Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Best Part of My Week

Two years ago I made the transition from academic science to data science. There are many aspects of industry that mesh better with my working style. However one very important industry practice that I feel is lacking in academia (at least for many of the people I have spoken to) are mechanisms for regular evaluation and feedback  especially for graduate students and postdocs.

Lately I've been facilitating workshops on the Impostor Syndrome and having many conversations with people about my process of dealing with and overcoming my own impostor feelings. For me a huge problem with my experience in graduate school was a constant nagging fear that I wasn't performing at an adequate level. There are so few metrics by which to measure success; if I didn't published N papers, make any major discoveries, or win any prizes or grants  how was I to know if I was ‘cutting it?’ And even if I did accomplish some of these milestones, there were always stories of other people who did it more, better, and faster. This was the perfect breeding ground for my impostor thoughts.

Read the full post at Women in Astronomy.

Science Behind Interstellar Explained

If you’ve recently been to the movie theaters to see Christopher Nolan’s latest film Interstellar, you may have left the movie like “OMG,” but possibly also like “WTF?” Through the film’s storyline, the audience is introduced to a number of captivating yet complicated topics that former NASA pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and his team must tackle on their quest into unknown regions of space in order to save mankind.
To help demystify a few astrophysics-specific topics discussed in the movie such as using wormholes to travel to distant parts of the galaxy, the physics behind alternate dimensions, tidal forces caused by the gravitational pull of black holes, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and the physics behind aging at different rates explained by the famous Twin Paradox just to name a few, InstaEDU has teamed up with its own physics, astrophysics, and cosmology tutors to not only help shed light on these topics but to open a dialogue between you, the reader, and our experts who can help explain the answers that you’re looking for.
Here to answer questions about the physics of Interstellar is one of InstaEDU’s “Interstellar” tutors, Jessica K, PhD from University of California, Berkeley and astrophysics tutor on InstaEDU.
Read the full interview on the InstaEDU Blog.