June 2011

Update on grad student unionizing

by Jane June 22, 2011

New developments over at NYU with larger potential impact:  an NLRB official says that grad students trying may actually be employees: In a decision issued last week, Elbert F. Tellem, acting director of the NLRB’s regional office in Manhattan, said the graduate assistants, practically speaking, have “a dual relationship” with the university that is “both academic […]


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Revised NSF Merit Review Criteria

by Kelle June 21, 2011

The NSF has been reviewing the merit review criteria (i.e., Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts). Based on the largely consistent input of 5,100 individuals, they have now drafted revised review criteria (below). To me, the criteria are actually the same, it’s just the wording has been changed to clarify the intent. In addition, they have […]

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Extremely Large Telescope Might End Up Not Quite as Large [Links]

by Kelle June 16, 2011

Europe Downscales Monster Telescope to Save Money | ScienceInsider The world’s biggest telescope is getting smaller—but more affordable. The designers of the future European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) have decided to shrink the telescope’s primary mirror from a diameter of 42 meters to 39.3 meters. The resulting 13% decrease in sensitivity is likely to reduce […]


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New Blog: GradHacker

by Kelle June 14, 2011

There’s a new blog to add to the list of useful resources for grad students: GradHacker. Recent noteworthy posts have been on hacking your committee meetings, coming to grips with not knowing the answers anymore, and the dual-career job search. While it seems that the authors thus far are mainly in the humanities, the issues […]


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Terminal bake-off

by Jane June 10, 2011

Linux and OS X users:  what terminal do you use, and why? Choices include (but are not limited to) xterm, iterm2, & Terminal. I suspect that many of use the defaults because they’re the default. I’m one of them. Please tell me what I’m missing. Update—Kelle took the liberty of adding a poll:


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Visualizing Simulated Data

by Jessica Lu June 9, 2011

More and more astronomers are writing, running, and using massive computer simulations. The complexity of these simulations (often 3D space + time) means that visualization can be challenging. Over at Astropython, they have posted about the – yt – toolkit that allows you to analyze and visualize the results of adaptive mesh refinement simulation codes (AMR). AMR […]


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Twitter-Based Astronomy Journal Club

by Kelle June 8, 2011

Hashtag: #astroJC Organizers: @astronomyjc Blog: Astronomy Journal Club The general idea is that we meet up on twitter at a prearranged day and time and discuss an interesting piece of astronomy research. This will generally take the form of an academic paper, but we could also include some articles too. Everyone’s welcome to participate, whether […]


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Custom Search Engine for ADS BibTeX

by saurav June 7, 2011

We have previously talked about how to use Quicksilver to do custom ADS searches on Macs, and the Alfred version is pretty slick as well. However, such custom searches can also be done from straight from the web browser, independent of the OS you are using. Benoit Thiell, a developer at ADS, has sent along […]

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Got the time? [Ask AstroBetter]

by Jane June 2, 2011

A reader asks:  “I am looking for a small Mac program that can be put in the top bar to show LST/UT and Local time. Is there something like that that you are aware of?” Readers, chime in!  (I would probably just open Jskycalc and hit the “Set to Now” and “Auto Step” buttons.  But I’m sure there’s […]


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