Office: RLM 16.324
Hours: M 1:30-2:30, W 10:30-11:30, or by appt
Phone: (512) 471-3449
Philosophy of this course:
AST 185C is a professional development seminar designed for incoming graduate students in the UT
Astronomy Ph.D. program. It consists mainly of informal sessions consisting of information, advice,
and discussion. The main activity is attendance and participation. We will try to address issues are
important to your progress and success in our graduate program and in astronomy as a profession,
but don't generally come up in conventional courses. It complements the non-field-specific offerings
of UT's Graduate School, which includes regular courses, as well as one-day workshops on topics such
as grant proposal writing, applying for academic jobs, etc.
One goal of this course is to give you a thorough overview of research activities at UT Austin in the
areas of stellar, interstellar, extragalactic, planetary, and theoretical astrophysics. This overview may
be particularly useful if you have not yet picked a research area and advisor, but even if you do know
what your area of specialization will be, it is still a good thing to know what else is going on in the
department. We will also discuss issues such as: What does it really take to succeed in graduate school
and beyond? What are the prospects of finding a job in astronomy, what kind of jobs are available, and
how does one prepare for various career paths? These questions will be addressed by a variety of
guests with various backgrounds and experiences.
What is expected of you in this class?
To attend regularly, except in case of illness or conflicting activities such as an observing run. A couple
of sessions may require a little bit of preparation (e.g. one round of short oral presentations, and possibly
a brief survey or reading for other sessions).