AST 185C -- FALL 1998 (45140)

Dinerstein, Tues. 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Astronomy 185C is a "conference course" for first-semester astronomy graduate students. I treat this course as a semester-long orientation to our department, graduate school in astronomy, and astronomy as a profession. We will include overviews of the five research groups; for each group, a full class meeting will be devoted to a discussion of the research activities of its members. This is important because you will soon be choosing a research area and advisor. However, most of the class time will be devoted to broader issues such as: What does it really take to succeed in graduate school and beyond? What are the prospects of finding a job, what kind of jobs are available, and how does one prepare oneself for various career paths? We will also have a number of guest participants who are at different stages of their careers and have had a variety of experiences, to provide a broad range of opinions and perspectives.

There is a special shelf in Peridier Library devoted to "Careers" and related issues. Some of the more useful items there include:

  1. "A Ph.D. is Not Enough! A Guide to Survival in Science," Peter J. Feibelman (1993), Addison-Wesley paperback. (I have ordered a few copies through the UT Co-Op; it cost $12.95 last year.)

  2. "To Boldly Go: A Practical Career Guide for Scientists," Peter S. Fiske (1996), American Geophysical Union.

  3. "Communicating in Science: Writing a Scientific Paper and Speaking at Scientific Meetings," Vernon Booth (1984, 1993), Cambridge University Press.


  1. Introduction to research facilities and resources:

  2. Survival and success in the UT Astronomy program:

  3. Survival and success in an astronomy career:

  4. Scientific communication: (we may not have time for all of these)