Jia Liu

NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Astrophysical Sciences
Princeton University


I spend most of my time developing cosmological simulations to study the large scale structure of our Universe –– dark matter, halos, filaments, and voids. My recent interest is the effect of massive neutrinos on these structures. I also enjoy analyzing survey data (Planck, CFHTLenS, SDSS, Gaia, etc.), partly to ensure I don't just live in my imaginary/simulated world.

Education and Appointments

2016-present: NSF postdoctoral fellow, Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University
          Advisor: David Spergel
2011-2016: PhD in Astronomy, Department of Astronomy, Columbia University
          Thesis advisor: Zoltan Haiman
          Project advisors: Jules Halpern, Colin Hill, Lam Hui, Kristen Menou
2012 summer: NSF EAPSI/JSPS Summer Program fellow, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
2009-2011: Research Assistant, Astronomy, Columbia University
2006-2008: MA in Human Resources & Industrial Relations, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota
2002-2006: BA in Business Management, Guangdong University Of Finance and Economics
*Read about my experience transiting from a business major to astrophysics


Arxiv, ADS

Students I work(ed) with

Zack Li (2017-present, Princeton), on Weak lensing peak counts
Will Coulton (2017-present, Princeton, now postdoc at Cambridge), on Weak lensing bispectrum
Lachlan Lancaster (2018-present, Princeton), on Massive black holes
Gabriela Marques (2017-present, Observatório Nacional-Rio de Janeiro), on Weak lensing Minknowski Functionals
Christina Kreisch (2017-present, Princeton), on Cosmic voids

Ayanna Mathews (2018-present, Princeton), on Halo assembly bias
Ryan Golant (2017 summer, Princeton), on Gaussianizing lensing convergence maps
Alvaro Ortiz-Vazquez (2015-2016, Columbia), on Cosmic shear multiplicative bias

Public Data

My collaborators and I try our best to release all our codes and simulations. Here you can download cosmological simulation data, including snapshots, halo catalogues, merger trees, galaxy and CMB lensing maps: ColumbiaLensing.org

I thank New Mexico State University (USA) and Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia CSIC (Spain) for hosting the Skies & Universes site, which made the public access to our data possible.


2019/02 Invited: Seminar at LBNL Institute for Nuclear and Particle Astrophysics, Berkeley, CA
2019/02 Invited: Seminar at New York University, New York, NY
2019/01 Invited: Accurate lensing in the era of precision Cosmology, UC Berkeley, CA
2018/12 Invited: Colloquium at Harvard ITC, Cambridge, MA
2018/11 Invited: Seminar at UBC, Vancouver, Canada
2018/11 Invited: Seminar at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada
2018/11 Invited: Seminar at TRIUMF, Vancouver, Canada
2018/11 Invited: Colloquium at University of Edinburgh, UK
2018/11 Invited: DAMTP Journal Club at University of Cambridge, UK
2018/11 Invited: Seminar at CEA Saclay, France
2018/10 Invited: Seminar at Institut Henri Poincaré, Paris, France
2018/09 Invited: Colloquium (video) at University of Arizona Theoretical Astrophysics Program, Tucson, AZ
2018/07 Invited: Seminar at Caltech TAPIR, Pasadena, CA
2018/07 Invited: 8th Forum for New Leaders in Space Science, CAS-NAS, Pasadena, CA
2018/07 Invited: Unsolved Problems in Astrophysics and Cosmology, Budapest, Hungary
2018/06 Invited: PASCOS2018, Cleveland, OH
2018/05 Invited: Princeton Astronomy Advisory Council, Princeton, NJ
2018/01 Invited: Seminar at University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
2018/01 Invited: Seminar at Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing, China
2018/01 Invited: 7th Forum for New Leaders in Space Science, CAS-NAS, Guangzhou, China
2018/01 Invited: Seminar at University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
2018/01 Invited: NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellows Symposium, Washington D.C.
2018/01 Invited: Modeling the Extragalactic Sky, UC Berkeley, CA
More (before 2018)
2017/09 Invited: Seminar at Observatório Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
2017/09 Invited: Kavli CMB Lensing Workshop, Standford University, Standford, CA
2017/05 Invited: Princeton Thunch, Princeton, NJ
2017/03 Invited: Seminar at University of Chicago Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, Chicago, IL
2017/03 Invited: Black Hole Network: Supermassive Black Hole Binary Workshop at the Center for Computational Astrophysics, New York, NY
2017/02 Invited: Astrophysics Seminar at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
2016/10 Invited: Informal Seminar at IAS, Princeton, NJ
2016/10 Invited: HSC Science Discussion at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
2016/10 Invited: Seminar at University of Pennsylvania, ‎Philadelphia, PA
2016/09 Invited: Seminar at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
2016/09 Invited: Lunch talk at Peking University, Beijing, China
2016/09 Invited: Seminar at National Astronomical Observatories of China, Beijing, China
2016/07 Contributed: Celebrating a century of gravitational lensing, Leiden, Netherland
2016/05 Contributed: Cross-correlation Spectacular with LSST, Long Island, NY
2016/05 Invited: Columbia University Astronomy Colloquium, New York, NY
2016/03 Contributed: Rencontres de Moriond Cosmology, La Thuile, Italy
2016/01 Contributed: Essential Cosmology for the Next Generation, Cancun, Mexico
2016/01 Contributed: 227th AAS Dissertation Talk, Kissimmee, FL
2015/11 Invited: Astronomy Seminar at University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
2015/11 Contributed: JSPS 6th Multidisciplinary Science Forum at UC Davis, Sacramento, CA
2015/11 Invited: Joint Princeton/IAS Cosmology Lunch, Princeton, NJ
2015/07 Contributed: Theoretical and Observational Progress on the LSS, Garching, Germany
2015/05 Invited: Joint Stony Brook/Brookhaven National Lab Cosmology Seminar, Stony Brook, NY
2014/11 Invited: Seminar at Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China
2014/10 Invited: Seminar at National Astronomical Observatories of China, Beijing, China
2014/03 Contributed: Rencontres de Moriond Cosmology, La Thuile, Italy
2014/01 Contributed: Essential Cosmology for the Next Generation, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Observing Runs

