Fernando Becerra

Data Visualization.


I work running numerical simulations of diverse astrophysical phenomena such as formation of the first black holes in the Universe, star formation in isolated disk galaxies, and gas fragmentation during mergers.

Opacity limit for SMBH seeds

Formation of massive protostars

ISM and SF in galactic disks

Role of galactic rotation in SF

Fragmentation on galaxy mergers


A complete record of my publications can be found on ADS or arXiv.

First author
  1. "Opacity Limit for Supermassive Black Hole Seeds"
    Becerra, F., Marinacci, F., Inayoshi, K., Bromm, V., and Hernquist, L., Submitted.
    Links to the article: ADS, and arXiv

  2. "Formation of Massive Protostars in Atomic Cooling Haloes"
    Becerra, F., Greif, T. H., Springel, V., and Hernquist, L., 2015, MNRAS, 446, 2380.
    Links to the article: MNRAS, ADS, and arXiv.

  3. "The Interstellar Medium and Star Formation in Local Galaxies:
    Variations of the Star Formation Law in Simulations"

    Becerra, F. and Escala, A., 2014, ApJ, 786, 56.
    Links to the article: ApJ, ADS, and arXiv.
Second author
  1. "Radiative effects during the assembly of direct collapse black holes"
    Smith, A., Becerra, F., Bromm, V., Hernquist, L., Accepted.
    Links to the article: MNRAS, ADS, and arXiv.

  2. "Unveiling the Role of Galactic Rotation on Star Formation"
    Utreras, J., Becerra, F., Escala, A., 2016, ApJ, 833, 13.
    Links to the article: ApJ, ADS, and arXiv.

  3. "Gravitational Fragmentation in Galaxy Mergers: A Stability Criterion"
    Escala, A., Becerra, F., del Valle, L., and Castillo, E., 2013, ApJ, 763, 39.
    Links to the article: ApJ, ADS, and arXiv.


Collection of projects I've done either as part of a class I've taken or in my free time.


Ex2: Exoplanets Explorer

Predicting seizures and epilepsy

The Final Element

Pavoreal: Parallel Volume Rendering Algorithm

2D shocks visualization tool

L1551 extravaganza

Term Paper: AGN Feedback

Term Paper: The MBH-sigma relation

About Fernando

I am a sixth year grad student at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University. I run and analyze numerical simulations of the formation of objects in the early Universe. In particular, I'm interested in figuring out how the first supermassive black holes formed when the Universe was young. I work under the supervision of Lars Hernquist and Volker Bromm. In the past I also collaborated with Thomas Greif while he was a postdoc at the CfA.

Before starting my PhD I got a Masters and a Bachelor degree at the Department of Astronomy at Universidad de Chile. My Master thesis focused on the study of the interstellar medium and star formation in simulations of local isolated galaxies under the supervision of Andres Escala.

Lately I've been getting involved in the development of interactive visualizations with Javascript libraries such as D3.js and Three.js. When I'm not at the office I like to do outdoor activities: hiking, camping, backpacking, climbing, and photography.

Contact Fernando

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
60 Garden Street, MS-10
Cambridge, MA, USA 02138

+1 617 495 8348