September has been a very unique month for me. As my Hubble Fellowship ended and I hadn’t taken up my new position as a data scientist at QuantCo yet, I had the opportunity to work all month long for Insight Data Science in Boston. Having gone through the program myself, I was a (hopefully) valuable support for Program Director Greg Antell (center left in the photo) in mentoring the 18 new fellows of the Fall Session.
It’s time to move on to new challenges! Heartbroken, I have abandoned my beautiful apartment in New York and settled down in Cambridge, MA, for the next big step in my career. For the transition from academic research in astrophysics to a job in the real world, I’ve decided to use the help of the Insight Data Science program, which is famous for successfully placing PhD’s and postdocs fresh out of academia into their first data science job – at zero cost.
Turns out, summer in the Cambridge/Boston area is absolutely amazing! Sailing on the Charles River, tanning on the docks, free concerts at the Hatch Shell – there’s so much to do here. On top of that, I’ve been able to convince myself that there’s an infinite number of adventures outside of academia waiting for me and others with a quantitative research background.
Last week I visited Jennifer Sobeck and my former Yale-colleague Nitya Kallivayalil at the University of Virginia. Jen is the deputy project manager of APOGEE-2, which is a large spectroscopic survey collecting 300,000 high-resolution spectra of Milky Way stars (and other bright targets). Hence, her head is full of stellar atmospheres and element abundances. Nitya is the go-to person for proper motions of Galactic satellites, which is why there’s tons of overlap between my work and both of theirs. Frequently distracted by great food and stunning weather, we scienced around for a few days. Our brainstorming for low hanging fruits in the APOGEE-2 dataset brought us a few great ideas, which we will hopefully pursue within the next weeks and months. Steve Majewski, PI of APOGEE and also based at UVa, outsourced the same task to all his undergrads. Let’s see who’s first to have some results!
It was great to visit Baltimore one last time and see the other fellows again. Baltimore has become a major hub for astronomy, even more so since STScI started hiring for JWST and WFIRST. All my friends from Yale seem to live in Baltimore now!
I get to be on Japanese television!! NHK, Japan’s national public broadcasting organization, asked me for an interview about the evolution of globular clusters and the formation of tidal streams. I’m still excited about it, it was so much fun!
NHK produces a show called Cosmic Front Next, which covers one aspect of astronomy per episode. Each episode is one hour long and features several scientists. Since 2011, they have aired about one episode per week. That’s a lot of astronomy! Surprisingly, they haven’t covered globular clusters yet. So, I’m more than happy that I get to be on this episode of Season 5. Continue reading Big in Japan→
During Adrian Price-Whelan’s dissertation talk today at the winter meeting (AAS227) of the American Astronomical Society in Kissimmee, Florida, I was reminded that I haven’t mentioned our publication here. Adrian went through a whole lot of effort and characterized regular and chaotic orbits in a typical galactic gravitational potential. Usually, orbits in such a potential can be broadly categorized into chaotic and non-chaotic orbits. Adrian looked at this distinction in terms of the streams that are formed by satellites on such orbits. Continue reading Chaos in the Galaxy→