unprecedented precision.
GEMP
Galactic Emission Mapping Project (GEMP) is a project located in Portugal aimed at mapping the polarised galactic emission at 5GHz and 10GHz.
 Staff Research Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, JPL, and Visitor at Caltech, Physics Department, Observational Cosmology group (2009present)
 Member of the peer review committee of NASA proposals submitted in response to the MUREP Institutional Research Opportunity (MIRO), formerly University Research Centers
 Member of the peer review committee of the Discovery Grants' Physics Evaluation Group at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
 Staff Scientist at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, IPAC, in the California Institute of Technology, Caltech (20062009)
 Postdoctoral Scholar in Physics at the Observational Cosmology Group, in the California Institute of Technology, Caltech, (2005).
 Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cavendish Astrophysics Group, University of Cambridge (20002005)
 Research Associate at the Center for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) (2001  present)
 Academic Visitor at the University of Oxford (2000  present)
 Invited Lecturer, University of Porto (1998)
 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) (1998  2000)
 Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Physics, Kansas State University (1997 1998)
NASA Honor Awards
 2018 Gruber Prize in Cosmology awarded to the Planck team and its Principa Investigators Nazzareno Mandolesi and JeanLoup Puget
 Royal Astronomical Society's 2018 Group Achievement Award to Planck mission
 Exceptional Achievement Medal (2014)
 Herschel & Planck Projects Teams  Group Achievement Award, Herschel & Planck Projects (2011)
 Planck Data Analysis and Operations Support Team  Group Achievement Award, Planck Data Analysis and Operations Support Team, Successful Achievement of Planck Minimum Mission (2011)
 Early Release Compact Source Catalogue Team  Group Achievement Award, Successful Early Delivery to the European Processing Centers of the Plack Early Release Compact Source Catalogue (2011)
 Planck Data Analysis Team  Group Achievement Award (2009)
 Planck Data Analysis Pipeline Development Team  Group Achievement Award (2009)
 BICEP Experiment Team  Group Achievement Award (2009)
JPL Awards
 Mariner Award  Bonus Award for leading a team to calculate cosmological parameters from the CMB with different foreground removal methods, demonstrating robustness of estimates (2013)
 Mariner Award  Bonus Award for essential contributions to the Planck data analysis environment (2012)
 Planck Effective Beamshape Team  Team Bonus Award for the Development and Implementation of Software to Calculate the Effective Beamshape of the Planck Feeds for Early Release Compact Source Catalog (2011)
 Certificate of Recognition, 5 Years of Service (2010)
 'Markov Chain Beam Randomization: a study of the impact of PLANCK beam measurement errors on cosmological parameter estimation', G. Rocha, L. Pagano, K.M. G´orski, K.M. Huffenberger, C.R. Lawrence, A.E. Lange, submitted to A & A, 2009.
 'Lensing reconstruction from PLANCK sky maps: inhomogeneous noise', Duncan Hanson, Graça Rocha & Krsysztof M. G´orski, accepted for publication in MNRAS 2009. (astroph9071927)
 'Characterization of the BICEP Telescope for HighPrecision Cosmic Microwave Background Polarimetry', Takahashi, Y. D. et al., submitted to ApJ. , 2009. arXiv0906.4069T, 2009.
 'Measurement of CMB Polarization Power Spectra from Two Years of BICEP Data', Chiang, H. C., et al., submitted to ApJ. , 2009. arXiv0906.1181C, 2009.
 'Residual noise covariance for Planck lowresolution data analysis', Keskitalo, R. et al., submitted to A & A, 2009. arXiv0906.0175K , 2009.
 'Making Maps from Planck LFI 30GHz data with Asymmetric Beams and Cooler Noise', Ashdown, M.A.J., et al, A & A 493, 753A, 2009. (astroph8063167)
 'A fast Bayesian approach to discrete object detection in astronomical datasets  PowellSnakes I', Pedro Carvalho, Graca Rocha & Mike Hobson, MNRAS, 393, 681C, 2009. (astroph8023916)
 'Information content of the lensed CMB power spectra', Challinor, Anthony; Lewis, Antony; Rocha, Graça; Smith, Sarah; NewAR, 51, 421C, 2007.
 'What can be learned from the lensed cosmic microwave background Bmode polarization power spectrum?', Sarah J. Smith, Anthony Challinor & Graca Rocha, Phys. Rev. D 73, 023517, 2006.
 'Constraints on Changes in Fundamental Constants from a Cosmologically Distant OH Absorver or Emitter', Kanekar, N., Carilli, CL., Langston, G. I., Rocha, G. , Combes, F., Subrahmanyan, R., Stocke, J.T., Menten, K.M., Briggs, F.H., Wilklind, T., Phys. Rev. L 95, 1301K, 2005.
 'Cosmic Microwave Background observations from the Cosmic Microwave Background Imager and Very Small Array: a comparison of coincident maps and parameter estimation methods', Rajguru, Nutan et al., MNRAS, 363, 1125R, 2005.
 'Simulations of nonGaussian CMB maps', Graça Rocha, Mike Hobson, Sarah Smith, Pedro Ferreira, & Anthony Challinor, MNRAS, 357, 1R, 2005.
 'NonRandom Phases in NonTrivial Topologies', Patrick Dineen, Graça Rocha, & Peter Coles, MNRAS, 358, 1285D, 2005.
 'Estimating the CMB bispectrum from the VSA data', Sarah Smith, Graca Rocha, Anthony Challinor & VSA team, MNRAS, 352, 887, 2004.
