Dora Gao is in the MIT class of 2011 from Lexington, Massachusetts. She is double-majoring in physics, with a concentration in astrophysics, and phylosophy. Outside of school, Dora enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, and also plays the piano and electric guitar. Her favorite superhero is Batman.
Last summer, Dora was observing the patterns and behaviors of various Kuiper Belt Objects through MIT's Wallace Observatory. In addition to observing the objects, she observed appulses, which is when a Kuiper Belt Object looks as if it will pass in front of a star, but misses. Using the data, processed through Mathematica, she will help in hopefully predicting the first-observed occultation, which is when a Kuiper Belt Object actually passes in front of a star.