academia

Category archives for academia

Astronomy Lecturer Goes Elf! FTK!

Dr Brad Barlow was nominated by his Astro 001 students for a great honour – whichever class collected the most money for this year’s THON would get to designate a lecture style of their choice, and Brad won… so he got to lecture as a character from a “classic christmas movie”[sic] As you can see,…

Linkedy Links IX

On the purity of science careers; the waste of civilization and other assorted snippets… and a happy Feast of St Nikolaus The Rise of the Science Politician – Matt B. continues provocative Conversations. There is an interesting thread on this on The Astronomers fb. On The Inevitability of Kardashev Civilizations – the Astro Wright continues…

In which we dunk and pie our professors… Much has been written about student morale and the problems of student-faculty relations and the implicit expectations faculty have of the students. Over the last couple of weeks I have had occasion to test some of the more radical proposals to improve the interactions of our students…

Astrobiology Chair

Visiting Astrobiology Chair in DC: research and engagement. Applications and nominations are open for the Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology. “Established in the Fall of 2011, the Blumberg Astrobiology Chair is a distinguished senior position at the Library’s Kluge Center. The incumbent conducts research at the intersection between the science of…

Holy Schrödinger’s Cat!

Schrödinger’s Qu’ran – a 2012 thought experiment – in The Conversation, Matthew Bailes updates a classic paradox… “…a physicist could extend this thought experiment to write a php script that would randomly download one of the Bible, Qur’an or even a classical quantum mechanics textbook to the iPad…” On the Dispositive Null in the Literature…

Or, how may hours should graduate students work? Well, depends… However Many You Like As Many As They Can As Many As Are Needed All Of Them The answer may sometimes lie in the above range, sometimes may be somewhat less, and occasionally even more. We’ve all been there, and all suffer from survivor bias,…

The New Frontiers in Astronomy and Cosmology program included 20 awards for 2 year research projects on Big Questions. The winners are: Big Question I What was the earliest state of the universe? Detecting Cosmic Superstrings David Chernoff, Cornell University Co-Investigator: Henry Tye, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology CosmoArchaeology: Digging for the Initial…

New Frontiers in Astronomy

The New Frontiers in Astronomy and Cosmology program has announced its Award winners! The $4+ million in awards went to 20 scientists studying Big Questions on fundamental issues and 21 high school and university student essay prize winners. The awards will be presented at a conference at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia next week. The…

sequestration summary

The OMB has reported on the effects of sequestration that will be triggered Jan 2013 unless Congress proactively changes the law before then. Some time ago, Congress set itself a trap: in an attempt to look like they were dealing with government spending and the deficit, they passed a law that triggers automatic cuts to…

how low can you go…

a few years ago, during a particularly busy period, I found myself putting “take a shower” on my To Do Lists… not so much because I needed the reminder, though people may differ on that point, but more for the temporary morale boost of being able to cross at least one point off the To…