For a significant fraction of our membership, February is probably not their favorite month. Despite being the calendrical midget with the smallest number of days, for those on the job market it probably produces the largest amount of anxiety. Indeed, the entire job search process seems to consume a larger number of months, a larger expenditure of resources, a larger amount of time, and a larger quantity of emotional energy than it did the last time I applied for a job 36 years ago. Should we reduce this burden? And, if so, how do we go about doing that?
NSF and the ABCs of Sequestration
Sign the petition to help protect federal funding for research and development. Together we can make a difference. Speak up today!
Letter of Intent Deadline: 20 February 2013
Full Proposal Deadline: 20 March 2013
The NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program seeks to encourage talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science teachers.
In response to a White Paper submitted to the Astro2010 Decadal Survey (arXiv:0909.3892), and with the support of former and current AAS Presidents Elmegreen and Helfand, a new AAS Working Group on Astroinformatics and Astrostatistics has been approved by the AAS Council at the 220th Meeting, June 2012, in Anchorage.
I recently made the transition from astrophysics researcher to data scientist for a tech company. Here are suggestions for people in academia / research who are interested in pursuing a tech job.
The results of the latest AAS election are presented below. The Society thanks all who agreed to stand for election, for their commitment and service to the community, and congratulates the winners.
The Dirk Brouwer Award was established to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of Dynamical Astronomy, including celestial mechanics, astrometry, geophysics, stellar systems, galactic and extra galactic dynamics. The Selection Committee seeks a wide range of award candidates differing in age, gender, nationality, occupation, field of interest, and scientific and technical contributions. The main criteria, which are not necessarily weighted equally, are:
The James Webb Space Telescope project continued to make solid progress in 2012. Several of the key mission milestones were completed this past year, and the telescope is on track for an October 2018 launch. The JWST team participated in the 2013 AAS meeting in Long Beach CA, and presented the community with a number of updates on the present status of the project, the future outlook, and the science opportunities. Many of the resources from the meeting are now available online.
The AAS is pleased to announce the "soft-launch" of our new website and member communication system, which represents the culmination of very large amount of work by members of the AAS staff and external contractors over the past year and more. We will be rolling out the website and its new functionality over the coming months, so stay tuned for some exciting new features.
AAS members among New Class of AAAS Fellows
In October 2012, the AAAS Council elected 701 members as Fellows of AAAS. These individuals will be recognized for their contributions to science and technology at the Fellows Forum to be held on 16 February 2013 during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. The new Fellows will receive a certificate and a blue and gold rosette as a symbol of their distinguished accomplishments.
We are pleased to announce that at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia, the ACS-PHYS division established a new Astrochemistry Subdivision. Astrochemistry is the study of the abundances and chemical reactions of atoms, molecules, and ions and how they interact with radiation in both gas and condensed phases in Solar Systems and in the Interstellar Medium. The new Subdivision provides an interdisciplinary "home" for individuals interested in this growing research area.
The Long Beach meeting is underway as I write this column (during a break between sessions). Roughly 2500 people attended the meeting and judging by the hoarse voices and happy grins mid-week, most valued the opportunity to speak with and hang-out with their colleagues. Organizing a meeting of this size and logistical complexity is not easy and takes real professionals working both on site and for years (literally) ahead of time to pull it off.
As I noted in my opening remarks at the 221st meeting of the Society in Long Beach, the state of the AAS — unlike that of the nation — is strong. We ended the year with a small positive balance in the Society's account for the fourth year in a row. Our collection of journals — the highest impact journals in the world in our field — is in even stronger financial shape.
At its 221st semiannual meeting two weeks ago in Long Beach, California, the AAS named the recipients of its 2013 prizes for achievements in research, instrument development, education, and writing.
The Society is saddened to learn of the deaths of the following members, former members, and affiliate members:
Bertram D. Donn
Stephan D. Price
The following actions were taken by the AAS Council at their January 2013 meeting in Long Beach, California.
Women are now more than 1/3 of physics majors at several top universities and 28% of astronomy assistant professors were women in 20061. Long gone are the days when women were barred from faculty positions in science departments and were not permitted to observe at some astronomical observatories2. Yet women still face challenges that men do not, and this limits the success of the academic research enterprise. Some readers may challenge this premise and I invite them to learn about this topic by attending a Women in Physics or Women in Astronomy meeting.
The biennial AAS Department Chairs Meeting was held in Chicago on Saturday, 3 November 2012, with about 35 chairs attending from around the nation. The meeting was sponsored by the AAS and organized by Jerry Sellwood (Rutgers) and David Kieda (Utah), with assistance from Jeri Cochran (U. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). AAS President David Helfand and Executive Officer Kevin Marvel represented the Society.
The JWST science instrument payload is designed as a highly integrated module in which many systems are shared among the science instruments in order to reduce mass, power, and volume resources. This Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) system is a 1.4 metric ton element of the JWST space vehicle that consists of four science instruments, a fine guidance sensor (FGS), 7 other shared hardware systems and two shared software systems.