Charlotte Minsky

I study planets and history.

I'm an undergraduate at MIT studying planetary science and astronomy, computer science, and history. I am pursuing a research career in planetary science, and I also care about teaching and outreach, diversity in academia, and social justice.

Astronomy & Planetary Science

I am majoring in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences with a concentration in Planetary Science & Astronomy. I'm interested in exoplanet detection and characterization, and in small bodies in the Solar System.

Current Roles
January 2019 - Present
  • Undergraduate researcher with Prof. Julien de Wit modeling absorption cross sections for exoplanet atmospheres
  • Target of Interest light curve vetter for the NASA/MIT TESS mission
Previous Experience
Oct 2016 - Dec 2018
  • Observational astronomy project class determining the rotation period and axial ratio of asteroid (2713) Luxembourg
  • Undergraduate researcher with Prof. Ben Weiss and Dr. Mary Knapp looking for radio signatures from Planet 9 in archival data


I am also pursuing a joint major in Computer Science and History. I am interested in 20th century Middle Eastern history and the intersections of race, science, and technology.

Contesting the Iranian Revolution
Jul 2018 - Dec 2018
  • Edited and indexed Contesting the Iranian Revolution: The Green Uprisings, a book about the 2009 Green Uprisings in Iran by Pouya Alimagham to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2019
  • Conducted primary source research for related conference papers
MIT and Slavery
Sep 2017 - Jun 2018
  • Researched MIT's relationship to the Southern Reconstruction economy from 1861-1887 as an individual reserch project within a pilot class investigating MIT's historical relationship with slavery and its legacies
  • Presented findings to MIT's president, a live and online audience totalling one thousand, and national press
Digital Humanities
Sep - Dec 2018
  • Project manager for the MIT Digital Humanities Lab, managing a team that analyzed gendered language in a digitized corpus of 19th-century English literature
  • Oversaw workflow, contributed code, and coordinated with data collection and visualization teams

Teaching & Outreach

Education for Incarcerated Individuals
Sep 2017 - Present
Other Teaching Experience
Jan 2016 - Present

Other Interests

I am a campus leader and member of several organizations, including:

In the past, I've also been involved with:

And finally, I am committed to academic service through my participation in two Institute Committees by nomination:

In my free time, I'm a constant listener of podcasts, and once changed my course schedule so that I could see a Wait Wait Don't Tell Me live show (don't tell). I can also be found playing the piano and occasionally other instruments, sampling Boston's various pho vendors, hiking in the gorgeous hills of New England, and making TRAPPIST-1-inspired Christmas ornaments.