(Once a while, I observe active galactic nuclei using optical telescopes, hoping to find supermassive black hole binaries!)
2018/08/14 Palomar 200" (Co-I)
2018/06/17 Palomar 200" (Co-I)
2016/03/03 - 03/07 MDM 2.4m Modspec + Echelle (Co-I)
2013/05/01 - 05/05 MDM 2.4m ModSpec + Templeton 1k (PI)
2011/06/26 - 07/04 MDM 2.4m CCDS
2010/12/28 - 2011/01/02 MDM 2.4m OSMOS
2010/06/07 - 06/08 MDM 2.4m CCDS (PI)
2010/03/12 - 03/16 MDM 2.4m CCDS
2009/12/14 - 12/20 MDM 2.4m CCDS & 1.3m Templeton
2009/08/19 - 08/25 MDM 2.4m CCDS & 1.3m Templeton
2009/05/25 - 05/28 MDM 2.4m CCDS with Retrocam
2009/03/17 - 03/18 MDM 2.4m CCDS (Part of an observing class)


DMSS: A Dark Matter Summer School at University at Albany

2018/07: One lecture on Large Scale Structure

Winter School at Observatório Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

2017/09: Three lectures on Large Scale Structure Cross-Correlations

NJ Correctional Facilities

(Volunteer Math leader and instructor for the Prison Teaching Initiative)
2018 Fall (Garden State): Instructor MATH112 - Precalculus
2018 Spring (Garden State): Instructor MATH020 - Elementary Algebra
2017 Fall (Ft. Dix): Instructor PHY121 - Intro to Astronomy
2017 Spring (Garden State): Instructor MATH020 - Elementary Algebra
2016 Fall (Garden State): Instructor MATH015 - Pre-Algebra

Columbia University Undergraduate Courses

2014 Spring: TA C3602 Physical Cosmology (DETF slides)
2013 Fall: TA C1610 Theories of the Universe: From Babylon to the Big Bang
2013 Spring & Fall: Instructor for Observing labs
2012 Fall: TA C1903 Astronomy Lab I - Earth, Moon, and Planets
2012 Spring: TA BC1753 Life in the Universe

Barnard College Undergraduate Courses

2011 Fall: TA BC2001 Physics Lab I - Mechanics
2011 Spring: TA BC2002 Physics Lab II - Electromagnetism
2010 Fall: TA BC2001 Physics Lab I - Mechanics

Outreach Talks

2016/09 Amateur Astronomer's Association of Princeton (slides), Princeton, NJ
2014/02 Columbia Astronomy Public Outreach, New York, NY
2014/01 Public outreach: St. Marcellinius Secondary School, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
2012/04 Gesamtkunstwerk 1020 (slides), New York, NY