Jessica Lu

Permanent Jobs Elusive for Recent PhDs [Link]

by Jessica Lu September 13, 2012

Jessica Kirkpatrick (UC Berkeley) has an interesting post on a recent study by the American Institute of Physics analyzing the types of employment obtained for new physics/astro PhDs: Permanent Jobs Elusive for Recent PhDs – Women in Astronomy


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Rumor Mill 2012-2013 is Now Open

by Jessica Lu July 30, 2012

The Astrophysics Job Rumor Mill is more popular than ever, although traffic to the page in August is typically only half of what it is in January/February. I have started the new rumor mill pages for 2012-2013 (yes it IS time for job-hunting season again) and I have relegated the 2011-2012 pages to archives. All […]


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Peer Review, the Nuts and Bolts [Links]

by Jessica Lu July 27, 2012

The first time you peer review a paper can be a stressful, but educational, experience. The article below breaks down the overall peer review process. The guide was written for biology; but 99% of it is useful for astronomers as well. I like that the peer review process is placed into a larger context and […]


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Digital Publishing Steps Beyond the PDF [Link]

by Jessica Lu July 20, 2012

Open Access journals in other disciplines are starting to provide value-add services beyond static PDFs or cross-referencing with other papers. One such example discussed in the article below is a feature called figshare now being used in the F1000 OpenAccess journal in biology and medicine. Figshare and F1000 Research Shake Up Traditional Academic Publishing Format […]


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Learning Python – The Interactive Way

by Jessica Lu June 18, 2012

One of the nice things about programming in python is that it is free, relatively easy to use, and there is lots of support and development online. One of the downsides is that there is not a standard python package to install… you have to know about all the interesting add-on bits to get maximum […]


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‘Be Yourself’ – Truth or Myth? [Link]

by Jessica Lu May 4, 2012

Inside Higher Ed has some interesting advice on whether advising someone to “be yourself” during an interview is the right approach. I found most of the recommendations in the article useful. But I would also counter that you shouldn’t pretend to be someone else. The ‘Be Yourself’ Myth – Inside Higher Ed What do you […]

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Speaking with Confidence – or Why We Ramble [Link]

by Jessica Lu April 27, 2012

Good verbal communication is a valuable skill for a scientist. The article below discusses a common trait for many young scientists — rambling. Is That Your Final Answer? Or, Why Graduate Students Ramble – The Professor Is In Do you hear yourself in those examples? How have you improved your question answering style? What advice do […]


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Sharing Astro Course Notes and Classroom Activities [Wiki]

by Jessica Lu April 16, 2012

There is a large pool of resources for Astro 101 level courses organized on the AstroBetter wiki. Advancements in education research are frequently incorporated in Astro 101 classes, thanks to the availability of these resources. However, there is much less available for higher level courses, including those for undergraduate astronomy majors and graduate physics and astronomy […]


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Social Media for Scientists

by Jessica Lu March 21, 2012

Do you use Twitter or Facebook in a professional capacity? If not, here are some interesting articles on why you may want to start. Social Media for Scientists Part 1: It’s Our Job Social Media for Scientists Part 2: You Do Have Time. Social Media for Scientists Part 2.5: Breaking Stereotypes Social Media For Scientists […]


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Bayesian Inference in Python

by Jessica Lu February 24, 2012

Observational astronomers don’t simply present images or spectra, we analyze the data and use it to support or contradict physical models. A key aspect of data analysis is understanding the certainty of claims that are made. Thus using statistics is a fundamental part of observational astronomy. Statistical inference is one method of drawing conclusions, and establishing […]


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