 'Measuring _ in the Early Universe II: CMB polarization and Fisher Matrix Analysis', G. Rocha, R. Trotta, C.J.A.P Martins, A. Melchiorri, P.P. Avelino, R. Bean and P.T.P. Viana, MNRAS, 352, 20R, 2004.
 'Searching for nonGaussianity in the VSA data', Richard Savage et al., MNRAS, 349, 973S, 2004.
 WMAP Constraints on varying _ and the Promise of Reionization',C.J.A.P.Martins, A. Melchiorri, G. Rocha, R. Trotta, P.P. Avelino, P. Viana, Phys. Lett. B 585, 29, 2004.
 'Topology of the Universe from COBE; a wavelet approach', G. Rocha, L. Cayon, R. Bowen, A. Canavezes, J. Silk, A. Banday & K. G´orski, MNRAS, 351, 769R, 2004.
 'CMB Anisotropy Constraints on Open and Flat_ CDM Cosmogonies from DMR, UCSB South Pole, Python, ARGO, MAX, White Dish, OVRO and SuZIE Data', Pia Mukherjee, Ken Ganga, Bharat Ratra, Graça Rocha, Tarun Souradeep, Naoshi Sugiyama, and Krzysztof M. G´orski, Int. J. Mod. Phys., IJMPA, 18, 4933M, 2003.
 'Measuring _ in the Early Universe', Graça Rocha, Astrophysics and Space Science, Astroph. & Sp. Sci. 283, Issue 4, 589R, 2003.
 'Measuring _ in the Early Universe I: CMB temperature, LargeScale Structure and Fisher Matrix Analysis', C.J.A.P Martins, A. Melchiori, R. Trotta, R. Bean, G. Rocha, P.P. Avelino, and P. Viana, Phys.Rev. D66 023505, 2002.
 'EarlyUniverse constraints on a timevarying fine structure constant', P.P. Avelino, S. Esposito, G. Mangano, C.J.A.P. Martins, A. Melchiorri, G. Miele, O. Pisanti, G. Rocha and P.T.P. Viana, Phys. Rev. D64, 103506, 2001.
 'Updates on SuZIE and Python', Ganga,K., et al, ApL&C. , 37..303G, 2000.
 'Looking for a varying _ in the Cosmic Microwave Background', P.P. Avelino, C.J.A.P. Martins, G. Rocha & Pedro Viana, Phys. Rev. D62, 123508, 2000.
 'Bayesian joint estimation of nonGaussianity and the power spectrum', Graça Rocha, Jo˜ao Magueijo, Mike Hobson & Anthony Lasenby, Phys. Rev. D64, 063512, 2001.
 'VSL theories and the Doppler peak', P.P. Avelino, C.J.A.P. Martins & G. Rocha, Phys. Lett. B843, 210, 2000.
 'Python I, II, and III CMB anisotropy measurement constraints on open and flat_CDM cosmogonies', Graça Rocha, Radoslaw Stompor, Ken Ganga, Bharat Ratra, Stephen R. Platt, Naoshi Sugiyama, and Krzysztof M. G´orski, ApJ, 525, 1R, 1999.
 'CMB Anisotropy Constraints on Open and Flat_ CDM Cosmogonies from UCSB South Pole, ARGO, MAX, White Dish, and SuZIE Data', Bharat Ratra, Radoslaw Stompor, Ken Ganga, Graça Rocha, Naoshi Sugiyama, and Krzystof M. G´orski, ApJ, 517, 549R, 1999.
 'Detection of Cosmic Microwave Background Structure in a Second Field with the Cosmic Anisotropy Telescope', J.C. Baker, K. Grainge, M.P. Hobson, M.E. Jones, R. Kneissl, A.N. Lasenby, C.M.M. O'Sullivan, G. Pooley, G. Rocha, R. Saunders, P.F. Scott, E.M.Waldram, MNRAS, 308, 1173B, 1999.
 'Joint estimation of cosmological parameters from CMB and IRAS data', Matthew Webster, S.L. Bridle, M.P. Hobson, A.N. Lasenby, Ofer Lahav and Graca Rocha, ApJ letters, 509L, 65W, 1998.
 '10 GHz Tenerife CMB observations at 8_ resolution and their analysis using a new maximum entropy method', Jones, A.W., Hancock, S., Lasenby, A.N., Davies, R.D., Gutierrez, C.M., Rocha, G. , Watson, R.A., & Rebolo, R., MNRAS, 1998, vol 294, pp 582.
 '10 GHz Tenerife CMB observations at 8_ resolution and their analysis using a new maximum entropy method', Jones, A.W., Hancock, S., Lasenby, A.N., Davies, R.D., Gutierrez, C.M., Rocha, G. , Watson, R.A., & Rebolo, R., MNRAS, 1998, vol 294, pp 582.
 'Constraints on cosmological parameters from recent measurements ofCMBanisotropy', Hancock, S., Rocha, G. , Lasenby, A.N. & Gutierrez, C.M., MNRAS, 1998, vol 294L, pp 1.
 'Studies of CMB structure at DEC=+40_. II: Analysis and cosmological interpretation', Hancock, S., Lasenby, A.N., Gutierrez, C.M., Davies, R.D., Rocha, G. , Watson, R.A., & Rebolo, R., MNRAS, 1997, vol 289, pp 505514.
Graca Rocha's Publications
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Planck's Contributions to Cosmology
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